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Stop Waiting to Be Discovered : Take Your Photography Business to the Next Level

Stop Waiting to Be Discovered : Take Your Photography Business to the Next Level

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Stop Waiting to Be Discovered : Take Your Photography Business to the Next Level

89 pages
1 hour
Apr 22, 2017


Take control of your business! Too many photographers simply post information and images online and hope the right person sees it and offers them their dream job. Sadly, this isn't how the world works. It's up to you to put your work in front of the right people!

Stop Waiting to Be Discovered will show you the myths and facts about social media as well as giving you the knowledge and tools for effective marketing. Showing you how to create a target market and how to market using traditional and modern marketing. Stop Waiting to Be Discovered gives you the power to take your photography business to the next level.
Apr 22, 2017

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Stop Waiting to Be Discovered - George Fairbairn

Stop Waiting to Be Discovered : Take Your Photography Business to the Next Level

Stop Waiting to Be Discovered

Take Your Photography  Business to the Next Level

George Fairbairn

Stop Waiting to be Discovered Copyright © 2017 by George Fairbairn

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations em- bodied in critical articles or reviews.

For information contact www.gfphoto.co.uk

Book and Cover design by George Fairbairn

Second Edition: May 2017

ISBN: 978-0-244-00262-6

10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1











Dedicated to my amazing wife Rebecca


ONE OF THE THINGS MOST PHOTOGRAPHERS are guilty of is thinking that they will be found, or discovered, and that the work will come naturally because the work is good.  We think that if we produce good work and put it online where it can be seen, people will find it, commission us, and the work will continue to roll in.  This thinking is driven into us by the very nature of the world we live in.  We live in a world where we see images, videos, or stories that are shared by friends, or friends of friends, and even friends of friends of friends.  The point is that we see things go viral and our first thought is usually, Why don’t my images get shared like that?  Or, Why don’t people commission me when I share my photos online?  It’s very easy to get caught in the trap of thinking if I share it, they will come.

I was once exactly the same.  I would finish a shoot, and once I was able to share the images from it, that’s exactly what I would do.  I would take the images and put them everywhere I thought I was supposed to be putting them.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, 500px, Flickr, etc.  You name it, I was more than likely sharing my photos there.

But the work and recognition wasn’t coming in like I thought it should, or like I was hoping it would. My work was more than good enough.  But, I wasn’t getting the bite that I thought I deserved, and it started to drain on my motivation and drive.  What’s the point? I thought.  I was seeing others around me posting about their successes, or seeing their images with thousands of likes compared to my dozen or so.  I was seeing work that, in my mind, wasn’t as good as mine getting…more.  More views, more shares, more likes, more…everything!  This more was translating to more success for that person, in my mind at least.  Whether this was true or not, my mind was making that assumption and it was starting to affect my photography and my motivation.

This assumption, though it was usually wrong, had a profound effect on me.  It made me think and to step back from my photography and look at it as a business, instead of just as a photographer.  Was I performing as a business?  What was my purpose as a business?  Who was I trying to show my work to?  Prior to this awakening, I had always considered myself a photographer and in turn a photography business.  But, I hadn’t ever really considered myself, as a whole, a business.  Now I think of myself as a business that makes money through photography.  That change in thinking was an important, and game changing, shift in perspective.

Suddenly I was looking at the world a little differently.  I started treating myself as a business person that happened to take pictures for a living.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely consider myself a photographer, but I realised that I needed to start thinking of myself as a business first in order to make a living as a photographer.  This lead me to start reading business and marketing books as well as listening to business and entrepreneur podcasts.  One of those podcasts (and one I highly recommend) was Entrepreneurs on Fire (also known as EOFire) by John Lee Dumas. On one episode of EOFire, John’s guest was world renowned photographer Chase Jarvis.  Chase Jarvis is not only a tremendous photographer, but he is also an avid entrepreneur having started other businesses such as Creative Live and acts as an angel investor for other businesses.

It was on one of these podcast where I heard a quote that forever changed the way that I look at my business.  Upon hearing the quote, I literally stopped what I was doing, hit rewind on the podcast and listened to it three more times.  If you take one thing away from this book, let it be this quote.

Somewhere out there is a Creative Director that loves your work.  It’s your job to find them

-          Chase Jarvis

Think about that quote for a moment.  Somewhere out there is someone who loves what you do, but it’s your job to find them.  It’s not their job to find you.  This was my major epiphany and it forever changed the way that I approached my business.  No longer was I going to randomly share photos online in the hope that someone I wanted to work with would see it and come to me with work.  No longer would I sit and moan that I wasn’t getting the work that I felt I deserved while seeing my peers become seemingly more and more successful.  For the first time in my professional career, I realised that all my failings weren’t down to other photographers doing better than me, it was down to me not doing enough to put my work in front of the people I wanted to see it.  I had, like so many others, spent too much time blaming the world around me instead of blaming myself.  I was complaining about other photographers being cheaper than me, or complaining that there were too many new photographers in the market.  I was spending all my time making excuses instead of being accountable for my own lack of effort, or doing things completely wrongly.

We can change the words Creative Director from that quote to whatever we want, and it still applies.  Are you a wedding photographer?  Change the sentence to read Somewhere out there is a couple getting married that love my work.  It’s my job to find them.  Same with a newborn photographer, or an editorial photographer, or even other industries such as

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