Commercial photographer survival guide

Commercial photographer survival guide

Posted By: admin April 6, 2015

I am glad a reputable artist representative such as Maren Levinson from Redeye reps agrees with me in the state of the photo business. Every commercial photographer or aspiring commercial photographer should listen to her advice.

 

I am glad a reputable artist representative such as Maren Levinson from Redeye reps agrees with me in the state of the photo business. Every commercial photographer or aspiring commercial photographer should listen to her advice.

If I where to sum it up in a few words, there is no room for mediocrity theses days in the photo business or in any artistic field. There is so much supply of material and so many ways to get access to images, that it is very hard to make a living if you are not committed to bringing something unique to the table.

Do not get discouraged by this post. All of us have been bored and depressed by someone who used to be a commercial photographer and now is working doing something else. These people go on and on about how the industry went to hell, how easy it is to become a photographer these days and there is no room for more photographers. These statements about the business are somewhat true to some extent. For example, If you knew how to correctly expose a image with a flash and deliver consistent work. Most likely you where able to make a living as a commercial photographer 20 years ago. This is not true anymore. Cameras are sophisticated enough to get regular people that far. Something unique has to be brought to the table.

The reality is that there is always a need for a great commercial photographer or a photographer with great skills. If a new BMW X5 is being created, there is no way BMW will be able to get that image through a stock agency. If a Hotel is being built, a commercial photographer, specializing in hotel and resort photography, should be commissioned to photograph it in order to showcase the property at its best and attract new customers. Obviously some photography areas of expertise have been affected more than others. I believe, and I hope I am wrong, but areas such as travel photography are almost impossible to make a living at based on how much supply of these images are all over the internet.

Here is my list of things you want to do in order to point you in the right direction:

  • Find a specialty in an industry you are somewhat familiar with. For example I know there are a lot of architects that have become architectural photographers. Travel bloggers that have become decent travel photographers and police officers that make over 100k doing forensic work etc.
  • Avoid having a website that has multiple specialties such as: Portraits, infants, weddings, food, newborns, architecture, etc. I can guaranty that the more specialties you have the less of an expert you will seem to an art buyer or an expert decision maker who is looking for something specific.
  • If you want to take it further find a specialty within a specialty. I have friends that are in the food photography field and they became known for photographing drinks. Taking it further, they have now become specialized in splashes. Basically they have a specialty within a specialty within a specialty (Food>Drink>Drink Splashes). I started of as an interiors and Architecture photographer and now have become specialized in hotels and resorts.
  • Technical abilities are not the only reason why you want to have a specialty. Marketing is just as important or even more important. If you photograph newborns you could spend a lot of money advertising for those keywords alone, imagine advertising for 7 specialties.
  • Fortunately, if you are good and you are priced right, you will be in high demand. Most likely you will not have time to photograph other specialties anyways.

Hope you find this post helpful and encourage you to be better in order to make a living as a commercial photographer.

BLOG-LINKS-WEBSITE-300x300

BLOG-LINKS-Eclat-300x300

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Antonio Cuellar

Antonio Cuellar is a luxury resort and hotel photographer and a avid travel blogger.