When I started my photography career, you couldn’t tell my advertising brand from the bankers down the street. I was conservative and full of corporate speak. I even wore a suit.
It is true that wearing a suit helped me stand out; people remembered me as the photographer in a suit. It was good for corporate clients. My photo friends generally laughed at me, since being a photographer means you don’t have to wear a suit.
Nonetheless, I made my mark. The suit worked. The corporate speak and the good photography helped me build a profitable business. Today, the suit still might work, but the photography must be incredible and the corporate speak will not get anyone’s attention.
Photographers today must go beyond producing work that is merely in focus, well-composed and nicely-lighted. Photography and portfolios must be extraordinary. A photographer must take risks and show off the results.
Throw out the boring corporate speak.
Letting everyone know what great service you offer is a waste of time. A service reputation is earned and only can be shared by satisfied customers. If you have to promote yourself as a people person, you are not one. No one cares how long you’ve been in business. If you are young, make sure it doesn’t look like you have only been in business for three years. If you are a veteran, your portfolio can’t say you’ve been in the business for 20 years.
Ultimately, photo buyers care about the photographer’s ability to make them look good. They want to look good to their clients. Once you earn trust and build a quality relationship, they will keep them coming back.
Playing it safe is a big risk. Not taking chances or making a loud statement will deny you a profitable career in photography.