5 Strategies to Expand Your Career as an Outdoor and Nature Photographer

The business of photography has changed and if you have not changed with it you might not have a business for much longer. If you are just getting started, then looking at a broader market strategy than just scenic images will ensure a higher chance for success.

While being a full time outdoor photographer is a dream of many it is a realization of far fewer. Having an attitude of ‘building it and they will come’ as your main strategy will likely lead to failure and disappointment.

Take a moment and look at the markets that outdoor photographers have traditionally pursued:

READ MORE +5 Strategies to Expand Your Career as an Outdoor and Nature Photographer

Should Your Photography Marketing Include a YouTube Video Portfolio? Watch This:

Success in outdoor photography is all about marketing! With so many tools available to market, which approach is best: Facebook, G+, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, 500PX? Or email, direct mail, or cold calling? They are all good and each is effective for specific markets you are trying to reach. Today, however, I want to look at YouTube and Vimeo as a marketing tool.

It is already widely known that many business are finding online video a great tool to market and some employ very creative techniques to reach an audience. So what about marketing nature photography? I Googled: ‘nature photography portfolio’ on YT and found quite a few photographers using the platform to show their work, but sadly in many cases they only had a few hundred views. I also did not find any presentations that were in my opinion, going to knock the socks off a client who might be looking for someone to work with. That does not mean those videos are not on there, they just did not show up on the first three pages.

What do I mean; “knock the socks off?” I am referring to a video portfolio that goes beyond the collection of beautiful images set to music and nothing more. In our social media environment clients who might be looking for a photographer to work with want more than just seeing your beautiful photography. Beautiful photography exists everywhere and is not hard to find for the client seeking a picture. It is the client looking for a photographer to work with, who might use social media to learn everything about a photographer before contacting them. The greatest marketing tool I ever enjoyed for new business was the referral, but beyond that the best place to search obviously online. So what can you do to make it easy for clients to like you even before your first conversation? Here’s a video showing what I mean:

READ MORE +Should Your Photography Marketing Include a YouTube Video Portfolio? Watch This:

5 Tips for Creating Worthless Photography

Not every photographer is in the business to license their imagery and earn an income and profit, but for those photographers who are working hard to make a decent living, a strategy for success is crucial.

As we know creating great photography is only one small part of success as a professional nature photographer.  You also need a strategy for successfully marketing and meeting the needs of image buyers.  Images that created with more than the ‘pretty picture’ mindset can and often do perform better in the markets. But maybe that is not important.

Bottom line is if the imagery is not selling it could be that you are creating worthless photography and why it is worthless could be for many reasons and maybe these:

READ MORE +5 Tips for Creating Worthless Photography

Are You Taking Care of Your Customers?

These days customers can be hard to come by for photographers. There are never enough of them and they have many options in today’s markets.  Because it is tough to land a new client, it becomes so important to take care of the ones you have after earning their business.

Out of sight = out of mind! I was horribly guilty of being ‘out of sight’ in my early days. I should make no excuses, but it was a different time. In the ‘olden days’ we marketed by direct mail and sales calls and maybe a portfolio showing. Today is different. While I occasionally make sales calls I rarely get them anymore and I like it that way.

If I was an art buyer I probably would prefer to not get calls (some prohibit it) even though my job is to work with photographers. If I was a real art buyer, it might take a lot to get excited about another photographer knocking on my virtual door. But I would get excited if a photographer contacted me in a unique and interesting manner and presented work that made me think “wow”.

READ MORE +Are You Taking Care of Your Customers?

isle royale national park michingan lake forest wilderness photograph photography

5 Business Tips for the New Year

2012 was an interesting year and while I had hoped to see nice growth in a recovering photo economy, it did not seem all that obvious.

2013 is here so it is time to get busy with this year’s strategy. Now’s the time to set solid goals for the year and ones that can be obtained. More importantly, goals that are effective to the success of your business.

Start by taking some time and write down all the goals you would like to achieve. Keep in mind that your personal goals should drive your business goals, but effective business goals will provide your personal goals.

These should include business goals and creative goals. Where would you like to travel and photograph? What gear do you want or need? What sort of income is required to meet the business and personal goals?

READ MORE +5 Business Tips for the New Year

isle royale national park michingan lake forest wilderness photograph photography

Creating Passive Income for Your Photography Business

by Carmen Brettel

Maintaining an online portfolio for your photography is crucial to attracting new clients and booking more work. While your photography may be your bread and butter, it can be limiting. Session work, editing photos and managing clients is a lot of work that requires long hours. You can only do so much as an individual, and when you reach your limit, so does your income.

Creating passive income is the best way to increase your income without having to increase the amount of hours you put in (as if you had any more to give anyway). If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few ideas for passive income that may suit your photography business:

READ MORE +Creating Passive Income for Your Photography Business

Why You Need to Show Only Your Best Work

Do you ever wonder what photographs you should show in your online portfolio?

Do you ever wonder how many images you should show in that portfolio?

Depending who you ask, the answers will vary widely. Like many, I spend a lot of time scouring the web looking for great photography and newsworthy items.

Occasionally I find a photographers website with a gallery that shows every single image from a shoot. Is this smart?

READ MORE +Why You Need to Show Only Your Best Work

Setting Up Your Photography Business to Run on Auto Pilot

In 2004 I left to raft the Grand Canyon for a third time and would be gone 5 weeks. That included a week to get there and get prepped, 3 weeks of rafting (21 day private permit), and a week to pack up and get back.

At that time, my business had been scaled back a few years earlier when I had sold my small boutique stock photo agency to another agency that was soon acquired by Getty.

Gone were my two employees and a lot of the headaches and hassles that go with a staffed business. It was now just the three of us: me, myself, and I, to run my business.

As my Grand Canyon departure time neared I spent considerable time contemplating whether or not to close the doors for a month or find someone and train them to handle the office for during my absence.

READ MORE +Setting Up Your Photography Business to Run on Auto Pilot

Get Over Your Fear of Cold Calling With These Simple Steps

Yes, nature photographers have to market and sell to stay relevant in this business. There is no way around it! And one of the best ways is to simply call your prospective client.

While there are many methods for marketing like print and email, the personal call, done effectively, has probably the highest success rate. In fact, some research suggests that successful cold calling works far superior to email marketing.

Whether cold calling is the right way for you depends on who your target market is. If you are a nature photographer primarily producing e-books and teaching workshops then offline marketing is not necessary when it can be completely done online.

READ MORE +Get Over Your Fear of Cold Calling With These Simple Steps