So you’ve turned pro and have greatly improved your skills. In addition, you’ve managed to add a lot of interesting and enticing entries in your portfolio. You believe that you are ready to conquer the world. In reality, though, there are still a lot of things you need to work on to be able to comfortably and confidently proclaim that you are a true professional photographer.
A Professional Photographer Knows How to Manage People Properly
Knowing how to deal with different kinds of people is a big part of pro photography success. A photographer who has good interpersonal skills is able to easily work on this aspect.
Good people skills mean you know how to talk to clients in the most professional way possible. It also means you know how to make them feel special, as well as how to satisfy their needs. You know how to treat clients – and other people in general – well.
Knowing how to manage people well means being able to work well with your subject; being comfortable in dealing with them in terms of giving instructions. Likewise, being able to deal with people properly gives you an edge because it means you won’t be easily taken advantage of.
So, over all, good people skills will make photography more fun for you and for all the people you work with.
A Professional Photographer Knows the Ins and Outs of the Business
Even if you are passionate about what you do, if you do not know or understand the business you are in, nothing will really matter. In other words, you should know how to run a business. You should know all the ins and outs of a good photography enterprise. The decisions you make should be well thought out because they will affect your business.
As such, you cannot just keep on buying new lens, a new camera bag, or whatever item you can think of every time you complete a project and get paid. You should know when to spend and when to save for the rainy days. If you do not think well before doing something, your business might suffer in the long run and you’ll lose your investment.
A Professional Photographer should have Good Social Media Skills
Social media is the norm nowadays. If you need anything, you can search for it on Facebook. If you’re looking for somebody, all you need to do is login to your social media page, post a status describing what you need, and voila! You’ll be barraged with tons of suggestions and information. That is how powerful social media is.
Therefore, if you are serious about getting your professional photography services noticed (and you, hired), you need to get on social media. There are a lot of ways different social media can help you achieve your goals.
A Facebook page (not your personal account) can be used for connecting with clients, prospects, and anyone else who might be interested in photography and in hiring the services of a pro photographer. You can use it to post samples of your work. You can even run online contests, share tips, post behind-the-scenes shots, and share inspiring posts.
Pinterest is good social media choice for pro photographers because it features mainly images – or boards. It’s also easy to use. You can share links to photography sites you like or links to your online photos. You can create different boards: portraits, street photography, wedding photography, etc.
Instagram is another social media site that’s heavy on images. Some photographers prefer IG because it allows them to showcase their work in a no-frills manner. All that you need to do is upload a photo or photos, and the world will see how good you are at what you do. Like Pinterest, you can also post links on Instagram so people will know where to find you and your work.
So, yes, a professional photographer with good social media skills has a lot of advantage over one who does not – because these sites help you reach out to more people, including those who do not like going to exhibits and those who do not have time to visit photo studios to ask for inquiries. Social media widens the area of your target audience/market.
A Professional Photographer Knows the Value of Proper Storage and Management of Files
Professional photographers have tons of files stored – on their cards, computers, external storage devices, and cloud storage apps. These files are very important. If these files (unedited files not yet submitted to the client) are to disappear or are accidentally deleted, the photographer will have a lot of work to do – or redo. The best solution for situations like this is proper file storage and management.
As a professional photographer, you should know how to properly store and manage photos. You should know where and how to store your files. They must be sorted and labeled correctly (by categories or via different directories, etc). In addition, you should also know how important it is to regularly backup. It’s not enough that you have them on your memory card or your computer; you still need to create backups for ALL of your files!
A Professional Photographer Knows How to Use SEO Properly
SEO, or search engine optimization, is important for professional photographers because it is what will help them create a strong online presence. And this is especially true for those who have a website and social media pages. SEO involves a series of techniques or strategies you can use to make Google find your website easily. This way it will rank well on search results pages, and thousands (or even millions) of people will see it.
Likewise, SEO is also important because you can use it to study your clients, prospects, and competitions on what words or key phrases they’re using on Google. You’ll understand them better and it will be easier for you to find a way to give them what they need.
While there are other essential things and characteristics that help make a professional photographer effective and efficient, these are the most important ones. And remember, the learning and improving never stops. So even if you’ve already mastered the above-mentioned, you shouldn’t stop there. A great professional photographer always finds time and way to improve his or her craft.