Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Digital Communication as a Photographer
Let’s be honest… no one says, “I want to be a photographer so I can sit behind a desk and stare at my computer all day!” But alas, the photography industry has gone full digital with emails, FTPs, and personal websites flowing like water. Gone are the days of slide edits, with individually printed labels, tucked into print-file sleeves by a gloved hand, sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard, next to a delivery memo and a hand-crafted note, slipped into a large envelope, and dropped into a mailbox with your fingers crossed that they eventually return unharmed. On the upside, as a fledgling photographer, you now have easier access to prospective clients and more opportunities to share your work digitally. So a few suggestions while spreading your wings… 1. Use an email signature and be sure to include pertinent contact info (website, phone number, etc). It’s a shame to lose a sale because the photo buyer couldn’t figure out how to get a hold of you without resorting to creepy internet stalking.
2. Update your email address. Does your email address still look something like: sk8t3rDud369@netscape.com? Time to update! Some might argue you need your own domain name, but I would argue that a simple “YourName@xyz.com” would still be a HUGE improvement.
3. Know your audience. Don’t send a portfolio full of cats and wedding photos to an outdoor sports client. Unless, perhaps, those cats were surfing, and the wedding happened at 15,000 ft while freefalling from an airplane.
4. Edit your work and be brutally honest with yourself. Ignore the nostalgia and personal memory from your shoots. Maybe you still love thumbing through 278 photos from the last space shuttle launch but rest assured you could have told that story in a single photo. 5. Read and follow submission guidelines. Different clients will have different in-house systems and workflows. You can’t expect that your images will always stay together in their original folder or that everyone viewing them is using Lightroom. On the other hand, I DO expect photographers to be using Lightroom (or similar… but hopefully Lightroom), and Lightroom makes it stupidly easy to save export settings, which makes it stupidly easy to follow submission guidelines.