Monday, May 9, 2011

Three Things You Can Do Today To Separate Yourself From The Crowd

Yes, we've all been there. Someone who meant to pay us a compliment referred to the gear we use as the reason for the images we've created. Sometimes, we can laugh about it. Other times, it just kinda sits there and bothers us. We know it's the photographer, not the camera. Of course it is!

But do your clients know that? In an age where digital cameras have become simple to use and every mom and dad who has purchased a DLSR kit is now printing business cards and calling themselves "photographers", have we taken the time to educate our clients as to the reasons we stand out from these "Camera Mommies and Daddies"?

Here are 3 things that you can do today to begin educating your clients:

1) Rewrite your personal bio. This should include a bit about your education in photography, so make sure to include any professional memberships and credentials that will make you stand out. Talk less about how "photography is my passion" and more about how your focus is not only on outstanding images, but also on great customer service. If you need a new professional portrait, visit a colleague or photograph each other and make sure it's updated and current.

2) Display your professional membership certificates and awards. Save space among your gallery wraps and display images to also frame your current membership certificates or plaques. Any awards you've received should also be displayed prominently. Be proud of your accomplishments; your clients want to know they are dealing with someone who is active in their profession. On the flip side, too many people don't do this and worry about it looking like they are "bragging". You are a professional who is taking the time to keep yourself on the cutting edge of the industry by continuing your education through these organizations. Brag, dammit! ;-)

3) Take a peek at your work. Are you overusing Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets? Is your "style" dependent on an action that you purchased from another photographer? Remember that these effects are available to anyone who pulls out the money; make sure your photography can stand on its own without the crutch of special effects.

And always remember, it's not your camera that created great images; it's your knowledge of how to use that camera!

- David Grupa
(Enjoy "What the Duck"? See more of Aaron Johnson's work at

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