When starting this project of Professional practice, we were asked to think of our marketing strategy. This is so I can use this strategy to then create my business brand such as my logo, website and name. When making my brand I made sure to ask my friends, people in the photography industry and my fellow classmates. By asking people this information I can find out what stands out to certain people and what would intrigue them to buy my photography time and experience. So, after sorting out my brand and using the people around me for help, I now need to make sure this fits with my marketing strategy.
As part of my marketing strategy there are certain points I need to look at are:
- Talk to people in the industry to identify opportunities and weaknesses I may have
- I need to make sure I narrow my focus within the industry. This is needed because just saying you are a photographer will not give you as much business than if you had a certain field within photography you are great at i.e. by knowing your field you can then contact the right people, know how to market yourself to your perfect target audience
- I need to find my perfect client. By working out who is my perfect target audience i.e. their gender, age, budget and location I will be able to work out the best way to market myself, how to price myself and the best location to setup my business
- In the world of photography, I need to find out the best way to get my name out there – Social media being an obvious example. Using social media is a great place to see how people market themselves, what your competition is, show off your own work, make connections and get clients.
These are the key topics I need to look into after creating my brand, social media, logo etc.
At the beginning of this year I thought I just wanted to be a fashion photographer, however after starting the second year, talking to photographer and looking and my work and how I take pictures I decided that I want to be a fashion and portrait photographer. This is because this is the industry that interests and excites me the most. I think it is very important to work in a field you enjoy or otherwise you will get bored and won’t spend the time marketing and promoting yourself to get the work and be noticed. Although I am not in the industry yet I still need to think about not only how I market myself to clients but also to other photographers so that I can get assisting work and slowly move upwards in the industry as I gain more experience. To do this I need to be very proactive on contacting photographers to get assisting work, you can never have enough. By taking up all the opportunities, I will be helping marketing myself in the world of assisting. By showing I am helpful, keen, ready to learn, proactive and energetic to these photographers I will rapidly gain connections as well as a great reputation. This in turn will be me marketing myself as the more assisting work I do the more my name will go around other photographers and other people in the industry, which will give me opportunities to branch out on my own. I have already started emailing and contacting photographers for assisting work proactively this year and already had assisting work with a fashion photographer twice and I hope to get more in the future. I also need to start contacting other photographers so that I can get as much experience as possible.
As well as taking all the opportunities, I need to make sure I work on my weaknesses so that my weaknesses do not control me. Some of my weakness are:
- Self Confidence
- Afraid of failure and so I don’t tend to be very ambitious
By working on these weaknesses and bringing myself out of my conform zone over time I hope these weakness will be overcome, so that I push myself to take any opportunities that come my way.
Looking at my target audience in the world of fashion and portrait photography, I am not initially sure what they are yet, but I am hoping that as I get more experience assisting in the industry I will begin to get a clearer idea of who they are. However, thinking about my target audience at the moment I think they are:
- Models – models just starting out in the industry themselves and working together to build each others portfolios
- Photographers – By getting connections with other photographers to get assisting work, find out more about the industry, create more connections. I will learn lots rapidly while also building a network of people
- Publishers – talking to publishers and showing them my work and seeing what they think and also contacting them to put my work in their magazines.
- Other art students – Doing collaborations with other students means I will get more experience and will build each other’s portfolios
I think that looking at the type of people I have put down will give me an idea on who to contact and how to start making connections. Looking at the age range of my target audience I think the models and other students are likely to be around my age range i.e. 18-25 as they will be in the same situation as me. However, I think the photographers and publishers I contact have to be older and been in the industry for some time now and can give me knowledge and inspiration to help build my career. Looking at the locations I think for me it’s going to have to be London as its assessable for me to reach either from university or from home as well as being the hub for the fashion and portrait industry.
At the moment I have no idea on the type of pricing I should be charging people – now or in the future. At the moment if people asked me to take some images I would be thrilled for the opportunity to build my portfolio and, because I’m a student, they expect it for free. However, I do know that I need to start charging people for the work I do – but recognise I will not be able to charge as much as a professional. I think that to learn more about the right pricing when I leave university and start in the industry I need to talk to other photographers, maybe I could find out this information by calling, emailing and assisting photographers to slowly work out an average of what people charge in the industry.
Social media is a very key part of the photographic industry. My plan is to build my brand on social media by showing off my work to intrigue people, uploading images once a week, doing stories when on my own shoot and whilst assisting. People will begin to notice my work and find out that I am reliable as I post once a week, creative as I show off my ideas and a good portfolio of images that will attract clients, photographers and other people in the industry. By doing all of this my number of followers and viewers will begin to grow and so hopefully this will create not only jobs but a name for myself in the field.
Looking to the future and thinking about where I see myself in 5 years, I hope that I have started to build up a network and a good repetition of myself for being a great photographer that is enthusiastic about her work. I hope that I have assisted some amazing photographers and that over the years I have built a relationship with them. I also hope that I have learnt a lot from them and they are happy with the work I have done for them and that they are happy to give me praise when potential clients ask about me. In five years I hope that I have moved away from assisting and that my name is well know for quality work and that I am still loving the fashion and portrait industry.