Last week in part one, we talked about shooting everything and gaining experience. By photographing many different types of subjects, you will be able to move on to this next step. To make this process easier, it may be helpful to keep detailed notes about each client. No one can remember everything and the more notes you have, the better off you will be. Before we move on, take some time to compile some notes about your prior clients. When you’re done, come back and answer the following questions.
1. What type of work makes me happy? – Often, if you have a passion for something it comes out in your work. This passion can attract others, and can in turn create a market where you might not have thought one existed.
2. Do you know who your competitors are? What do you offer that they do not? – Everyone has competition, whether you realize it or not. Find out who they are and what they offer. How do you compare? What makes you stand out from the others? It may even be beneficial to get to know some of them. Having strong relationships in your professional peer group can be very helpful when you least expect it.
3. What similarities do you see among your past clients? Do many of them fall into a certain age range, education level, profession, marital status, etc. When you think of working with them, what memories stand out?
4. What differences do you see? – What makes each of them unique? How do they stand out in your mind?
5. Which clients did you enjoy working with the most and why? – We are naturally drawn to some clients more than others. What personality traits or beliefs do they share?
6. What did you learn from working with each of them? – Big or small, each of our clients can teach us something. We can learn what their likes are, why they hired us, what they liked about our work, etc.
Once you can answer these questions, you will have a good idea of where you want to be focusing your time, energy, and resources. Your answers may even surprise you. As noted before, I didn’t ever dream of photographing weddings. After doing a few though, I was quickly drawn to them. There are so many aspects to the day that are constant reminders why I do what I do!