One of the most asked questions I get when chatting with photographers is where can they find clients.
It is one of the questions I ask when reviewing a portfolio; “OK, these are nice shots. Who do you know who will pay you for this kind of work?”
Too often I get a sort of lost expression and some mumbling. Occasionally someone will answer with a couple of ideas – but usually what I call the “Low Hanging Fruit” of possible clients; magazines.
Well, there is much more to commercial photography than working for “magazines” and we need to identify those areas who will purchase our work so we can move toward getting them to do just that.
In this video, I discuss the discovery of “Channels” – vertical markets that help you identify the types of businesses that would be able to use the kind of work that you do.
“Discovering Channels” is part two of our “Finding and Keeping Commercial Photography Clients” program. Part One is on the blog and open to all. The entire series is free and open for subscribers to “In The Frame”.
This step by step program will help you build a solid client list, and help you keep them while you build your business. Many of my Project 52 members have been successful working this program.
Subscribers to “In The Frame” have gotten this information already. Please subscribe to get access to this video, and the next three. They are full of information you can use right now to help build a strong client list. “In The Frame” comes out each Sunday, and we never spam you. We focus on the business and art of commercial photography. And please et me know if this series is helpful to you.
Finding and Keeping Commercial Photography Clients
NOTE: This is a course for emerging commercial photographers. The methods we discuss may be of interest to consumer photographers as well, but are highly focused on the commercial part of our industry. Thank you.
This is part one of a five part free course on finding and keeping commercial photography clients. It is an introduction to a far more robust course that will be offered July 1. There is no ‘selling’ in this video – or the next three, but in the last one I will show you how to sign up for the more detailed and comprehensive program. These videos are high in value and even if you do not sign up for the full course, you will find them extremely helpful.
To get the remaining 4 videos, please signup for “In the Frame”, my weekly dispatch. The classes will come to you one per week. You will find the sign up on the right hand column. Thank you for being interested, now let’s talk about your portfolio.
The first set of images from the 8 Week Portrait Class came in last evening and they are really good. The class takes a close look at 8 major portrait photographers by analyzing what they do, how they accomplished their imagery and what the thought process was behind the work.
The students then create a shot that was inspired by the photographer we studied. The goal for some is to replicate the style (to see if they can capture it) and for others it is to simply be inspired by the work and then create something within their own style that pays homage to the photographer.
We call it building the toolkit. The more ways you can think of to create an image, the more your creativity will take over. Creating your own personal style is the goal, learning from those who have great personal style is a method that works.
This first image set was inspired by the work of Skrebneski.
(My daughter, Alissa, wrote this Friday for one of her final assignments. It fits in nicely for mother’s day.)
My mom used to tell my sisters and me that if we ran through the sprinklers we would feel like different people. We could do anything, be anything, without worrying about the future. When we ran through the sprinklers we were transported to whole different worlds. Some with endless possibilities. All with childlike joy and imagination. “The sprinklers will always be there for you. You just have to look for them.”
My older sister and I used to run through the sprinklers every afternoon in the park near our school. We skipped to the park and stopped by the edge of the grass. We put our backpacks down and took off our shoes, then lined our toes up to where the sidewalk meets the grass – just barely touching the wetness. I would close my eyes and hear my mother’s voice echoing in my mind, telling me I could be whatever I wanted to be in those sprinklers. I looked at my sister and we held hands as we were transported to a different world. Running through sprinklers. Running through sparkling, diamond drops of water. Possibilities. Joy.
I am now a senior in high school. My baby steps are over, and it’s time to become an adult. Being an adult comes with responsibilities and worries. I walk home from school on a sunny day and I think about the future. What will I study in college? Will I graduate? Will I ever move out of my parents house? How will I pay for all the adult stuff like insurance and utilities? Will I ever get a job to help me pay for all of these things? Will I find a career that I love?
My mind was ripped away from that worrisome reality when I felt water hitting my toes. I looked up to see the sprinklers in the park near the school. I glanced around. Was anyone going to see me? Who cares?! I put my backpack down and took my sandals off, and lined my toes up to where the sidewalk meets the grass. My toes barely touched the wetness. I looked around again, and then I went for it. As I ran through the sprinklers carefree and in my own world, I could hear my mom’s voice, “You can be anything, do anything.” I was laughing as all my troubles went away. I was in a different place where I felt safe and free. There were endless possibilities. Whatever happens in life that makes me stressed and upset, I can and will always count on those sprinklers to be there for me. I believe in running through sprinklers and connecting with my inner child. I’ll never let go of her, especially when she is needed most. The sprinklers will always be there – I just have to look for them.