Marketing is Most Important for Photography

After doing portrait photoshoot for nearly a year, I have to concede to the fact of the trade/hobby – marketing matters most. My experienced ex-classmate, Benson, has warned me a few times that the real photography work will take up just a small portion of time of most professional photographers.

The most popular photographer may not be the most skilful photographer. There is definitely some standard in most popular photographers but most of them are being overrated by their “fans”. There are actually more hidden talents in Singapore who can amaze me with their work. It actually takes some experience to differentiate a good photograph from a normal one. I’m still learning to judge, although I can already easily identify awful ones by now.

I have seen many normal standard photos of hot freelance models in Facebook. They are considered as “Club Snap standard”. Club Snap is a forum that many people organise mass shooting at, which around six photographers would surround a model each time, such that it is difficult to improve with the restriction. It is more about networking and trying luck to get some nice photos.

It just takes some connections to get more freelance models dying to work with you. You can either suck up to the bosses of some modelling agencies or act friendly to some of the freelance models directly. You do not need to be extremely good in your skill, but you need to at least know how to pretend to be. As long as your photos turn out not awful, with the hot girls as your models, all photos will appear awesome, psychologically, to most others. It will not take a long time before friends of the models start approaching you to work together.

You need to be popular before good models will flock to you; otherwise, even your friends will skip you. I have a number of friends, both online and offline ones, who have wanted to work with me enthusiastically. It just turns out that they are not available after up to a year of “business” talking. The feeling is definitely not worse than when I see any of them uploading new photos taken by other photographers who are obviously more exposed to freelance models. This is called reality. I do believe they have made good choices because those “popular” photographers can definitely give them more exposure compared to me. On the other hand, I prefer working with models who are not so realistic since every photoshoot should be an enjoyment and the model’s character matters a lot. Nobody can understand my happiness whenever I work with models who sincerity wish to help me build up my portfolio.

Of course, if you can even sweet talk to bimbos, you may become luckier. I have a open-and-simple-minded net friend who always initiates chat with me. I do not entertain her a lot because she never seems to get messages right and sometimes her comments on my Facebook status simply makes me speechless. She has happened to see one of my friends in real life and insists my friend will do sexy photoshoot just because of her ah-lian-ness. To be fair to all the ah lians in Singapore, not all of them are wild and wild does not mean they will show their body parts. Back to the point – she thinks a photographer is always sweet to her and she is going to do a sexy shoot with him in future. Good luck both of them for his patience and her self-assurance that she is completely safe. There are also some popular photographers who will comment “beautiful” on lousy self taken photos by models in Facebook. Frankly speaking, I may give a LIKE to show encouragement but I will never lie to the hot model that her photography skill is good.

I’m lucky because I do have quite a number of friends who are willing to work with me, but I’m also unlucky that I have encountered far more bad experiences than anyone. Before you see any release of my work with any kind friend, there are always numerous shit I have already gone through, including last minute cancellation of collaboration from other so-called models. There are also people approaching me but they go missing in action before they can make themselves available. I mean I have encountered lots of challenges that nobody knows to get my photography portfolio up.

No, I’m not yet a master of the arts. At least I don’t boast, but this does hurt me badly. Remember it is mostly about marketing, which includes how you present yourself. If you do not appear confident enough, your models may doubt your work even when professionals think those photos are good enough. You may also sound very humble but it will only make your model distrust your professionalism. Your models may be very nice people but some will hurt you unintentionally – there are too many ways to insult a photographer.

Packaging yourself is a must to progress faster because you need to attract good models to create better portfolios. Before I start to overcome myself to do more marketing and pretend to be very popular and skilful, I will just continue to work hard and improve on my photography skill. For now, I’m ready to face more disappointments because I rather be myself. I will rather under-promise and over-deliver than doing the opposite.

Things do get better no matter what.

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