- Have copies of your presentation in two locations! I used Canva’s pro app to make two shorter ports of recent work, and it worked great – I used the app in presentation mode when I shared my screen EXCEPT during 1 of my 12 reviews, the app was having issues connecting. NO PROBLEM – I had already downloaded the PDFs of the final apps so I switched over to the PDFs without missing a beat. So I would say have two locations open just in case one has a glitch.
- If possible, use images that aren’t already on your website. I am fortunate to have had recent shoots and images for a new project, so I was able to avoid the chance of it just being a repeat of things they could have seen just by checking out the website.
- Have your website open and waiting ANYWAY. In one review, the reviewer asked if I had additional images from specific shoots, besides the portraits. I quickly logged into a specific gallery on my website and began sharing that screen. For all reviews going forward, I also had that page up and ready to go if I needed it.
- LinkedIn is always your friend. In my last review, I got the reviewer on the schedule, but she was also joined by an associate as she had been having childcare issues and couldn’t be sure she could stay on. I had five minutes to look him up and found that he’s a skateboarder, like my daughter, so I was able to open the conversation with that connection, and I mentioned it again in my thank you email. He shared a link to a friend’s project with a young girl skateboarder in response, and it helped solidify a new connection (who is now a LinkedIn contact himself).
- I thanked each reviewer for participating in this new type format, and asked how it was going from their side, since it’s all a work in progress. They all said they were so excited to be able to meet photographers from all over the world. One said, “I just met a photographer in Africa!” So if you’re outside the main cities, emphasize how meaningful it is for you as a creative to be able to participate from where you are. Gratitude is important and memorable.
- I had a digital promo card ready to go in the chat as soon as the review started. (Also created on Canva) Don’t wait till the end to give this, as you might get cut off rather abruptly in a group review format, and not have a chance to exchange information. I also mentioned that I was dropping it in, since not everyone keeps their chat tab open in Zoom.
- Do a run-thru with someone who’s not on your WiFi. Some formats do these lovely dissolves between images or virtual “page turning” but depending on the other person’s connection, it may look choppy. I wanted to do the dissolve, but my daughter told me from school (she was on Zoom on her phone) that it looked halting and choppy and was distracting, so I did clean image breaks instead.
Lifestyle + Portrait Photography
How can a lifestyle photographer that only shoots natural light portraits and documentary style photography have different sections when it’s all essentially the same things?
If you shoot one type of photography with similar situations, you don’t necessarily need different categories but it could be a way to show more and give you more credit. When you are up for a job, it gives the client some satisfaction to dig in deeper, explore, and research you. Projects that show off other clients/past jobs is a definite boost to give them reassurance that you are trustworthy. Give the viewer the option to see it all on one overview or keep them longer, by offering sections which suggest you have a lot more to show!
Consultants for Portfolio Review
Who are consultants you recommend for portfolio/website review?
Consultants can be a game changer because they know the business and they know how to shape your website/portfolio to fit the current market. When you aren’t hearing back often from clients, give a consultant a try and see what they have to say. I believe in them so much that I just created a section on my website for them. https://www.sternrep.com/consultants
Have a Picture of Yourself on Your Website
I heard this years ago and it is more true than ever – have a picture of yourself on your website!
Website and Portfolio
Like a lot of photographers right now I am in the middle of completely revamping my current website. When it comes to portfolio sites is there a particular format, layout, or design style that I need to gravitate towards to grab the attention of potential clients or on the flip side is there one that I absolutely need to avoid?
Websites need to be easy, quick to read as your brand, and serve the purpose of showing off your images in a constructive way that makes sense. Photofolio is one of the best for photographers and they have different layouts to choose from. If you want to create your own, then companies like SquareSpace have options but really Photofolio has all of the details already figured out for you. I highly recommend them.
Are email promos welcome? Must they mention the pandemic or be relevant to it?
Email promos are welcome right now, maybe even more than ever because people are home at their computers. The images don’t have to be relevant but you may waste the release of an image now since it won’t be used soon. Show an image with the goal to draw clients to your website. To not mention the pandemic now would be insensitive and could even be hurtful. The definition of “too salesy” would be to ignore what your audience is experiencing. Good sale is to know your audience and see it through their eyes.
Getting the Attention of Potential Reps
What is the best way for a photographer seeking representation to get the attention of potential reps?
I’ve been asked this question in many ways over the years but the simple answer is a rep will see your work and make a decision about whether or not they can find you work. Emailing a rep directly and showing your website is still the most effective way to get a rep’s attention.
Naming Your Business
I need advice on naming my business. Is it an important part of marketing? I’d prefer to use my one name and add the word Media, Photography, or Creative after it, but my name is common and there are some sub-par photographers with my name out there right now. Thoughts?
Your name needs to sum you up quickly and succinctly. Media, Creative and Photography all have different business-related meanings so I would suggest you stick to your name, with the word “Photography” and make sure the website name is available too. I wouldn’t worry too much about the other photographers.
Should you create two instagram profiles? One for portraits and the other for products? Or combine both into one profile?
If you have two separate businesses and websites this would make sense. But assuming you don’t, the best way to sell yourself is to have one strong cohesive style that is evident in everything you shoot. Two separate profiles will lower the quality of your work and create the appearance of two separate brands.
Keep Your Online Presence Updated
If you have started a blog or are posting work somewhere just don’t let too much time go by without updating it. That doesn’t look professional.
Another thing about our business that I have said a lot is to keep up with the times. You want your work to look fresh. Clients want to know what you bring to the table as someone who is fresh and motivated and involved and will do a good job. If your blog is really old and not updated that is a really bad thing for you. If you haven’t posted to your Instagram in awhile it says something that they probably don’t want to hire for the job. Use your blog to show what kind of photographer you are.