Sunday, February 22, 2009

Careers-Getting established

From an email by Bernadette:
"Perhaps when you have a chance, you can give me advice on what steps to take to become an established [architectural photographer] photographer?"
*Cynical Note* To be frank, due to the economy, this is perhaps the worst time imaginable to be trying to get established as a photographer. Clients are dropping like flies and even established pros are slashing their prices.

First thought......IME you may get into a career by luck or happenstance, but you build a successful career by strategic planning and hard work. Strategic planning means knowing where you want to be in five years and making concrete steps to get there. The hard work may be obvious, but when I say hard work I mean pouring your whole being into learning your craft, acquiring the equipment you need, building a world class portfolio, developing a personal style and selling yourself. I don't mean to sound intimidating. It is largely a building and learning process not god given talent. See also: How Did I Get Into Architectural Photography

Tonnes asks on another thread:
Your work is great. Just curious: How much of your work nowadays is a result of your marketing efforts vs. clients coming to you because they'd seen your work elsewhere vs. old clients who rehire you?
Tonnes, 90% of my work is from repeat customers, many of whom I have been with for 25 years. Some were my AP students from architecture schools. We have grown together in business, exposure and reputation. Some clients you can't do this with. Some will come and go and that is understandable to. They want to try out the new guy or the cheaper alternative. But the ones that stick with you and you mutually build your careers together are worth their weight in gold. The new clients come from a variety of sources but most often either from seeing my work in magazines, referrals from existing clients and from web searches in my area that led them to my website.

****Thanks, I'll get into it more in the next couple of weeks, a thought at a time. I am really buried at the moment.****

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