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Extremely Essential Camera Skills
Super Photo Editing Skills
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The Creativity Field Guide
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How We Did It: Lobster Island
Awesome Album Design Skills

Have You Asked Yourself *Why* Today? [Poll]

fineart.jpg

When you’re early on in your career as a photographer (and by early, I mean the first 5 – 10 years) you probably are going to find yourself asking *Why* a lot.

And that’s good.

Knowing the *Why* of what you do helps you in so many ways. Not only will it give you confidence, knowing your own motivations, but it can help you oodles in areas like marketing and sales as well.

You see, there’s this nifty concept called the Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, that suggests that a business needs to provide a unique benefit to their customers to get sales.

That’s a really big idea, and one that we’ll dive more into in further posts, but the first step towards figuring out your USP is figuring out your *Why*.

So today we’re going to start with a couple simple steps to get your mind thinking about this stuff.

Step 1

Answer this poll. You can go with your gut, or stop and think. Pay attention to how you make your decision.

Step 2

Now, in the comments below, explain why. Don’t skip this step. You need to be able to verbalize what it is that you love about that type of photography.

If you’re too shy to comment, just write it down for yourself, but dig deep and figure out what it is that you love about that type of photography so much.

Why?

Well, it’s going to help you create honest, compelling, and exciting marketing. Chances are that the one type of photography that you would shoot forever is the type that you are most passionate about. And passionate people are the driving force behind great businesses. 

So, comment now and explain *Why* you would shoot that type of photography.

Write it down for yourself as well. You’ll need that information as we dive deeper into your USP and more marketing and sales concepts!

We’ll kick things off: We both would choose Families, because we love shooting portraits and interactions, and have an absolute blast photographing kids with their parents. Family portraits let us tell a story, and it’s a story that we think is incredibly important.)

P.S. for our Hobbyist friends: Your decisions might not necessarily relate to marketing and sales (at least not yet. Who knows, you might decide you are so passionate that you’d like to start a business!), but your choice will likely show what type of work you will excel at. You need a LOT of passion for the genre to do great photography.

Now comment away!!!

Lauren Lim

Hey friend, I’m Lauren! I’m a photographer and head ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I’m downright obsessed with photography, and love sharing it with super cool folks like yourself. When I’m not shooting, or writing, you can find me cooking (and eating!), traveling, and hanging out with wonderful people.

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Discussion

22 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. I don't see a choice there for children (as opposed to just babies) but I think that there is nothing more important for parents, or for children, than for children to feel rooted in the place where they live. And no physical thing can possibly achieve that more strongly than photographs of their stories that remind them every day that they are loved and that they are home.

  2. families for me, too. Because I enjoy giving families a space to slow down and enjoy each other while focusing on the love that they have for each other. And, I love showing them what that love looks like. :)

  3. i hate to have to choose just one thing…just one genre. because for me it is more about connecting with my clients + being moved by the relationship that develops to create an experience that is different than anything traditionally thought of as 'having your picture taken.'

  4. i would shoot fine art because for me it involves seeing the world in a different way. Photos have a mood, a story, an essence that is different from other ways of shooting.
    I shoot weddings so fine art isn't always possible, but i'd like to blend them together as much as possible so that images from the wedding day evoke and challenge, and have a distinct feel and spirit to each image.

    Fine art photography is like dreaming in a way. It's everyday life as art.

  5. I love weddings; the details, the stolen moments, the emotions, the stress (yup! LOL) I think that being a part of that one special day means a lot and I love that. Capturing the memories and watching memories being made is a really special treat. It is a challenge to change the way wedding photography is thought about in a small town and I'm up for that challenge. Weddings tend to bring out the best (and often the worst….) in some people so to capture that on 'film' is special.

  6. Weddings – at first I never wanted to shoot them, but after just one I fell in love. I can't even express how I feel when I capture people in love or, just people who love each other. As a photographer you are invited to share the most personal moments with these people and you really get to see who they are and how much they all love one another and not just the bride and groom, but the family too. Each wedding and couple are different and I love the challenge of everything changing, it all keeps me on my toes and I love it!

  7. This is a really hard question….
    It really would be a close tie between families and weddings.
    I love the relationships, the bonds, taking pics of just mom and dad who probably haven't had photos of just them since their wedding… I love weddings because it's a story from start to finish! I love the stress the families, and all the fun!

  8. Family photography is extremely important to me, because we're able to freeze moments and interactions between family members, that really show who those people are. Their expressions, what they wore, how they looked when they laughed (or sometimes, how they cried). It's so important to be able to look back on those moments, in the present and future as kiddos grow *so* quickly. It's amazing to think about future generations looking back at photos we've taken. :)

  9. Wow. You guys. Thank you!

    These answers are so unbelievably incredible! You are all so passionate about *Why* you do this, and I can just imagine that your clients feel that!

    Thank you again for sharing. You guys ROCK!

  10. I'd have to say for me it would be travel photography. I have not really traveled far yet, but what small family trips we've been able to go on I throughly enjoyed snapping photographs of our journey and places and people we met. So far I've been all over Alberta, Vancouver Island, and Puerto Vallarta. Having a camera in my hands felt exhilarating, and motivated us to explore. Now that our daughter is almost three we are planning on a lot more trips. There are so many places and experiences that we'd love to share with her.

  11. I LOVE LOVE LOVE shooting families. For me there is nothing that changes faster than the dynamics of a family and the kids in them. To be able to freeze a moment in time, an interaction, a look and let people hold on to them is an honour I am so privileged to have!

  12. I had to think about this for a bit. I put down travel photography, as I could not imagine going traveling anywhere and NOT having my camera with me. I'd be depressed. I love capturing the details and feeling of a place and being able to share it with others.

    However, travel photography generally doesn't pay very often, so if I had to pick a runner up, it would be families. There's something special about being able to capture genuine emotions, pride, trust, and love.

  13. for me it'sd be fashion, or ratehr editorial… allowing me more creativity in what and how i am shooting it, producing my art my way and having the time to do it.

  14. Weddings. I love the beautiful people, the quick pace, the different venues and details. I love the love that is always on display at a wedding :)

  15. I chose families….I had to think about it a long while to be able to verbalize why (because I shoot mainly weddings) but for me, it's all about the connection and the emotions – between the parents, the siblings, and/or couples without children. Weddings are great and so beautiful, but they are so fast paced and nerve wracking…I totally enjoy the relaxed vibe from a great family/couple session.

    My favorite part is finding that one image from a session where you can see just how much two people love one another from their facial expressions or body language. That's why I chose to do what I do…because that one image never fails to make me smile with tears in my eyes. :o)

  16. Guys, again, you rock.

    I've read all these comments and am so excited to see so many passionate photographers sharing why they love this profession!

    Tomorrow we're going to talk about why your verbalization matters, and I can't wait!

    Thank you again for sharing. :)

  17. Weddings: Because a marriage is one of the most holy, beautiful, and pure reflections of God's love! The raw emotions and relationships magnified on a wedding day are treasures that I get to capture! It is a unique place to serve the clients and give them gifts of precious photos so that they can truly "live" the day and enjoy its beauty years later!

  18. First off, thank you guys so much for coming up with these thought provoking posts! I have loved landscape photography since I was little, but I really LOVE, LOVE capturing the moments between families! I am wanting to get into professional photography but am at a loss for where to start exactly… your blog has really helped me put to paper my business plan!! Thank you!

  19. *@Diana*: It's so clear that you love wedding photography, your clients are so lucky!

    *@Heather:* Thank you for such wonderful words! So glad to hear that we have been able to help!! Keep it up!!

  20. I have found another gendre of photography I love, even though i do love to shoot wedding and all that emotion on the faces of both of the bride and groom, there is another side unfortunatley Separtion/divorce I have done some of what I call Phototherapy rather than (Pschotherapy) it is trashing that Wedding dress, which i know is popular right now, but with my Clients we use this to "start anew, a rebirth as a single person again' it has been very therapuetic for these women and they love to seem themselves in some truly beautiful sexy poses and then as trashed as they want to be, and beleive me when I tell these women really get into it, I encourge them to bring props etc , one bride made a homemadeTombstone with her Wedding date and Divorce date. I know its kinda out there but I have been thanked many times " That really helped me close that chapter of my life and give me a sense of renewal…

  21. *@Shelley:* Thanks for sharing Shelley! That's a really really unique type of shoot, and it's so cool to hear the amazing impact it's having for your clients!!

  22. OMG… the stories above are amazing. I thank you so much for this site. I started out as an event photographer (making money at every birthday party, baby shower, bridal shower, BBQ, special event). I decided to turn the tables and build a photo booth to handle all of these fast pace event.

    However, it didn’t stop there. I fell in love with headshot and portrait photography. I am learning so much and trying to give birth to jackiespellen.com. I enjoy it so much and I can’t stop breathing this guerrilla of a business. I am stuck, overwhelmed, and at the same time constantly buying each template or photo shop action which (i don’t need) or use.

    I need to step away. I have a full time job (at Eileen Fisher, the designer) and I thank God for that. I am so unorganized and lost it’s not funny.

    Thank you for allowing (us) me to share, read, and let go some of these things in my life.

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