How to Market Yourself in Photography



How to Market Yourself as a Photographer

Whether we like it or not, marketing works. It works on us, it works on nerds, it works on everybody.

In fact, the whole capitalist society and system we have is based on aspirational modes of thought.

For example with cameras, the aspiration is that we will become more creative, make better images, and become more inspired.

With cars, the aspiration is that we will live a happier life, a more sexy life, and a more adventurous life.

So how should we apply this to photography?

Becoming in photography

The first thought I have is that when it comes to marketing, it is an aspirational thing. To become more.

For example, if you are a photography teacher, the emphasis should be on helping people become more inspired, more created, more motivated.

If you’re a portrait photographer, wedding photographer commercial photographer, etc., then the focus is this; become more beautiful, look more professional in order to close more deals, gain more followers and likes, become the envy of your friends, etc.

Buy it for the marketing, not the thing

Perhaps it is easier to just shop online, read the marketing copy, and if the marketing copy accords with your core values, just buy it. For example, I got these Lululemon license to train shorts, and I got drawn into it because the marketing copy said that it was abrasion resistant. In accordance with my value of wanting some shorts, that were insanely durable, which could maybe last me at least 10 years.

What is your desired end goal?

If you’re a photographer, and photography is your passion, I assume that your end goal is to go out and make more photos. To become more inspired, to see more photo opportunities, and to shoot more photos that you are proud of.

And then if this is your actual goal, what you should be doing is traveling more, going on more embodied reality adventures, attending more workshops, attending classes, buying photography books.

Often the problem is that we feel unmotivated in our photography, and we mindlessly scroll through these camera equipment websites, gear review websites, and camera rumor websites, looking for that new perfect camera that will satisfy our every single desire.

I know personally speaking, the one camera one lens to have is the Ricoh GR 3IIIx. Why? Is the newest digital RICOH GR camera, and it could always fit in your front right pocket. Now you have no excuse to never shoot. Beyond this, I find all camera equipment superfluous.

How do you desire other people to perceive you as a photographer?

I say don’t sell yourself short. Better to over emphasize and over exaggerate yourself, than make yourself too small.

Some thoughts:

  1. Don’t call yourself a photographer, call yourself a visual artist. Or just call yourself an artist.
  2. Craft your own life narrative, and speak in the first person. Don’t speak in the third person, as it is overly terse, and disingenuous.
  3. And ironically enough, the fewer the accolades you show, the better. Whenever I see a photographer with too many accolades, it signals lack of self-confidence. Like Cleon said, when somebody asks “Why don’t they have a statue of you?” He said that it is better for somebody to ask why there is not a statue of you, than why there is a statue of you.
  4. Emphasize how your photography, or your skills will benefit the other. Typically, if you are a commercial photographer, do you want to make the people seem more beautiful, more happy, and more attractive. Also maybe the idea is to create motivational images. And actually the goal should be to make the photos of the thing look more attractive than the thing in real life. For example, a good interior photographer should make the hotel and Airbnb look more beautiful in the picture than it actually is. If you’re doing headshots for somebody who wants a sexy picture for an online dating website or Tinder, a good photo should make them look more attractive in the photo than they actually are.

Become more

For your road on becoming in photography:

Photo experiences of a lifetime >

Make more (new) photos

HAPTIC TOOLS to turbocharge your photography:

  1. ERIC KIM WRIST STRAP MARK II: Become the legend
  2. HENRI NECK STRAP MARK IV: Venture further


Brands I like

  1. Lululemon: I really like how Lululemon is becoming the next Nike; the focus on creating technical apparel, rather than just being trapped in yoga.
  2. Vibram 5 Fingers: You are the technology
  3. REI: Opt for outside
  4. Costco Business Center (The best place to get beef ribs, and beef brisket. You don’t need a special membership, just a normal Costco card. Or you could get in with a Costco gift card.)

Photography Entrepreneurship 101

Create your own future in photography >

If this gave you any turbo thoughts, feel free to forward to a friend!


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