Photography may just be another hobby for you, or maybe your profession, your bread and butter. Whichever way you use your deft fingers for a series of satisfying clicks, one thing’s certain – photography can earn a butt-load of money if marketed properly to the right audience. Let’s have a look at it, shall we?
Your portfolio should be clean and systematic, whether it is in print or a series of digital images. After a clicking frenzy, don’t forget to stack your photos together and separately according to different genres, namely – wildlife, portraits, landscape, interiors, event, etc. Retouch your photos to remove flaws and add decoration, as you would please, the first chance you get. A decent knowledge of Photoshop or Gimp or other editing software might not be necessary, but it will certainly enhance your aesthetic skills. Have a base template ready as a background for each photograph, and keep it minimalistic. Lastly, add copyrights and your personal watermark to each image.
2. Blog / Vlog
Write about your photography. People, who respect a photographer’s efforts, love it when a click has some story attached to it; feed it to them. Make an account on one of the popular blogging sites, preferably WordPress (you can purchase an internet domain later, customize your website and still manage its content on WordPress like before). Write about the adventure that led you to click the particular snap attached with that post. You may hire a content writer specifically for that purpose, or learn a bit of articulation and write it yourself; it will help you in the long run. Broadcast your blog on social media. Another way of becoming popular is via Youtube (duh!). You can make tutorial videos for each portfolio, or candid videos for individual clicks. You know best how to use your DSLR.
Your buyers shall be your best friends. Make a list of local companies that need photographs to promote their businesses. There are automobile showrooms, architecture firms, event planners, advertising agencies, newspapers and a number of organizations you could collaborate with. Your presentation skills will matter a lot in dealing with your audience. Once you have made camp at the local level, you could turn to big advertising agencies that are big money players. The sky is the limit.
4. Social media
People will follow whatever, and they will view whatever as long as it is trending. You don’t need to push certificate or diploma courses in their faces to showcase your talent. All you need is to hit the right online platform. Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter – there’s no end to this list. There are a myriad of websites where you can market your portfolio. Choose the popular ones. You never know who might like your work and be prepared to endorse in it.
The best way to get popular is to become famous or downright infamous. Everyone reads Man Booker Award winning novels. And everyone reads The Satanic Verses because Salman Rushdie left his country after its release, while death threats were hurled at him left, right and center. There are a zillion websites out there (Nat Geo, for instance), who are regular organizers of photography competitions, and your work might just grab laurels in the next one.
Marketing your photographs is not as easy as this article makes it sound. You will need a lot of talent, patience and perseverance to make it big out there in the photography business. Amongst a plethora of young people, who claim to be photographers just because they own expensive cameras, you just have to be the best at your work.
They say when you’re good a something, never do it for free. Photography may be your passion, but here’s how to monetize your passion while doing what you love!