.... it's a people business, so if you're a good people person it will help, if not, you'll need work on that.
Be either highly specialized or very wide ranging in the work you do.
Edit your work so you only show your best.... get help from people who know how to do that. Work very hard to build up a portfolio... then work even harder to re build it to make it better.
Network, network, network... facebook, blogs, twitter, web sites, write, contribute, do free work for charities around your speciality.
Make yourself your first client and experiment and take creative risks... no one is going to see your failures, so go for it.
Look at other people's work, find photographers whom you like and admire and use them to set a benchmark for your own work.... when you catch up, then find new photographers.
Be proud of your work, but allow yourself to be dissatisfied... it will push you forward.
Always reach for the stars.... as they say you may not reach them but at least you'll be in the heavens.
Open your eyes & mind to world around you. Always look, feel, watch, What do you see?
Understand that your camera does not take pictures. You do.... Never give your camera the responsibility for making pictures, that's your job. Take the responsibility.
Enjoy life & what you are doing.... it will show in your work and relationships with clients & subjects.
You don't need the most expensive camera, you need great ideas.
Seek out and discover what you are good at, it will make the journey more successful.
Expect the journey to be lonely and difficult at times.... so build a support network.
Remember that moving forward is often just one step at a time. Work on having small wins while working towards the big wins.
Be kind to yourself. Don't beat yourself up when things go wrong, because they will.
Produce quality.... because there are always clients who will pay for quality. You dont want to get into the low fee end of the market... those clients won't respect you or your work and will not pay well.
Give clients a bit more than they are paying for, the right clients will appreciate it and come back.
Respect your clients but show them that you expect equal respect, but do so in a professional and very friendly way. Don't be a creative prima donna or difficult to work with.
Be honest with your clients. Don't be afraid of them. Tell them what you think and what they need to know and do. The right clients will respect you for it.
Get your camera in front of interesting subject matter, you won't build a portfolio or reputation sitting at home. Stop watching TV.
Get up at 4 am and see what the world looks like when most people are asleep. It's the best time to shoot. Around sunrise is called the "Golden Hour" for good reason.
In finding new locations or subjects occasionally be unplanned, the unexpected can lead to new discoveries.... go looking for them in places you have never been before.
Ask yourself, what do I like to shoot?, try that first.
Learn how to sell and pick up the phone.... its not as hard as it sounds. And remember you dont need to sell people, you just need to find people who do need photography and then see if you're a fit with their needs or not. If not, thats ok... move on.
Take advice from people who HAVE succeeded. Dont expect people , even those close to you, to help or encourage you. People can be strange. This is your journey, only you can drive it.
Build a good quality mail list... send people examples of your work.
Help others and share with people.
I hope this helps. All the very best and let me know how your journey's going.....
Cheers... Vijay Talasila
PS.... and remember Life is short... dont waste it. If you have a dream, go for it.
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