I’ve been working on a new thing this year with my photography business. I have been working on goals, a combination of business and personal goals. For anyone who knows me this is actually a big deal! I’ve always been a fly by the seat of my pants type of guy. I will tackle any job, deal with any situation or work through any problem and not really think about it again and never take it too seriously. So this year I made business goals.
For my boudoir photography I wanted to shoot at least 100 sessions, and I’ve shot nearly 2/3’s of that number already with over 40 more already scheduled throughout the rest of the year and believe it or not I have room for more! For my fashion and commercial photography I wanted to get creative and shoot at least one published editorial per month. So far through August I have 9 publications this year with several more shoots lined up! I have also been added to two magazines as a contributing photographer! Another goal was to get back into shooting more weddings. For the past few years I have only photographed maybe 5-15 weddings a year, so I started promoting weddings again and have already booked two in the past two weeks and more hopefully on the way! I also wanted to branch out more and connect with the community so I sent in an abstract to speak at a photography conference and I happened to be selected to speak at the Inspire Photo Retreat in Portland, Maine next February!
It may sound like I have a lot on my plate, especially for someone who has been saying they want to slow down and work less. But I have also done that too! I have been asked what my secret is to working this much and not being overwhelmed? It is actually very simple. I shoot only my style. I don’t try to do it all, I just do it all in my style. So what does this mean? It means that no matter what type of session or event I am photographing, I shoot it my way. I don’t look at Pinterest, I don’t copy other photographers work and honestly I don’t really look at too many other photographer’s work anymore. When I shoot a wedding, I talk to my clients, loosen them up and get them to have fun and they just trust me. They’ve hired me because of what I do, not because I can make my work look like some other photographer’s work.
I firmly believe if you want to work a lot, you need to develop your own style, your own personal touch to your work. Make it identifiable to your clients. If someone is searching the web for a photographer make sure that if they like your work, they can always identify it when they see it.
The other thing that works. Be honest. Be honest with yourself and with everything you do in your business. Have the courage and integrity to do what you do. Stand out from the crowd by not following it. I have booked several clients because of how I write on this blog. I’ve had clients tell me they love my rants, they love how I just say what is on my mind. They also say when they meet me I am exactly what they expected me to be, but nicer! I am nice, I just don’t sugar coat things or bullshit people.
But it is all of these things combined which keep me busy but still allows me time to travel and enjoy life. I don’t create extra work for myself by trying to be something I am not. It is hard enough to be yourself in today’s world, why make it harder by trying to be everybody else too?