I often have conversations with myself, in my head. I imagine being asked a question, and what my response would be. I do this when I am making decisions about the direction of my business, when I think about how I would describe what Dreamhunter is and has become.
Lately I have been having this conversation with myself in regards to taking photos for my clients. I have always had an interest in photography, borrowing my sisters DSLR camera before I was able to buy my own. I have always read about it, always admired other peoples work. Photography was something I imagined would become a hobby for me. I had never dared to hope that it would become a career path.
I have a good eye, and I love setting up scenes. Every shoot I learn something more, whether it be a new favourite spot, a new way to light a scene, or how to help my models to relax. I learn something new about clients each time too. There is nothing quite like working with a business and helping them to show off their product or service in the best light. It is usually very emotional, for model, business owner and me alike. When you get to show someone a particularly special photo, often they say 'did I really create that?' or 'is that really me'?. That is what I really love, that moment when you see all of the careful plans and ideas come together in a single shot.
The conversation I have goes like this...someone would ask me 'So, are you a professional photographer?' and I would kind of look at the ground and ponder. I know the quality of my work is good, and always improving, and although I am 100% confident in shooting....I do feel NEW. I met a photographer recently who has been in the industry for 30 years, and when faced with that experience...I would never be able to say 'YES, I am a professional photographer'.
What I do though, is take photos for a living (along with many other creative things). I capture businesses in their most favourable light, and help clients plan shoots that can be used for their websites, social media, or even their work spaces. Photoshoots are the BEST DAYS. They are hectic, stressful and wonderful.
I can't stress enough the importance of a good quality photo. High quality business images are not a luxury item, they are an investment in your business. There is so much noise on social media, so many businesses competing for space, your marketing, branding and imagery needs to stand out from the crowd.
Some of my top tips:
- Invest in a good phone, with a decent camera!
- Buy a camera (it doesn't need to be a DSLR, but something that has optical zoom - not digital - is a good place to start!) Sony make some amazing compact cameras that have changeable lenses and a flip around screen for selfies for under $600.00.
- Get a membership to a stock photo site! I often use Adobe Stock images, and then add text or your logo to personalise.
- Attend a workshop on how to take photos using your phone, or your digital camera. I am going to be running one next month in JULY (see here for further information)
- BOOK a photoshoot. There are many talented photographers in Perth that can help you with your vision. Shoots with Dreamhunter start from $199 - you can see further information here.
Mainly though, my biggest advice is...TAKE PHOTOS. Of everything and anything, build a photo bank that you cab go back to on days where your content is lacking.
In the meantime, I am going to keep having my internal conversations, testing how I feel about things and the decisions I am making. Perhaps one day I will feel ready to take the title of professional photographer. But for now, I am proud to say...'I take photos for a living.', and I am really good at it.
A sneak peek of one of my favourite shots for Emily Rose Hairdressing