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4 Ways To Be Taken Seriously As A Young Photographer

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If you’re a young photographer, or know of some younger photographers who have trouble getting taken seriously, here are some tips and tricks to getting the respect you deserve.  

1. Act Professionally

If you want to be taken seriously, you need to be professional. This component is involved in many aspects of the professional photographers life – from telephone calls to social media presence. Often times I will book a shoot with someone through e-mail and speak with them over the phone, but when I meet with them in person for the first time I can still see the initial hesitance in their eyes. I relieve this by continuing to present myself professionally (shaking their hand, keeping eye contact, dressing appropriately, etc.). It is so important for the client to have faith in you as a photographer so I find it crucial to attempt to wash away any doubt. Acting confident can also help to achieve this, so be sure to remind yourself that they booked you based upon your work – they booked you for a reason!

Social media presence is crucial to photographers. It’s important to set up a Facebook page, Instagram and other social networks specifically for your business. Keep your personal accounts separate. Even on your personal social media accounts, never to post anything offensive or immature. Even if you want to be yourself and have privacy, you need to consider everything you post, including comments, from the side of customer or potential client. They may stumble across it – so represent yourself well.

 

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2. Keep Your Brand Clean

On your business sites, such as your Facebook Page, post updates, recent photo shoots, and display your logo. While your brand may evolve, especially when you are young, you will want to make your brand recognizable. Try for consistency–see the black border with orange logo.  I place this on every photo. Also, work hard to maintain a sense of fluidity between your Website, Blog, Instagram, Facebook, and other places where you have a presence. While this can be said for any photographer, not just those of us who are young and starting out, it is even more crucial to gain and maintain respect.1625664_10154140843750335_1178462321057334285_n 4 Ways To Be Taken Seriously As A Young Photographer Business Tips Guest Bloggers Social Networking

Continuing with the social media discussion, it is important to approach your photography pages as though you were the viewer, not the administrator. Would you want to see 15 Instagrams a day, and 20 status updates/photo posts? Probably not. This would clutter up your newsfeed and take the excitement out of seeing each post. Try to post when it you have something relevant to share but not so much that you overwhelmed your audience.

 

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3. Stay Organized

Staying organized is extremely important- and is often the hardest skill for younger photographers.  To combat youthful distractions, keep a planner and binder with you at all times. A planner helps keep track of photo shoots, and a binder helps with everything else.

When it comes to planning the hardest part is being honest with yourself. Don’t try to fit a million things into one day. If you do this, you’ll run yourself ragged, and it’s easy to end up running late or having to cancel on someone should one thing go wrong. And that is NOT professional. When too many things are stacked upon each other, the smallest glitch creates an avalanche on the rest of the day. The best advice is to cushion everything – leave extra time for travel and the unpredictable – this way you are prepared should something go wrong.

Keep all photo related materials together in your binder, including extra flyers and business cards, in case I am at a venue where people might be interested in my work. Also, have blank invoices, plans/shot lists for each photo shoot, and a price list of all your services and products so you don’t have to worry about telling someone an inaccurate prices. Keep examples of prints and some products in your binder too.  You never know when they will come in handy!

4. Be Confident

Staying confident when you are starting out as a young professional is much easier said than done. Sometimes it may seem as though you have been thrown into a shark tank and your just a little fish trying to find their way. I struggled for quite a long time with confidence in regards to my photography. I always feared that when people complimented me they meant that my work was “impressive for someone my age,” instead of accepting that it was just impressive. I never wanted to be talented for a 16 year old or 17 year old and so forth.  I wanted to be talented compared to anyone at any age. Remind yourself that photographers are booked because of their previous work. Clients see your photographs and desire something similar.

It’s easy to doubt yourself when you are shooting for free trying to expand your portfolio, but when someone is paying you, they pay you because they believe in you. If you seem nervous or doubt yourself, your client is going to begin to doubt you too. Smile, hold your head high, and do your best.

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It may be intimidating being the face of a photography business, but no amount of baby face can take away from the quality of work that you produce.

Bio: Mallory Robalino is a 20-year-old photographer from Long Island, NY. She specializes in sport, equestrian, and portrait photography. Some of her work can be seen at her website or her photography Facebook page: Mallory Robalino Photography.

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