Here I am!
“One of the scariest moments in a professional photographer’s life is when they put their very first images out into the world,” says Craig Warren, Director for MyPhatBreak.com. “After all now it is ‘for real’ and your work is open to criticism or rejection…but it is also there to help you get work or be ignored too.” This is one of the primary reasons that Mr. Warren developed the MyPhatBreak website.
This is a site that works as a free tool for connecting photographers with the industry and presenting their work to the people looking to hire them.
While a modern photographer can really expand their opportunities through the use of the Internet – think industry websites, stock photography sites, online publications, and ecommerce sites – most are still looking to be hired for specific types of “gigs”.
Unfortunately, these are not always the types of jobs that one might find in standard “help wanted” listings, and are instead things that you must compete for and have offered to you by the publications, editors, and other website owners in need of the work.
Create your presence
It is absolutely essential to develop a definitive market presence. This begins with making profiles at as many industry photographic sites as possible right through to the creation of your commercial website.
Your website has to be well-planned and designed as a serious marketing tool FIRST, and only then can you think about the various “artistic” things you want to incorporate.
For example, let’s say that you have been working as a food photographer, but you really want fashion work. At your site you would incorporate a stylish “menu” for visitors to use and though you would have a section of food photography, you would also include a section of your fashion experiments. You absolutely MUST incorporate the things you have seen in publication too – even if they are just images used on websites.
Then you can begin mentioning your professional website in all of your online profiles.
This is how a site like MyPhatBreak can really help someone to reach their goals. It lets them create a free online profile that offers a gallery of their work, allows the photographer to talk about the types of work they prefer, any specialization, and whether they are willing to travel for a job. This directs potential clients straight to the type of photographer they need, and then gives them the details necessary to communicate with them.
Social Networking - How do I rank??
The story doesn’t end here, however, because a savvy photographer can use the built-in tools at the site to keep their profile in the highest ranking positions. This is done through the connection to such popular social networking sites as Facebook and Twitter. This would get your clients, fans, and colleagues to visit the galleries, “Like” images, and to help others to find your work as well.
When these galleries are then connected to a professional site such as MyPhatBreak, it greatly improves your chance of coming into contact with an industry professional looking to hire you for some work.
All the activity from the social networking sites will help keep the rank of your photographer’s profile very high. Someone visiting the site to look for a photographer to hire would see your image and high rank and know that this is someone who has experience and a gallery of popular work.
Where is the quality?
Is it really all that simple? The answer to that is yes and no, because you can use the networking tools to boost rank, but if the images are not up to the appropriate level of professionalism, you won’t get a lot of follow up communication.
This means that in addition to doing all of the self-promotional work, you still have to do some remarkably good photography.
Again, however, this is where the different networking sites can be useful. For instance, you can look at the other high-ranking photographers to see what kinds of work they are doing and then use them as inspiration for your own work. You can also access the things like the forums, discussion boards, and blogs to learn all of the latest recommendations, tips, and industry secrets to getting work.
Now I’m ready
Photography is one of the most competitive industries around, and many photographers find that once they put their work out into the world, they are ready to really roll up their sleeves and begin fighting for the work.
The trick is to overcome the initial anxiety associated with making your precious work a matter of public discussion.
When you begin by participating in a community of fellow photographers, however, you will find that you get the helpful kind of feedback and interaction that is of significant value to every photographer, and this leads to improved photos and ongoing work.