The main issue with photography these days is not necessarily a bad one but it depends on your take on it and how you proceed as a photographer.
Equipment that allows you to capture incredible images is getting more affordable by the day and more accessible to the masses than ever. Most phones these days have cameras on that are capable of great pictures and even DSLR’s have become a lot more affordable and consumer friendly with a massive advancement in features.
This means that taking great pictures is so much easier than it used to be and therefor it’s easy to see newsfeed saturated with great content that ten years ago would have stood out as taken by a talented photographer. Some say this makes it harder to break into photography as a profession but in my eyes that’s not the case. The sheer fact that its so accessible and wide spread is what drives me.
You Have to be different, you Have to be better! Your biggest competition and problem is that everyone thinks it’s easy to take high quality photos these days. As an example of this lets use Wedding Photography. The amount of requests I see for little to no money has increased significantly in the last couple of years. The reason being is that people have the mentality that we can do it ourselves with smart phones or ‘Uncle Pete’ with his ‘Big Camera’. The point is that they are more than welcome to go down that route but there is no comparison to a dedicated photographer. You need to prove that to your clients or your peers. You need to showcase what sets you apart and makes you worth your fee or your time. That is easier said than done as it takes more than a fancy website and a decent stance on social media. Word of mouth is always how I have had made bookings and secured worked. That to me is an ideal way to get started as it’s a natural progression at first. If you’re doing a great job people will notice and spread the word on your behalf. Go the extra mile for your clients, get a decent printer and throw in some high quality prints with their package as a surprise. Hire additional crew or go the extra mile with the shoot. Yes you should be able to sell your services off of your photography. However if you’re starting out as a wedding photographer you’ll soon realise that a lot of people couldn’t really care about your photography. They just want to know you do a ‘good’ job and that you’re cheap enough to fit into their budget. Use your initial years shooting as an opportunity to mature your style and workflow and refine your portfolio. Once you’ve established this after a couple of years you will have a solid backbone of referral’s but also an incredible portfolio to back it up.
Another issue with ‘Photographers’ I often see is this almost school like angst against other photographers. Unless someone is poaching your clients or causing you other problems, you have to remember we’re all doing the same thing! We all (Well most of us) love doing what we do and therefore we have a great deal in common! Use that to your advantage! Be a second shooter, just talk about techniques or future shoots and share your knowledge! You don’t know anything that couldn’t be found online. You’re not hiding the secret recipe to the Colonels chicken. Why not interact with other photographers and expand your knowledge and more importantly network! You never know when you may need a second shooter or secure jobs down the line. I’ve had a great deal of work from people I spoke to once for five minutes at a shoot and have never seen again. Share the knowledge you have and network with other photographers when ever you have a chance!