Being a photographer can be a challenge anywhere. I am originally from a small town in South Carolina where the #1 problem was finding clients. Starting over in Indianapolis has opened a whole new world of challenges. Here are the top 3 challenges of *this* Indianapolis photographer:
It's cold 5-6 months out of the year in Indianapolis. That means that HALF of the life of your business will be a struggle if you do not have an indoor studio. I love studio shots and I have the equipment to handle this type of niche, but sometimes creativity can be limited when compared to outdoor options. So what can we do during these chilling winter months?
Indoor Photography. Okay, so I've already mentioned the whole indoor studio thing, but there are other indoor options. Home photoshoots for families are not only beautiful, but are memorable for the family. They bring beauty into the monotony of life!
Bundle up. Like the cuties in the picture above, some families will simply choose to bundle up. Don't let the bulkiness of coats get you frustrated! Use the weather to help spark creativity. Bring a blanket scarf or meaningful quilt to the shoot to bundle the family or request trendy, pink fur coats like the one pictured. I mean, come on! How cute is she in that outfit?!
Plan. Promise the family a quick shoot and then deliver on your promise! With a well thought out workflow, you can get beautiful photos in record time and get those sweeties back home where it's warm!
Themed Sessions. Another idea would be to advertise themed sessions, such as snow photoshoots, s'mores shoot, Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc. It's okay to pull on a mama's heartstrings a little. She'll never regret having too many photos of her babes.
Everyone's favorite topic, right? As a child and family photographer, families want their photos done at peak traffic hours...after school! The best advice I can give is to plan. We all know when traffic starts to back up, so get there early! Take your computer with you, turn on your hotspot, and get some work done. Go hang with the hipsters in a nearby Startbucks...that's actually how I am doing my work at this very moment and during rush hour.
Going from one shoot to the next? Make sure you take traffic into consideration during the scheduling phase of the process. If you have a 4:00 mini-session and know it will only take 20-30 minutes, you may not want to schedule another session at 5:00 across town. It may have taken you 25 minutes or less to travel to the location, but it will be much longer getting back. Plan. Schedule. You can do this!
I came from a town where there wasn't much competition because there aren't a lot of people to begin with. Now I've entered a whole new, big world and there are plenty of other family and child photographers out there! I haven't quite figured this one out yet. I've only moved to Indianapolis two weeks ago, but I am determined to make my photography dreams come true. Here's that word again... the plan:
It's all about marketing. I need to set myself apart from others, hence the blog. Well, I love blogging, but it actually helps get the name "Elegant Exposures" out there for others to see. As people are reading my blog, I am inserting samples of my work and plugs for my business.
Other ideas: Utilize social media, run contests (HUGE) and offer referral discounts. You could find a local charity (animal shelter, charity event, etc.) and offer your free services in exchange for advertising.
There are ways to battle back against these challenges. It simply may take some out-of-the-box thinking!