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Your Guide to Getting Into Fine Art & Stock Photography: Part I

Here at Pretty, we have a very diverse mix of photographers! While there are quite a lot of portrait photographers in our community, we also have a growing contingent of fine art photographers. And, for a lot of us, we do a combination of both.

I want to talk to you about a few of the ways in which you can market your photography outside the realm of portraiture. Since this is such a vast topic, I will be breaking this up into four separate posts. In this post, we will look at identifying your strengths as a photographer, your potential market(s) and clientele, and developing an online presence.

In the next posts, we will go into topics like how and where to find potential clients, social media outlets, resources for making portfolio websites, and how to choose the best printer for your needs. 

For now, though, I want to plant the seeds of 3 very important ideas for you to consider before we go into more detail. Your success depends greatly on these first three steps! They are:

1 - DETERMINE YOUR STRONG SUITS

We all have skills in which we excel, and determining the type (or types!) of photography where you excel will help you market your work more effectively. Identifying your strengths will also give you an idea of where to invest time and money in yourself, because our strongest skills need to be constantly nurtured and refined through practice and life-long learning.

Can you identify where you excel as a photographer? If you tend to be self-critical (and unfortunately, a lot of us are) then list what type of photography you love. Chances are, that is where you excel.

Here are just a few examples of different types of photography that would fall into the realm that we are exploring in these posts:

Landscapes

Abstract

Surreal

Conceptual

Portraiture

Wildlife

Self-Portraiture

Street Photography

2 - DETERMINE YOUR MARKET

What type of market do you see your photography fitting into?

Do you feel as though your photography has a place in the stock photography market, which is photography that is licensed to companies who then promote and sell your images, with your receiving royalties, for websites, book covers and ad campaigns?

Do you think of yourself as a fine art photographer, marketing more to galleries, and selling limited edition prints?

These are just a couple of the directions you can go, and keep in mind that there is no set rule that you have to classify yourself as just one "type" of photographer - photographers often wear many different hats, specializing in everything from stock, to fine art, to commercial work (such as weddings and portraits).

The more specific you can be about where you would like to see your work end up - in a gallery, on a book cover, or on the front page of the Huffington Post - the more productive you will be in finding clients to reach out to (we will get to that more in the next post).

3 - DEVELOP A SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE 

This is one of those topics that can be daunting for a lot of us, because we may not always be sure where to start with this one. Also, we may see other photographers who have a vast social media following, and that can be intimidating for someone who is just starting out on their journey.

Just remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and you do not need 50,000 Instagram followers to create a cohesive, well-branded and strong online presence. Essentially, you just need various platforms to share your work.

Okay, now that I have hopefully started the wheels turning in your mind, start thinking about the three steps I just listed, one-by-one. No need to jump ahead or get overwhelmed - all you need to do now is focus on 1) determining your strong suits, 2) determining your market and 3) developing a social media presence.

In my next three posts, we will break each of these down so you can come up with a plan!

 

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