Some folks believe that a new year is a great time to start something brand new. You know, some sort of commitment to yourself. But, the truth is that unless you stay committed to your goals, you’re not going to get them done. And with this new year, every photographer should find ways to create organic growth for themselves. So we’re rounding up four ways photographers can do this. Make the promise to yourself!
Creating Tangible Evidence That Your Work Is Getter Better
Ask yourself seriously, how many creative projects have you done? What are you doing that shows your work is better than it was last year? And at the end of 2022, how will your work look different than how it is today? This is why personal photography projects are incredibly important.
Feeling burned out? That’s fine. Sometimes the bravest thing you can give yourself is a break. And once you’ve recovered, you can let yourself feel and create again!
Now, here’s an extra challenge. Think about how you’re working to make your images stand out and be a signature of your own style. If someone looks at an image, will they be able to tell automatically that it’s a photo you’ve made?
Do Something Involving Prints
This doesn’t necessarily mean you should make prints and sell them. But what about zines? Or a photo book? You should really do something to get your work and photography into a different medium. But there needs to be intent. If you’re going to make a print, will it be for sale? Or will you use it as part of a mailer for someone who could potentially hire you? Perhaps you’ll use it for a small pop-up show of your work.
Seriously, don’t discount the reliability of snail mail; it can work when you do it correctly. Think about it as giving a gift to someone. Make the presentation really nice, and put a lot of effort into it. Maybe even gift wrap it! Enclose a short note, and make sure that your print or book doesn’t end up not being looked at.
Stop Relying on Social Media and Build an Email List
It’s a little insane how many photographers rely mostly on social media to reach out to their clients. It’s a better idea to control your audience. Algorithms can completely alienate you from the rest of your followers. If you don’t want to grind it out, the best thing to do is to have control. So build your email list! Also, be sure to build up your own personal connections.
We personally use Mailchimp. But there are lots of other platforms out there.
Beyond this, if you don’t have a dedicated website, you should build one. Instagram could delete your profile out of the blue one day. And then where will people see your work? Why not have a personal hub that you’ve got full control over?
Develop Symbiotic Relationships
Speaking of connections, build more symbiotic relationships. Lots of folks don’t know what this means. Essentially, it means that if I scratch your back three times, you’ll reciprocate and do it three times in kind. It’s mutual. But it’s also, in the grand scheme of things, just fair. Both sides have to benefit from something. And most importantly, you should be able to measure those benefits.