Hi photography friends!! I wanted to take a minute to talk about the things I wish I would’ve known as a beginner photographer. There are lots of things I wish I would’ve done differently, but these six things stood out to me as the most important ones! Mindset was HUGE for me when I started out, and I found that once I shifted my mindset in these ways, I saw growth + improvements within my business as a whole.
Lighting and location is just as important as good gear.
When I first started photography, I thought camera gear determined how good your photos were. It wasn’t until a year into shooting I realized that planning your lighting & location plays a HUGE role in your photos…almost more than how good your gear is.
With that being said, take your time to plan our locations with good lighting & be super intentional with these two essential aspects of photography. This will be a game changer for you, I PROMISE!
Don’t be afraid to raise your ISO.
Sometimes, you just gotta bite the bullet & raise your ISO. Before you raise it, make sure you know how high your ISO can go before seeing visible grain. For my Sony, it’s ISO 4000 but for some cameras, it’s as low as ISO 800.
Once you know the high number you can go to, don’t be afraid to raise it up to that limit if you need. Especially if you’re shooting fast moving objects, sometimes it’s better to raise your ISO before lowering your shutter.
Make your brand personal to you.
Your audience + your ideal client wants connection. How can they feel connected with you if your brand shares NOTHING about you as a person?!?
One of my favorite ways of making my brand personal is the fact that I use my name as my business name! So right off the bat, anyone who sees my business knows that Cassidy is the owner + the person they’ll be working with.
Another way to make your brand more personal is by utilizing stories in a personal way! Your audience wants to know what you’re up to, whether it’s photography related or not. Use stories to show behind the scenes, to update your followers on your life, or to just vlog!! Anything is better than nothing.
Styled shoots are super helpful for building your portfolio.
This is something I 100% wish I would’ve known as I was first starting out in photography. Styled shoots are a GREAT way to build your portfolio. Oftentimes, someone won’t book you unless you have photos to prove you actually know what you’re doing…and what better way to get those photos than styled shoots?! Especially if you’re having a hard time scoring second shooting positions or weddings in general.
The best way to find styled shoots is through Instagram! I would encourage you to look around at the other wedding vendors + photographers in your area and see if anyone has any styled shoots coming up!
A good client experience will lead to more word of mouth referrals.
Client experience is EVERYTHING in the photography industry. You have to put yourself in your client’s shoes and ask yourself: what is going to make me want to refer someone? For me, it’s getting an above + beyond client experience.
A few ways to improve your client experience: reply timely to emails, provide vendor recommendations, send outfit or pricing guides, utilize questionnaires, send client gifts, etc.
Marketing is more important than you think.
From my experience in the photography industry, I’ve learned that marketing is essential. For me, my business is 50% about taking good photos and the other 50% is marketing and showcasing those photos.
Marketing doesn’t just mean social media either! It means blogs, websites, email lists, ads, etc. All of those things play into how much exposure your business gets.