Growing a Photography Business: The Value of Authenticity
It’s a universal truth, whether you’re a newbie in the realm of photography or a seasoned veteran: your work, your style, and your brand’s unique essence are your superpowers. While it’s tempting to replicate what’s trending or mimic someone who seems successful when growing your photography business, remember that in doing so, you risk blending in. And when you blend in, you’re not just stifling your own talents and voice; you might also be stunting the growth of your photography business.
Defining Your Signature Style
Every photographer has a signature, whether they know it or not. It’s in the way you perceive light, the emotions you capture, the stories you tell through your lens. This is your narrative, your vision, and it should be as distinctive as your fingerprint.
However, here’s the challenge with growing a photography business: in a world where Pinterest and Instagram are littered with similar-looking photos, how do you ensure your work doesn’t drown in the sea of sameness? How do you find that style?
The first step is to dig into your why. Why does photography matter? Why did you pick up a camera and why did you start a photography business? What is important that you capture? Answering these questions helps you begin to uncover your own style, your own brand, and your own voice. They will help you make decisions about your business that stay true to you, help you connect with your client, and prevent you from blending in with the crowd.
The Risks of Replicating
I’ve seen it firsthand, the burnout and exhaustion that comes from chasing someone else’s dreams. Honestly, I’ve experienced it myself. It’s easy to fall into the trap of growing a photography business that you think you should be building. However, when you’re not being true to yourself, the passion tends to wane. And when the passion fades, the work can start to feel like a chore.
Imagine this scenario: You’re passionate about candid, connected moments, yet you find yourself orchestrating staged shots because that’s what ‘everyone else’ is doing. Soon, your heart isn’t in the work. Clients can sense the lack of enthusiasm. You might even start losing interest in the very thing that once sparked joy. This is not what growing a photography business should feel like.
Moreover, there’s another risk – when your work looks like everyone else’s, your primary differentiator often becomes price. This is a precarious position to be in. Competing on price is a quick ticket to diminishing profits and reduced perceived value in the marketplace.
Growing a Photography Business by Staying True to Your Vision
Your vision, your values, and your unique style aren’t just artistic expressions – they’re vital components of your brand. When you’re aligned with what you genuinely love and believe in, it shines through in your work. Clients don’t just pay for photographs; they pay for experiences, stories, and a piece of your worldview.
Once again, take a moment and think about it. What are you truly passionate about in photography? What can you bring to the table that is uniquely yours? These answers can guide the trajectory of your brand and make growing a photography business less about chasing trends and more about meaningful work and connecting with the people in front of your lens.
Set Your Business Goals Aligned with Your Passion
One of my favorite sayings in business is: “When you stand for something, you won’t fall for everything.” This couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to photography. Define what success means to you – not to Instagram, not to your competitors, but to you.
Does success mean having the freedom to work three days a week so you can spend time at Disneyland with the family? (Honestly, who could resist that?) Does it mean giving you extra income to support your family, or making enough to generously give back to your community? Or perhaps it’s about capturing moments that resonate with your own life experiences. Whatever it is, these goals are the compass that ensures you’re growing a photography business on your terms.
Final Frame: Embrace Your Uniqueness
Look, I’ve been in this business for over a decade. I’ve juggled the chaos of raising six kids while nurturing my passion for photography. And if there’s one golden nugget of wisdom I’ve picked up, it’s this: Be fearlessly, unapologetically you. Your uniqueness is not only your greatest asset but also the cornerstone for successfully growing a photography business.
In a sea of sameness, let your authentic style be the beacon that attracts your ideal clients. After all, they’re not just investing in photos; they’re investing in you. Your voice matters.
Need help defining your brand? Contact me to book a coaching session. We can work together to create a strong brand that attracts dream clients and helps you in growing the photography business you’re passionate about.