Categories
Posts

How to Gain More Exposure For Your Photography

Aperture eye. Yellow and red.

Dear friend,

To succeed as a photography entrepreneur, you must gain more exposure for your work and photography.

Fulfill your personal maximum at ERIC KIM WORKSHOP >

Caveat

As a caveat, you don’t need more exposure to be happier as a photographer or human being. Ultimately the most important person to please is yourself. If you like your own photos, that is sufficient to self-determined “success”.

However if you want to build a following and successfully monetize your passion for photography, gaining exposure for your photography is essential.


Definition of ‘exposure’

ERIC KIM EYE by Cindy Nguyen / Hanoi, 2017

First of all, what is ‘exposure’?

To me, exposure is the number of (human) eyeballs who look at your photos/work.

My friend Stoytcho says that we are currently living in an ‘eyeball’ economy, which means as a digital entrepreneur in order to succeed, we need more eyeballs to look at us and our work. The more eyeballs we get, the more likely we are to build a loyal following, build trust, and the more likely we are to successfully sell our services or products in photography.


Who do you want to attract?

binoculars

However the problem is that a lot of entrepreneurs try to attract eyeballs for the sake of eyeballs. In other words,

It doesn’t matter how many eyeballs you get looking at you; what matters is the quality of the eyeballs looking at you.

In other words,

Who you attract is more important than attracting a bunch of people.


Who is a “true fan”?

As an entrepreneur, you don’t need a million eyeballs looking at you. You just need a small, loyal following (probably not more than 1,000 ‘true fans’ willing to purchase your services/products) in order to successfully make a living from your photography.

Therefore when you’re trying to build exposure for yourself and your personal brand, you need to TARGET your desired audience. You need a hyper-specific audience you’re trying to reach, not a super-general audience.


Idea 1: Wedding Photography for Street Photographers

Cindy in wedding dress, touching mirror. 2016
Cindy in wedding dress, touching mirror. 2016

For example, let’s say you want to start a wedding photography business, shooting weddings for hipsters in their late 20’s, and mid-30s. You market yourself as a “street style” wedding photographer, and you shoot all your weddings on only film. You don’t want to market yourself to couples who want generic pretty “bokeh” photos. No, you might actually want to market your services to street photographers who are getting married.

Cindy with wedding ring and fist.
Cindy with wedding ring and fist.

So perhaps when you’re trying to gain exposure for your work, you can build your name as a street photographer who happens to shoot wedding photos for other street photographers. And the best way for you to build exposure is to share your work with the street photography community, or to market/advertise to other street photographers, or the film photography community.

Wedding photography articles:


Idea 2: Travel Photography Teacher/Guide

ERIC KIM x HENRI NECK STRAP
ERIC KIM x HENRI NECK STRAP

Let’s say your passion is travel photography. Then your desired audience is other people who desire to travel, see the world, and experience the exotic. Thus, you must gain exposure in travel photography forums, travel magazines, travel websites/blogs, and you need to market yourself as a photography travel guide/tour-guide, or teacher.

How to teach your own workshop


Idea 3: Create a Product

HENRI NECK STRAP
HENRI NECK STRAP

Another idea: make photography products that solve problems. For example, if you have any problem as a photographer– ask yourself:

“If I could make a product to solve my own problem and pain-points, what kind of product would I make?”

For example, Gary Fong made his Light Sphere diffuser, because he had issues with lighting with external flashes. Custom SLR made comfortable and stylish camera straps for heavy DSLR cameras, because the founders knew how painful it was to carry around heavy cameras with generic neck straps. My friend Bellamy Hunt (Japan Camera Hunter) created his own camera film (JCH STREET PAN) because he wanted his own certain look in film photography.

FILM NOTES x JCH STREET PAN

For myself, I had a lot of difficulty conquering my fears in street photography, and now I teach workshops for photographers to build confidence in their street photography, and to find their own style/voice in photography. When I started off in photography, I also had a hard time getting honest feedback on my photographs, and thus co-created ARS: Photography Feedback Platform.

arsbeta.com screenshot
arsbeta.com screenshot

I also love shooting with my RICOH GR II, but was frustrated that there were no good camera straps for it. Thus I worked with Cindy and HAPTIC INDUSTRIES to make the ERIC KIM NECK STRAP: a functional and beautifully minimalist camera strap for street photographers. The same went with making a premium camera strap (that cost less than $200) for my Leica– thus working with Cindy to make the HENRI NECK STRAP and HENRI WRIST STRAP.

RICOH GR II x SAIGON SATCHEL
RICOH GR II x ERIC KIM NECK STRAP x SAIGON SATCHEL

If you end up making a product, you can sell it online via your wordpress.org website and using WooCommerce plugin (eCommerce platform for WordPress), or Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). For an example, my SHOP is currently running WooCommerce, and the benefit is that payments is made easily through PayPal, and there are minimal payment processing costs. The downside is we must ship/fulfill the products by ourselves. My ERIC KIM PHOTOGRAPHY Amazon Page is running on Fulfillment by Amazon, and the benefits include the fact that Amazon ships the products for you, and you also gain more exposure for your products. Downside is that Amazon takes a pretty huge chunk (they take around a 30% cut) of your profits.


What if I just want exposure for my photos?

Osaka, 2018

What if you just want more exposure for your photos, and don’t care to make money from your photos? Some ideas:

  1. Cross-promotion: Ask other photographers to promote your work on their website/blog/Instagram/etc. You can also offer to promote their work as well.
  2. Guest blog posts: To build more exposure for your photos, do a guest blog post on other photography websites, and display your own photos within the blog posts to gain more exposure for your work.
  3. Do a photography exhibition at a local coffee shop: You don’t only need exposure online; you can do it offline. Do it in “real life” — offer a local coffee shop to donate some of your prints to adorn their (empty) walls. You can even put a little placard next to your prints with your email contact information, in-case you want to sell the prints.
  4. Contact magazine editors: It is easy to contact magazine editors: just look at the inside flap for photography magazines, and look for the email address of the magazine editor. Send them an attachment of your 3 best photos, and tell them why you would be a good fit for their magazine. Or just reach out to bloggers online (they are always looking for more content to share with their followers).
  5. Start your own YouTube channel: People use YouTube to find all sorts of information. You can build your own following and exposure for your photos via making your own YouTube channel. Make videos with photo-tutorials on how to make better photos, what is inside your camera bag when you travel, photo slideshows, while displaying your own photos as examples.

Make Your Own Tribe

Pink zebra print

Ultimately the best advice I can give is this:

Make your own small, dedicated, and focused tribe.

Find others who have the same values, ethics, and life goals as you do. You don’t need a million followers, in reality, you only need a few “true fans” who believe in the same mission statement as you.

Even in the past, some of the best ancient poets/philosophers/artists had a small (yet loyal) following, and their works still last today, because these ancient poets/philosophers/artists sought to create works which deeply impacted a small audience (who would keep their works alive), instead of trying to please the masses.

Who are You Trying to Please?

Selfie shadow with RICOH GR II x ERIC KIM NECK STRAP, Osaka 2018
Selfie shadow with RICOH GR II x ERIC KIM NECK STRAP, Osaka 2018

To conclude, just ask yourself:

“Whose approval do I seek?”

BE BOLD,
ERIC

Fulfill your personal maximum at ERIC KIM WORKSHOP >


Photography Entrepreneurship 101

ERIC KIM x HENRI NECK STRAP
ERIC KIM x HENRI NECK STRAP

How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur


The Modern Photographer: Tips, Strategies, and Tactics to Thrive as a Visual Artist in the Digital Age

THE MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER by HAPTICPRESS

Marketing, Branding, Entrepreneurship Principles For Success

MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER is your new philosophical and practical primer to succeed as a modern photographer in today’s digital world.


##


How to Monetize Your Photography

EURO CAMERA MONEY by ANNETTE KIM


Why Become a Photography Entrepreneur?

Take control of your own photographic destiny:

  1. Photography Startup Manual
  2. PHOTOGRAPHY ENTREPRENEURSHIP MANUAL
  3. On Risk Taking and Entrepreneurship

THE MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER


Photography Entrepreneurship Articles

Google advance up arrow

PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS 101

CAMERA MONEY GBP by ANNETTE KIM


KEYS TO SUCCESS

Table of Contents

Learn how to make a living from your passion:


Photography Business 101

How to Make Money with Photography

CAMERA MONEY USD by ANNETTE KIM
CAMERA MONEY USD by ANNETTE KIM

Photography Marketing 101


SELLOUT ERIC KIM

How to Hustle.

Entrepreneurial Principles

How to be a Full-time Photographer

Photography Blogging

How to Teach Photography

Social Media

How to Save Money

START HERE >

By ERIC KIM

Artist-Philosopher