First things first take a really deep breath and then realize this empire may take weeks months and even decades to build, so just don't give up.
"The undisciplined life is an insane life"
I want to start by saying this, I'm writing this article as if your just starting out with nothing a complete novice at photography and by extension life. Now just because you may be a pro and doing this for a few years doesn't mean you won't find little golden nuggets. I think when we let ourselves go back to the basics we rediscover something new because our eyes have changed since we've last looked.
NUMBER ONE: MINDSET
If you're going to start a business you must take it seriously despite any reservations people in your social circle may have towards it. Your dreams are for you to manifest for yourself, so don't let their words get to you. Taking advice from people that are not aspiring for the same thing is kinda a waste of your time anyway. You need to get your head on straight and keep a positive perspective. Your mindset is everything because when you start this journey called LIFE, it will throw curve balls at you that you wouldn't expect and you have to be as on your shit as possible. You need to take responsibility for everything that happens in your life and do whatever it takes to steer your self in the right direction. Holding resentment for anyone is just a waste of time just forgive and more importantly forget and focus on your empire. Don't be held back by spite or revenge. The great Les Brown always said, "you can get revenge or you can get ahead, but you can't do both".Just learning how to get the energy drainers out of your life will immensely propel you further in your goals. So keep your head up and delete any negative thoughts that send you in an emotional loop of frustration and loss of productivity by First, acknowledging that this emotion you've allowed someone or something to evoke in you is stealing your time and you need to make them or it completely irrelevant. Sometimes when I start to imagine my self-driving my car into a pole I say to my self "Oh that's a virus let's make sure to clean that up" by doing this you give your brain something to rewire. So when we consistently make this a habit of acknowledging and deflecting various stresses that come along with living life, we start to be better and then we start to have a better life. Simply, To get better we must be better. And when your mindset is right you can be that awesome business owner your trying to be.
NUMBER TWO: PHYSICAL HEALTH
Food and exercise is a huge part of how you function and even respond to outside stimuli. I highly recommend grateful affirmations because even though this ties into "mindset" as well it also contributes to how you physically perceive the world. so creating a positive start to your day, lets you hold a positive spirit hence preventing you from having to much stress which allows you to flourish. Now let's get into food... Lemon water or at least just water when you wake up its crucial. Hydrating makes everything in your body work better so don't skip it. So another easy thing to do is get some vitamin D by soaking sunrays for about 15 minutes a day this will keep you from getting depressed because that's what happens when you don't get sunlight.. ( SOO don't take the Prozac just YET) Now we need to move our body too so take a walk and soak the sun at the same time but if your super lazy try high-intensity interval training only takes 5 minutes and you get to spend the remaining ten minutes sitting and soaking sun rays. Lastly, your food intake is so important and doing research on food and how it affects your body is critical. For example, Did you know crab claws release dopamine, therefore, they make you happy? Most people probably didn't know that and how about how most peanut butter you buy is actually soy which negatively impacts the hormone called estrogen in your body. This health part is a loaded topic so just do your research. It's hard to run a business when your health sucks so I thought this was relevant.
NUMBER THREE: PORTFOLIO
So now its time to figure out what kind of photographer you want to be. If your really a novice here is a list of niches think about.
FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY ~ EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY ~ FAMILY/KIDS/NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY ~ SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY ~ WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY ~ GRADUATION PHOTOGRAPHY ~ COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY~ PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY ~ FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY~ BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY ~ BIRTHDAY PHOTOGRAPHY~ WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY ~ ART PHOTOGRAPHY ~ PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY ~ BEAUTY PHOTOGRAPHY
...... and I'm sure there is much more.
So whatever genre of photography you want to break into, you're going to have to create a portfolio of it.
You need to be friendly approachable and start talking to people that can help you create your portfolio. For instance, if you want to be a food photographer you'd go to a restaurant that may not have the best photos. Then You can ask if you can help them update their menu item images to help build your portfolio and if you know you suck right now do it for the price of the meal. Or you can go to the supermarket and buy pretty food and take photos of it. Practice makes perfect so these free shoots are here for you to make mistakes with and learn from. Another example, If you wanted to take photos of kids you'd probably find a kid from your friend or family to start a portfolio. I wouldn't take free photos forever just enough for you to get a decent portfolio started so you look like you know what you're doing.
NUMBER FOUR: RESEARCH
So now your head is on straight and you've brought some order into your life, great! Now its time to get to work. You need to start by creating a name for the new photography business. This can be a daunting so maybe consider using your own name and make sure you check to see if names are taken. I know what its like to get attached to a name that has been taken and I hope I can save you the despair lol. I personally chose to make my business name Medium Grey Studios because of the future plans I have with it. So depending on where you are taking your photography business will depend on how you go about naming it. I actually didn't start out as Medium Grey Studios so its okay if in the middle of it all you feel you need to make a transition. We are all a work in progress and we don't stay the same forever, change is the only constant.
So now you have picked out a name yay!!! Now Go Make the business cards, the site, and the social media outlets so you can connect with potential clients!!! Do your research, Check out the leading photographers in your area and see what they're doing. look at reviews and see what people like and don't like in their photographers. Research different ways to enhance your skills. And remember Photography is a never-ending learning process and you will have to always be learning so you really need to love what you do for this to work. You will fail if you can't solve problems quickly. so Having a mindset of " there is a solution for everything" will get you everywhere in this industry and any other one you choose. I suggest following different photographers on youtube who do tutorials and give tips because you need to be constantly banging this information into your head. You need to stay sharp! Reading this post would do you more benefit if you read it ten times as opposed to just one... But do you ever ask why? I'll tell you why it's because it's creating a new neuro-pathways in your brain to hold the information in because it can see that this is important to you, therefore, let me take more of this information in and start to apply it.
NUMBER FIVE: MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
As a photographer, Instagram has become a really important aspect of my business marketing because of how easy it is to make connections with people on there. They also have business tools to check your analytics like the gender of your audience, actual views, the best time to post and more. The more you engage the more you are exposed so be friendy say please and thank you and support others on social media. Also Present yourself thoughtfully, so that you create a signature for yourself, for instance, I post in three's and my photography is very colorful and has a lot of blue hues you can see what I mean here @medium_grey_studios. You should also post to Facebook and create your own photography page. There are huge photography communities on there that can connect you with other photographers, models, makeup artists and photography events. Also, I feel there is more of the older generation on Facebook that may not have made the IG transition and never will so its good to have both. Facebook is a wonderful platform to post ads and sell merchandise and prints on so don't sleep on it. And of course Word of mouth is always great for spreading the word so keep making those connections and realize you can not have a business without making these connections.
If you have any questions please write in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them via video or blog! Until next time my friends have a fabulous day!