A few weeks ago I published a blog post asking you to post any questions you might have for me. I am an open book when it comes to my business and photography and if I can help anyone out there just starting their journey I´d be delighted to! I remember very clearly how clueless, lost and hungry for information I was when I first started so as promised, I´m very happy to answer any questions you may have for me.
I´ve received quite a few questions to which I´ll be responding in this FAQ series. First of all I wanted to answer the number one question I get ALL THE TIME! How did I start? Did I have any formal training? How did I manage to get bookings all over the world?
It´s a biggie so bear with me while I try to explain what I did and how I did it and believe me… if I can do it, ANYONE CAN!!!! So let´s get started!
1. Learn your craft
2. Set up a strong brand and online presence
3. Network & be kind
4. Go above and beyond for your clients
In my very first blog post I have talked about my story a little bit. Basically I had a big corporate job I didn´t enjoy and was desperatly looking for myself and for my calling in life. One day I decided I wanted to be a photographer (never have I owned anything more than a cheap point and shoot before, with zero photography training). It was a very far fetched dream, but one I decided to put as much effort into as I possibly could. After I bought my first DSLR (It was the cheapest Nikon DSLR on the market) I signed up to photo school, but left after 6 months as I wanted to learn the practical ins and outs of photography and Photoshop, while the school was more focused on developing my artistic sense and knowledge… which is great if you have time, but I wanted knowledge and I wanted it FAST!!!! I started shooting everyone I knew… for free….. there are no shortcuts when it comes to getting experience. You have to put yourself out there and you have to hustle…! I hired a Photoshop teacher and took private classes twice a week until I was confident enough in my craft. I think it´s very important you get to know your camera in and out and learn to edit before you even think about starting a business. It takes time and practice (a LOOOOT of practice) but you wouldn´t want to use other people´s precious weddings as your learning field would you? I also started second shooting for other photographers, to get some experience in weddings before I ever thought of shooting a wedding on my own. What I learned is that there is soooooo much information out there! These days you can pretty much learn everything online in your own time! I follow photography blogs, I watched a gazillion Creative Live classes I got obsessed with the Framed Network and read every photography and business books anyone has ever recommended to me (I still do!). The System is also a fantastic well of information for anyone just starting out!
Once I was confident enough that photography is my dream and what I wanted to do in life, I went part time with my job and then eventually quit when I could make just enough money to survive (this was about a year after my photography journey has started).
Then I started getting recommendations from THOSE vendors I liked so much, who did me a favor before and were gracious enough to help me set up my shoots. They liked my photos so they started sending clients to me! Brilliant, I started inviting them out for coffee too…. are you starting to see a pattern here! NETWORKING NETWORKING NETWORKING!!!!!!
In a not so little nutshell this is how I´ve started and this is what I´m still doing… put yourself out there, do good work, be kind and see what happens. It´s NOT easy but oh so worth it! If you have read all this congratulations, you´re a hero! Now go and rock n roll! 😉
P.S: Big thanks to my friend Jessica for shooting these fun photos of me….. 😉