Even if there’s diversity within your body of work, there still needs to be a common denominator that runs throughout, as you don’t want to appear as if you are all over the place. This challenge often presents itself when I am working with photographers in smaller markets. Their geographic location necessitates that their clients are more varied, which may dictate that their portfolios need to show a wide range of imagery. But ultimately, your main portfolio and your website need to clearly demonstrate your visual style and your unique aesthetic.
Mike Roemer is a photographer and client of mine based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. By necessity, his client base can be categorized as more of a “general” market. With a background in journalism and a love of sports, Mike now shoots for a variety of corporate clients producing images that range from big, shiny trucks to precious newborn babies to happy groups gambling in a hotel casino. And although the range of his clientele is broad, his style is always recognizable and consistently bold and rich in color and tones. So whichever client it is, regardless of the portfolio they look at, they all have a pretty clear idea as to what they are going to get when they hire him.
Another of my consulting clients is husband and wife duo Shannon and Colleen Graham, based in Cedar Falls, Iowa. They run a full facility studio servicing a variety of clients within their local and regional markets. In addition, they have become known for a wonderful “niche” specialty photographing beverages, or more specifically spirits and cocktails. On a side note, Colleen is also a qualified mixologist, creating many of the recipes and blogging about them, scgrahamfoto.com/blog, which really adds to their specialty.
When we worked together, our first order of priority was to get rid of their old, dated and copy-heavy website and create two new websites – one for the studio and the general market, www.scgrahamfoto.com, and the other specifically for the spirits and cocktail work, www.cocktailimages.com. The two websites have a different vibe, and are not promoted to the same markets, but they still link to one another and there is also a beverages portfolio on the studio website.
S&C Graham’s old website
S&C Graham’s new website
S&C Graham’s new cocktails website
S&C Graham Blog
Less is usually more, but some photographers have many more images than others simply because they have a diverse body of work. Often, photographers are not always the best editors, especially of their own work – they are too close to it and too emotionally invested. Some people may think that a lot of what I do with my clients is just marketing based, but before we even get there, I spend a large amount of my consulting time editing images.
A strong edit is a crucial component of any photographer’s creative process. A bad edit can take away from the work; a good edit can perhaps get you work! My client Michelle Kawka knows all about the benefits of a good edit, as she comes to me every year to re-work her portfolios and website. Michelle’s experience is that every time we work together, she receives more positive feedback on her work and makes her money back tenfold with a notable increase in her business.
After spending a number of years in the commercial photography industry, Louisa Curtis now works to help photographers refine their vision, target the appropriate audience, and create and implement internet-driven business plans. Chatterbox Enterprises
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