Visitors appreciating art during an art exhibition event by Sotheby's in Brussels

How to choose your photography market niche

When I started my photography business, it was unclear to me which type of photography I wanted to do. I would be open to all possibilities and didn’t reject any opportunity. However, the more clients I started getting, the more I realized how much I enjoyed photographing corporate event photography, the more I refused other types of work, and in consequence, the better I got at it.

Yet, did I choose event photography as a niche? Or did it pick me? When starting your photography business, it is highly crucial to specify your market niche and concentrate your offer in one place. There are many ways you could do that, and this is how it happened to me.

1. Use your passion as a guide.

I adore street photography and walking around the streets of any place I am at, watching daily life unfolding in front of my eyes. Photographing in the public space has always been highly entertaining to me because I can catch those fleeting unnoticed moments and immortalize them with my camera. 

When I started photographing corporate events, I couldn’t help but notice the extreme similarities with street photography. There were moments in which I had to be as smooth as when I was out in the streets. I needed to patiently observe the environment and be ready to take pictures of the brief moments around me.

These similarities made me appreciate event photography much more than I would have expected. Hence, I was always looking forward to my next event. I used my passion for street photography as a guideline to get paid jobs that are as close as possible to what I enjoy the most.

Key questions.

  • – What are your passions in photography? 
  • – What are the styles of photography you like doing the most? 
  • – Could you apply your passion for paid commercial work?
2. Learn what the local demand is.

I live in Brussels, the center of the European Union, where many politicians, lobbyists, and organizations share a common ground and try their best to shape current and future policy. No wonder Brussels is considered the best destination for business gatherings and conferences in Europe.

I could see from the beginning the opportunities this brings for a business in the events industry. Brussels is an absolute hotspot for event organization. The local demand played a crucial role in defining my photography niche because I knew my chances of getting more paid work would be higher if I specialized in that market. The corporate world in Brussels is enormous, and I used this as leverage to get more business opportunities.

Key questions.

  • – What is the local demand in your area or region? 
  • – Is the market aimed more at families and portraiture? or,
  • – Is it more fashion and products? 
  • – What’s hot in your area that could need photography services?
3. Private vs. Corporate.

My photography company is precisely that, a business, and the more I got into this, the more I realized I needed to treat it as such. I have worked with private clients and corporate clients since the beginning, and I have learned to appreciate the relationships with my corporate clients way more than with my private clients because of the professional exchange established with them.

Corporate customers regularly deal with providers, quotations, contracts, and budgets, so they are used to the professional world. Private clients may not necessarily be aware of what it means or involve providing a service or dealing with other businesses. This difference means the world to me, and I certainly prefer dealing with a company as a customer that understands the value of the professional exchange to favor both institutions, me, and them.

Key questions.

  • – Do you want to deal with businesses or individuals? Or both?
  • – How important is for you the professional aspect of your business?
  • – Are you treating your photography venture as a business?
4. Niche the niche.

Event photography has many ramifications and possibilities, such as cocktails, competitions, festivals, meetings, parties, among others. So how was I going to understand which type of events I wanted to cover? The answer for me was quite easy, and it is related to the previous points I laid in this article. As long as it would allow me to apply my street photography passion, supply the local demand, and deal with a corporate client, I would cover the event.

You can and should be specific in your offer and only expand after you have understood your market. I am capable of covering many different types of assignments with my photography. However, I show very clearly on my website portfolios the sort of jobs I would like to get involved in with clients. My niche has a niche, and it should be clear to my target audience.

Key questions.

  • – Can you further define your niche?
  • – Do you want to become an expert in your offer? Or,
  • – Do you prefer being an average photographer in many areas?
  • – Is your niche in demand in your area?
Final thoughts.

Photography is one of those things that gives you plenty of different opportunities for what you can specialize in when defining your niche. It can become overwhelming to narrow things down, but it has many advantages as you can become an expert in your field, unlike any other.

Use as a guide what you like and see how you can combine it with the local demand of your area, define your ideal client, and become an expert.

I hope you find value in this article from my own experience, and that you can narrow down your niche market to improve your offer as a professional photographer. Do you have any advice or personal experience selecting your photography market niche? Let me know on the comments below. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for your time.

Video on YouTube available here https://youtu.be/MPHBqyCfL2s


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Kickstart your career by becoming an assistant photographer

When I started my photography business, one of the first things I did was contacting local photographers in Brussels that I admired and ask them to meet. In this article, I want to share my experience with you to encourage you to go out and assist professional photographers you admire in your area. 

Becoming an assistant photographer was beneficial for me when I was starting my photography business, and it was also advantageous for them because of what I was providing to them. Let’s get right into it.

Contact local photographers.

When I knew I wanted to start my photography business, I contacted about ten different local photographers. Some of them never replied, some did but were not interested, and a couple of them took the time to respond and met me in person.

At first, I was interested in knowing about their experience as professional photographers. I wanted to understand if it was feasible to be a photographer in Brussels and make a living out of it. I was coming from an IT world and needed to understand the market before jumping into it. I was, however, decided that I wanted to give it a try. 

Having an honest and open conversation with local photographers allowed me to understand better what my chances were, and perhaps even what were the steps I needed to take to succeed. After our meeting, I got a call in which they asked me if I wanted to be their assistant photographer. I gladly said, yes. It was the beginning of my assisting experience.

Show readiness and enthusiasm.

I had no experience being an assistant photographer, but that didn’t impede me from being ready to get my hands dirty with excitement so I could be of help to them. In the beginning, I had to get used to their rhythms and ways of working, the equipment, and preferred techniques. My willingness to be helpful allowed me to keep working with them over time, so I became their partner of trust when they needed an assistant. I was ready for all challenges ahead.

Eventually, with time, we started working as a team, and we were in sync, I knew what they needed, so it was easier for me to be of help to them. The more we worked together, the better I got at it, and the more I learned.

Learn by observing.

Since we spent lots of time together, I had the chance to see them closely in action at work. This experience allowed me to learn first hand what I could do when I would be taking pictures of my clients in the future.

I didn’t want to be a burden and be asking a bunch of questions every time they would do something so I could learn. I was there to help, not to question. Of course, it was not a problem if I asked at the right time. However, when they were in their zone, I stayed put, helped as much as I could, and observed everything they did. An attentive observation was everything I needed to learn when assisting.

Get professional experience.

While assisting professional photographers, I was in the first line of action seeing their interaction with subjects and clients. My intentions were transparent and honest, and I was absorbing as much information as I could that could help me learn from the experience.

I was able to see the business aspect of their photography venture and take everything I could to make it my own. Believe it or not, some experienced photographers are more than happy sharing tips and tricks about their business with their assistant. They know how important it was for them when they started to get help, and so they are happily passing that information to the next generations.

With the right intentions and questions, I managed to obtain lots of valuable information and knowledge that still sticks today and that I apply to my own photography business.

Enjoy.

Last but not least, I decided that enjoying every moment of my assisting career was of utmost importance. It was my willingness to learn, help, and work, combined with my passion for photography that made me a good assistant. I enjoyed every step of the experience, and in exchange, not only I got paid for my efforts, but I also learned a whole lot.

Final thoughts

Becoming an assistant photographer was highly beneficial to my career as a professional photographer that taught me many things and accelerated my success. Having that first-hand experience was extremely valuable in my early days, and I still apply many of the things I learned in my own photography business.

If you are an aspiring photographer, I strongly recommend you assisting established photographers in your area. Get to know them, show interest, and see if they need assistance without sounding desperate. If they need help and you show charisma and transparency, they will probably call you, and you are on your way to starting a fruitful relationship.

I hope you find value in this article from my own experience, and that you can increase your chances of success by becoming an assistant photographer. Do you have any advice or personal experience being an assistant? Let me know on the comments below. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for your time.

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Closeup of a hand writing on a notebook during the EHC 2018 in Brussels

How to build an event photography portfolio without clients

You have started or are thinking about starting your event photography business, only to realize you have no pictures to show to your potential customers. How do you do manage to create an event photography portfolio without any clients? Well, the answer is more straightforward than what you think, and although it can take time, you can and should always improve it.

When I started my photography business, I was a bit lost and had a minimal idea of where I wanted to go. I knew I wanted to take pictures professionally, and I needed to put my name out there for more people would know about my services. I was new in Brussels and had no business network, so how were people going to know I could offer photography services? And, which pictures of my previous work was I going to show to them? I had no portfolio and nothing professional to show, so I came up with something that helped me.

Contact local no-profit organizations.

I have worked as a volunteer in the past, and I know the value you can bring to an organization when you help them. I started contacting local no-profit organizations that would potentially benefit from having professional pictures for their communications.

Raise awareness with your photography.

Sometimes, no-profit associations they have a limited budget and cannot allow themselves to spend big on communications, especially on photography. By approaching them and offering my photography services, I knew they would primarily benefit from an improved visual strategy that would help them raise awareness for their cause.

Many event opportunities.

No-profit associations organize more often than not events to raise awareness or attract new members and receive donations. They usually have annual meetings, general assemblies, or volunteer parties. All these occasions are great for photo opportunities, and unfortunately, they do not always have the means to request a professional photographer to cover those events. When I offered my help, and after they accepted, I had an excellent opportunity in my hands to start taking event pictures and build up my portfolio.

Be genuine, always.

Another important aspect is that with your help, you will be helping an institution of your like by supporting them with your photography skills. They do not require the best images in the world, but just enough to allow them to increase their communication strategy. They will always appreciate it. You can improve your event photography portfolio, and your favorite organizations benefit and increase their awareness, attract new members, get new donations, and engage new volunteers, all because of you. How cool is that?

Volunteer.

Often, non-profit organizations accept volunteers for all sorts of help, and visual communication is no different. Don’t feel intimidated by offering your support for free to your preferred organization. I am confident they will be delighted to get your help. 

In my case, I decided to help a couple of local organizations that I genuinely wanted to help with my photography as a volunteer. Indeed, I still work with one of them to this day. They have used my images numerous times, and I am proud that my pictures have been beneficial to their cause. If you are curious, the local no-profit organization I help is called Missing Children Europe, and we have been working together for 6+ years now.

Be clear about your intentions.

Remember to inform them about your intentions of building up a portfolio for your new business. You never know if they have certain restrictions about the usage of the images. Be open about it, and tell them upfront what you are looking for instead of facing bad news afterward.

Ultimately, and although it wasn’t a requirement for me, these organizations might even talk about you to their networks and share your pictures with your name and website on it. Remember, though, that your genuine help is what will get you on the right track.

Prepare and show.

Before going to document events for the local associations, I prepared by going online and looking for tutorials about event photography. I wanted to have an idea of what I should do or not, and what type of shots I should obtain for my event photography portfolio. My objectives were clear, to make the best photos I could with the knowledge and gear I had so I could help the organization, and build my portfolio.

After covering a few events for free, I was confident to show the best pictures online and start promoting my website’s portfolio. Defining a target audience can certainly help you to choose the right images to put on your collection, so take the time to understand what type of events you wish to cover, and show those photos on your portfolio.

Final thoughts

When starting to build your event photography portfolio without clients, offering to work for free could be a good idea to kick start your business. Be genuine and provide your help to local no-profit organizations that could benefit from your photography skills and have limited resources. One day you will be able to build a portfolio, improve your skills, and start showing what you do to your target audience and preferred client.

I hope you find value in this article from my own experience, and that you can build a portfolio because of it. Do you have any advice or personal experience relating to building a photography portfolio from scratch? Let me know on the comments below. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for your time.

Video on YouTube available here https://youtu.be/_EeFfoHeg78


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Some hands making a puzzle during the JS World Media conference in Brussels

How defining a target audience can boost your photography business

We are in challenging times now that the COVID-19 is impacting every business in the world. Small players and creative independents like me are having a hard time and are probably out of gigs at the moment. In times like this, I reflect on the path I took when I first started and how I achieved what I now have in my hands. One of the things that made a massive difference to me was clearly defining the target audience for my photography business.

Let me tell you my story in easy-to-digest steps that hopefully will help you and your business better understand how important defining a target audience is for the success of your creative venture.

When I started my professional photography adventure, I was all over the place with no clear goals. I had no business plan or financial projections, I didn’t have a business coach and certainly didn’t have time or money to waste. I had taken a couple of business classes back at the university and had some ideas of what being an entrepreneur was. Instead of worrying about what I didn’t know, I started taking action with what I had and tried learning as I moved forward.

A no-strategy is limiting you

A no-strategy strategy has many disadvantages and can only help so much. One of the drawbacks, in this case, was not having a clear target audience for my photography business. In the beginning, I was lost and didn’t know who my target audience was, so I was aiming at everything: weddings, parties, products, family reportages, events, cocktail parties, EU conferences, portraits, fashion. You name it. I was all over the place. I was lost and didn’t know what I wanted.

For a while, I thought I was doing the right thing by putting my efforts a little bit here and there to increase my network, gain experience, and improve my portfolio. I did get all of that, and it was okay. But because I was so scattered, I was also losing time, effort, and energy that I could have used more wisely, especially in the beginning when times are more challenging and you have little margin of error.

Because I didn’t know what I wanted with my photography, it wasn’t straightforward for me to understand where I was going. For about three years, I just went with the flow and got random gigs to make ends meet. My online portfolio was scattered and unclear; no wonder I was attracting all sorts of “opportunities.”

Who is your target audience?

One day my now wife asked me the question that changed it all: “Who is your target audience?” and I didn’t know what to reply to that. She pointed out that my website was messy and unclear, and that by doing the exercise of defining my target audience, I would be able to get more of what I wanted, and less of what I didn’t. 

This question changed it all, and I began a process of analysis to understand what I wanted to do more in terms of photography shootings, and who my ideal client was. I started analyzing which type of photo shootings I enjoyed the most and which I wanted to pursue and improve further. The clouded vision began to clear up, and I started feeling joy and excitement about this new approach. On a practical matter, I started decluttering and cleansing of my photography business portfolio and aligned it with my new target audience.

A slow but steady path to success

The results were massive, and in little time I started attracting the right audience to my business. More and more people started contacting me about the type of shootings I wanted to do, which was event photography. Because of defining my target audience, I started expanding my network in the right way, and I began improving my portfolio and skills in event photography. As a consequence, I started enjoying my professional business way more than before as I don’t need to lose time chasing opportunities, but only the right ones.

Now, it is evident what I do as a professional photographer, and I have a clear target audience. I have refined my skills to provide a more professional and tailored service to my customers because I have worked with dozens of them. I understand their needs and seek to be their partner of trust, bringing value to their businesses with my professional photography services. 

Having a target audience is beneficial and crucial to my business and my customer’s business as well. Without a doubt, defining my audience was one of the best moves I have done to improve my photography business.

Final thoughts

I encourage all of you business owners to have a clear target audience since the beginning, if possible. If, for whatever reason, a target audience is not evident to you, then go with the flow and refine as you go. Also, be open to the possibility of changing your target audience, as we face challenging times ahead, we need to be resilient and adapt to changing environments to keep our business afloat.

I hope you find value in this article from my own experience, and that you can improve your business because of it. Do you have any advice or personal experience relating to having a target audience? Let me know on the comments below. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for your time.

Video on YouTube available here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9pXkE3FZXs


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Closeup of a woman from the audience talking to another guest during a conference in Brussels

5 rules to start your photography business

This article couldn’t come at a more convenient time. With the COVID19 threatening our lives and economy, I have been thinking about the rules and strategies I used when I started the photography business that allowed me to be where I am right now.

In the beginning, I was very lost and had some vague ideas of things I should have done to make it all work. It all started back in September 2013, when I moved to Brussels and decided to dedicate my life to photography. Let me tell you a short story about how taking action and being patient allowed me to build up and run a business from scratch and be able to achieve my dreams of being a professional photographer.

My background is computer engineering, and I worked in Italy as a software engineer for about four years before I decided to change my life completely. After volunteering for nine months in Poland, working with children in a kindergarten, I decided to move to Brussels and start my photography business. My situation allowed me to make this move because I had time in my hands, no family commitments or children, some money saved, and lots of motivation to start this new ride.

To be able to “survive” and make it all happen, I had established some rules within myself on how to administer my time, efforts, and money. If you are starting a business from scratch, or if you are facing difficult times with your current freelancing activity, these rules/tips may come handy to you like they were to me.

1. Be aware of your expenses.

I was lucky enough to start with some money on my savings account from my previous corporate life, and it wasn’t much, barely 5.000 EUR or something like that. I knew that I had to be very careful with my expenses, as I had no idea how much time it would take me to make some revenue with my new photography business.

My rule was to record every expense and review them at the end of the month. Recording my costs forced me to think better before spending money, and everything was highly scrutinized and questioned before spending.

The habit stuck, and I still manage my money very carefully. Without a doubt, controlling my expenses has been one of the most important aspects of keeping my business healthy throughout the whole process.

2. Practice like Slash from Guns and Roses.

I once heard that Slash used to practice guitar for about 12 hours per day when he was a kid. I don’t know if this is true or not, but by seeing how he plays now, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the case.

My rule was to take pictures every single day. If I wanted to be a photographer, I needed to take pictures. Every. Single. Day.

There may be faster ways of getting to a place, but what you cannot deny is that practice eventually leads to mastery. By giving myself the time to go out and take pictures, I refined my eye and got closer to photography as a way of expressing myself.

3. Get in touch with locals and get discovered.

I didn’t know anyone when I got to Belgium, so meeting the locals was an essential aspect of growing my business. There were several ways of doing this, and they allowed me to know more people and build my network.

My rule was to volunteer and seek opportunities for free to expand my network. If I want to get new opportunities and gain experience, I need to tell the world that I am ready for it.

I volunteered for a couple of organizations as an event and portrait photographer to build up my portfolio, which allowed me to put my work and name out there. 

4. Learn from the ones who made it and improve.

Let’s face it. There are many things we do not know. To gain experience, I had to follow and learn from those who had made it — dead simple. I got in touch with a couple of local photographers and was able to become their official assistant for photo shootings. An experience like this is invaluable, and it taught me tons about the business of photography.

My rule was to learn as much as possible from well established professional photographers. I looked up local and foreigner photographers that had a robust portfolio, and learned from them as much as I could.

Every day, I decided to invest in improving my skills, either by learning new techniques with my camera, reading articles about photography, learning something about starting your business, or improving my skills with retouching tools. Take the time to invest in yourself.

5. Be patient.

Last but not least, patience plays a primordial role in your business. Taking things for granted and hoping great things will occur to you because you deserve it will lead you nowhere.

My rule was to take action, little by little, and understand that things don’t come easy. I was motivated to carry on, no matter the adversities, to make it happen. Of course, with a sense of rational to not fall into death traps.

By taking action every day, little by little, you can build up a robust business that stands on solid grounds. No-one is entitled to anything, no-one owes you anything, and only you can take control of what you think and what you do with your time. Seize the moment and move forward.

Final thoughts

Starting a photography business, or any business, is no easy task, and there are many variables to consider. Still, with enough motivation, the right mindset, and by taking action, you should be able to start your professional photography adventure and achieve things you would have never imagined.

Are you a business owner? Are you a photography freelancer? I would love to hear about your experience and what were the rules you applied to your beginnings, if any. 

I’ll be writing more about entrepreneurship and starting a photography business in the coming weeks. If this is a topic you enjoy, be sure to come back and subscribe to my newsletter to stay tuned. Thank you for your time!

* You can also visit this post by our friends at Pixpa to know more about how you can start your photography business.


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The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) conference room in Brussels

When should you receive photos of your event?

As an event organizer, photography will play a vital role in the outcome of the event, especially if you are planning on using the pictures for your marketing and communications strategy. To guarantee that you will obtain the images you want for the purpose you desire, it is a good practice to better understand why and how you will use the photos. Once the marketing objectives around the event are clear, you will have a better idea of when you will need to obtain the pictures from the photographer to promote and talk about it.

Today, I will guide you on some standard practices I have encountered by dealing with many event organizers on when they should get the pictures. Let’s dive into it.

Organize and prioritize your event’s marketing objectives.

When you are planning an event, it is essential to understand how do you want to communicate about it with your audience. Thus, the first thing you need to do is comprehend the following: where is your target audience absorbing information? Do they use social media, or do they prefer newsletters and visiting your website? Do they like printed annual reports or reading a physical magazine? Once you have identified how your audience is engaging with your content, it will be easier to define the type of images you need from your event and when to get them. Let me dive into some of the different scenarios you may encounter, from fastest to slowest picture delivery.

When to receive pictures for social media? Fastest delivery.

If your target audience consumes your content typically via social media, you will want to communicate as fast as you can about the event with them. This type of communication will require live messages and information with your audience as the event occurs. Unless you or someone from your team want to take care of this aspect, you should communicate with the photographer in advance, so they can deliver pictures straight to your inbox during the event. Be aware, though, that a photographer is concentrated in taking photographs, and having them selecting and sending photos to you can impact their performance and potentially make them miss critical moments. If you want pictures during the event from the photographer, I recommend you use moments that are not as important to get them. Remember, prioritizing your marketing objectives will allow you to understand when you can free up some time to get the images directly from the photographer. 

Expected format: JPG, about 800 pixels on the longest side, around 150 KB per picture, 72 dpi.

When to receive pictures for newsletters? Relatively fast delivery.

In case you need some pictures only shortly after the event (within 24 hours, for example) it is a good practice to warn the photographer about this, so he/she can deliver a certain amount of pictures precisely for this purpose. This can also be useful for any potential newsletters you are planning on releasing the day after the event. Be sure to mention which are the crucial moments you will like to obtain as quickly as possible in pictures for your communication strategy. Sometimes you will realize you only need images for your social media and newsletter the day after and not immediately, allowing you to benefit from all the shooting time the photographer will have during the event without interruptions.

Expected format: JPG, about 1000 pixels on the longest side, around 200 KB per picture, 72 dpi.

When to receive pictures for an online shared album? Medium delivery.

Web albums that you plan on sharing with your audience can usually wait a little longer and also add up to the build-up moment of communicating with your audience about the photos. You would want to receive the pictures for your online album within 3 to 5 days of your event, which will give you enough time to publish the images within a week when the momentum is still hot. These pictures should be already in the right format for online sharing, so be clear to communicate to the photographer how are you planning on using the pictures, so he/she can deliver the images in the right format for your communications strategy. Typically, this is the time when you get all the pictures of the event, and you are all set. However, if you want to use the images for printed materials, make sure you get the pictures in high resolution as well, which leads me to the next point.

Expected format: JPG, about 1200 pixels on the longest side, around 300 KB per picture, 72 dpi.

When to receive pictures for printed communications? Most extended/slowest delivery.

If you need pictures for printed communications (journals, annual reports, banners, flyers) depending on the urgency, you might not need these photos right away. For printed materials, you will want to have high-resolution images, which usually take more space on your hard disk, so be sure you have enough free space on your storage device to keep these pictures safe. Since these files are more substantial, they will take longer to receive, but the expected time of delivery can also be within 3 to 5 days of the event. You might not need all the pictures in this massive and large format, but you never know, so it’s always a good practice to get the images in large sizes for your archive and records.

Expected format: JPG, between 4000 and 7000 pixels on the longest side, between 20 and 40 MB per picture, 300 dpi.

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are many moments when you could potentially obtain pictures of your event. The most important aspect is to understand why and how you are to communicate with your audience. Once you have clearly defined your channels and target audience, you will know with which urgency you will need the images to engage with them. Be sure to inform the photographer about your strategies to align your expectations with the service she/he is providing.

Do you have other suggestions on when you should get the pictures for your event? I would love to hear your advice! Leave a comment below or get in touch with me, and I’d be glad to adapt my article to make it better.

It is my commitment to myself and the world to write an insight every week, so if these topics are interesting for you, be sure to come back, so you don’t miss what’s next. Thank you for your time!


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A group of people taking a selfie during an event at the Vienna House, Brussels

7 reasons why photography is key for marketing

We have been for several years now in a digital revolution allowing enterprises and individuals alike to engage with their audiences in unique ways never seen before. The digital transformation has opened opportunities for everyone who has something to say. For a business to thrive in 2020, digital marketing is not an option anymore, but rather one of the essential tools to engage with their audience and attract new customers. Photography plays a vital role when marketing services and products to potential clients. Let’s go through some of the essential reasons why photography is critical for your marketing and communication strategy.

1. Create awareness of your brand

It is no wonder that photography will help to create awareness of your brand to potential new customers. Ideally, the pictures you use when talking about your business represent the reality of what you are as a brand and not some generic stock images that do not align with your spirit. When using unique pictures that match your business, you can create a better awareness of who you are and how do you want to show your business to the world. Increase your appreciation by using high-quality pictures of your team, offices, events, conferences, and any other occasion that speaks the truth about who you are as a business, and you will create the right awareness for your target audience.

2. Improve your SEO via user experience

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is highly essential for businesses of all sizes, especially lesser-known ones. When someone is trying to find a service you provide, having a better SEO ranking will help your target audience find your website first, and potentially transform them into clients. Images on sites used in the right way can help in the user experience of an online visitor. As they go through your pages, finding out about your services, having a pleasant experience will retain their attention and keep them engaged. Pictures can help websites be more dynamic and lively, increasing the chances visitors stay around, and the more they stay around, the better the SEO ranking you will get.

3. Stand out with your unique voice

Photographs can undoubtedly help to make your content more attractive and visually engaging than hundreds of words on an article or website. However, you might consider using generic images and not something that is yours. When you have personalized pictures matching your business, you will increase your unique voice, because you are creating exclusive content that nobody else has. Pay attention to how you portray your business via photography to create your storytelling.

4. Create trust by intensifying your brand

When using unique, high-quality pictures to promote your brand, you will be creating trust in your customer base and potential new clients. They want to see what you are all about, and when they can see the reality of your business through images, their trust will automatically increase. Avoid living behind the curtains, and show your business via images that truly represent who you are. You will create trust in your audience, and it will translate into happy customers and more sales.

5. Show that you care about your business

Are you proud of what you do as a business? Is it vital for you to transmit your message to the world? Then I suggest you take the time to use the power of photography to show how much you care about your business and ideals. When using images to portray your values and beliefs, you will show your audience you care about what you do. Using high-quality personalized images translates in the love you have for your business, and your audience will see it.

6. Easy to promote your brand on social media

Well, this is the obvious one. Using the personalized imagery available will give you visual material to promote your brand on social media channels to engage with your audience. The more pictures you have, the more opportunities to communicate with them. Photographs are a valuable asset for your social media communication strategy, and they will give you the right excuses to stay active on social media.

7. Use the power of visual storytelling to impress customers and keep their attention

Visual storytelling gives your business a powerful way to communicate with your audience and keep them engaged. With the right story about your brand and the usage of visual elements such as photographs, you will be able to tell your story in a meaningful way to relate to your audience’s needs. Use your brand’s tale and transform it into pictures, and you will keep your customer’s attention while attracting new clients to your business. You will be creating a legacy of your brand, and you will be giving your audience the possibility to revive feelings and emotions via your photographs.

Final thoughts

Photography can help any business with their marketing and communication strategies. With a little bit of creativity and the right photographer for your brand, you will be able to create awareness, inspire and engage with your audience, leaving a long-lasting impression of your values for the world to see. Use the power of photography to help your business grow in this digital era, and benefit from the rewards of your investment.

Do you have other ideas on how photography can help your marketing strategy? I would love to hear your advice! Leave a comment below or get in touch with me, and I’d be glad to adapt my article to make it better.

It is my commitment to myself and the world to write an insight every week, so if these topics are interesting for you, be sure to come back, so you don’t miss what’s next. Thank you for your time!


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A group of students debating in a workshop during the Leaders for a Day in Brussels

5 common struggles when working with a photographer

Over the past six years, I had the chance to work as a photographer with many event organizers for all sorts of different types of events. An experience like this has allowed me to see and live everyday struggles event organizers have when working with photographers like myself. 

My idea with this article is to help you as an event organizer clear out these potential struggles off your way. And hopefully, ease your relationship with the photographer to increase the satisfaction factor of your collaboration.

Let’s check together some of the common questions/topics and how we can solve them.

1. Will the photographer deliver the pictures on time?

Before answering this question, have you evaluated when exactly you need the pictures of the event? Also, have you considered how many photos and for what purpose you need them? Some organizations require that during the occasion itself, the photographer delivers a small number of images for social media communication purposes. Others need pictures right after, and others need just one picture the day after for a press release. In most cases, the rest of the images are necessary only a couple of days after the event.

Once you have understood as an event organizer why, when, and how many pictures you need, you can communicate your request to the photographer in advance and avoid surprises, unfulfillment, or extra fees. Not all photographers offer by default to deliver pictures during the event or immediately after. If you need photos with particular urgency, specify very clearly your intentions in advance when communicating your requirements of service. 

2. Will the photographer cover the critical moments of the event?

To be sure that the photographer will be present taking pictures during the most critical moments of your event, my recommendation is to share the schedule/timeline and indicate which are the moments that need photos. Sometimes, an occasion doesn’t have a critical moment specified in the schedule, such as a surprise award or speech, and this is fine; however, make sure you communicate with the photographer the extra activity of the timeline, so they don’t miss it.

A good rule of thumbs is to share the plan of the day, and then when you meet the photographer, go through it and re-indicate any non-written surprise moments in the timeline. Make sure the photographer understands the schedule and its potential changes and free your mind!

3. Will the presence of the photographer be annoying to our guests?

I am a firm believer that photographers should be active observers instead of active participants when documenting an event. A professional event photographer should be smooth and move with delicacy to not disturb the audience attending the occasion. Several elements could potentially annoy your guests: usage of flash, the sound of the camera when clicking, and the movements of the photographer when going around the venue. 

If it is critically important that your guests don’t get distracted, my recommendation is to tell the photographer very clearly in advance that your event requires particular attention to distractions, and that you expect a discreet coverage. Once again, communication is critical.

4. Will the photographer be independent enough?

With so many things running through your head, the least you want is a photographer who needs constant guidance throughout the event. You need an independent person that can document the occasion effortlessly. 

To help yourself and the photographer, share with her/him as much information you have about the event as possible. Share everything from the schedule, speakers, venue, timings, surprises, among others, to help the photographer understand how things are happening so that she/he can be more independent while doing her/his work. Do not be afraid to share details, as it will make your life easier. No detail is unimportant.

5. The equipment of the photographer doesn’t look professional enough. Should I be worried?

The amount of photography gear out there is overwhelming, and we all have different tastes and requirements as photographers. If you did due diligence when selecting the photographer, then you should not be worried about what equipment they use to document your event. Having a big camera doesn’t mean you will get amazing pictures, and having a small camera doesn’t mean you will get bad images. Photography gear can sometimes be misleading, and you should be aware of that. 

Trust the professionals, and if you are curious, ask them about their gear and their preference for using specific equipment compared to other options you have seen from other photographers. If you know who you are dealing with, you shouldn’t be worried about the tools they use to achieve the results you like.

Final thoughts.

Constant struggles usually arise from a lack of communication with the photographer you are hiringTo avoid misunderstandings, be clear about what you want and expect, so you can align your expectations with the service you will obtain. Ultimately, the most important thing is that you are happy with the results and that you can use the pictures for your communication and marketing campaign.

Do you have other struggles when dealing with a professional event photographer? I would love to hear your advice! Leave a comment below or get in touch with me, and I’d be glad to adapt my article to make it better.

This article is part of a series related to the process of hiring a photographer from A to Z. I’ll be writing a new one every week, so be sure to come back, so you don’t miss what’s next. Thank you for your time!


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Guests looking by the window during an event at the Palais d'Egmont in Brussels

How to recognize a professional event photographer?

When you are in the process of hiring a photographer for your event, you may have what you think is the best candidate, and then start noticing some things that are a bit off. How do you know you are dealing with a professional event photographer and that you are not making a mistake by hiring them? 

In this article, I want to show you some clear signs you should pay attention to, so you can identify a professional event photographer from the rest.

1. The photographer has a broad event portfolio.

I have talked in the past about the importance of seeing a relevant event portfolio before hiring a photographer. If you cannot spot enough pictures representing what you are looking for, you might be making a blind date approach with them. One of the solutions is to understand if the portfolio is extensive enough, representing situations similar to what you would like to obtain for your event.

2. Check out the technical aspect of the images.

It is a good practice to check out the images you see with a more critical eye and observe if the photographer has the technical skills your event requires. More often than not, I encounter portfolios with loads of technical problems in the pictures. You should be aware of anything from lousy lightning, odd compositions, unsharp images, and out of focus images before hiring them. If you have no experience with photography, refer to a friend or colleague who may be into the topic, and then ask their opinion about the technical aspect of the portfolio you are checking out.

3. Can you see full event reportages?

I believe a professional photographer can get high-quality images from an event from beginning to end. A portfolio can be deceiving because it only highlights the best they have in their all-time repertoire, however, seeing the coverage of a singular event can tell you a lot about their approach, style, and experience. If you can dig deeper into a unique photo-coverage case they have done previously, and you like it, you can be reassured they know what they are doing.

4. Clear and professional communication at all stages.

Communications are everything. When a photographer is transparent, respectful, knowledgable, and speaks your professional tone, then you know you are dealing with a pro. If you get a weird impression from the way they speak and communicate with you from the beginning, there is a high chance this will not improve later. We often ignore how we feel about someone because of societal standards, so try to listen to your gut and avoid getting bad surprises later because you decided to ignore the signs.

5. Clear conditions and pricing.

When you deal with professionals from any field of expertise, you will encounter a well prepared and transparent set of terms and conditions about your work collaboration. A professional photographer should be able to give you a full set of conditions and pricing you can rely on when hiring them. When the terms of your partnership with the photographer are not clear, you cannot know what to expect, and you might be very disappointed and frustrated with the outcome of your collaboration. You can always try to ask these nine helpful questions before hiring them.

6. The photographer offers copyrights usage.

Professional photographers talk copyrights and explain to you clearly how you can use and exploit their pictures. When a photographer doesn’t speak about copyrights, you should raise a red flag and try to clarify the usage rights of the images. I will talk more in detail about copyrights in the future, but in the meantime, know this: Copyrights are as relevant as the pictures themselves, and you should know the usage rights of the images you will be obtaining.

Final thoughts.

You might not be looking for a professional photographer and only care about having lovely memories of your event. However, paying attention to these signs can help you identify the right photographer for your event and avoid ugly surprises in the future. Ultimately, the most important thing is that you are happy with the results and that you can use the pictures for your communication and marketing campaign.

Do you look at other signs to recognize a professional event photographer? I would love to hear your advice! Leave a comment below or get in touch with me, and I’d be glad to adapt my article to make it better.

This article is part of a series related to the process of hiring a photographer from A to Z. I’ll be writing a new one every week, so be sure to come back, so you don’t miss what’s next. Thank you for your time!


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A girl taking a photo of a cheese selection during an event for Hispania Brussels

9 Questions to ask before hiring an event photographer

You are organizing an event, and you know you need a professional photographer to come and document it. You have gone through a list of potential candidates, and you have started having conversations, negotiating, and discussing the conditions and expectations. You are on the verge of deciding who to hire, but maybe things are not 100% clear yet about what to expect. 

In this article, I want to help you go through some of the most common questions you should consider asking when hiring a photographer for your event. Let’s check them one by one and see why they are essential to evaluate and have the answer before you hire them.

1. When will you deliver the pictures?

When you buy an article online, you get an estimation of when you should get it. As with any other service, you should get an idea of when you are supposed to obtain the pictures. The photographer then should be able to provide you with an estimated date of delivery of the photographs. 

A typical example is within five business days after the event finishes, but this may vary. If you are comfortable with the proposed day, then all is good, otherwise, try to renegotiate the terms to see if you can get the pictures faster when you need to have them. A word of advice, the quicker you want the photos, the more the budget could increase, but this might depend on the photographer.

2. How do you send the images?

In the past, we would get pictures delivered via USB drives and even CDs. Nowadays, with high-speed internet and online services, the best and easiest solution for almost all cases is sending the pictures via an online service. Some common examples could be WeTransfer, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud, and Dropbox, to name a few. 

Nevertheless, make sure it is clear to you how you will obtain the images to avoid any trouble of delivery due to technological limitations. Some people cannot access Dropbox or open ZIP files from their office computer, for example. If you know in advance how you will receive the pictures, then you know if you should inform the photographer about your technological constraints, and look for another way that suits you best.

3. In which format do you provide the photos?

The format of a picture can mean several things: file format (extension), size, aspect ratio, among others. Usually, you will get JPG files, ready to use on your website or printing materials. However, to avoid surprises, make sure you are receiving JPGs, especially if that’s what you expect. 

It is relevant to know that JPGs can vary in size, and they can take a lot of your computer storage. High-resolution files are more substantial in size, and you will be able to use them for printing; at the same time, they are not ideal for WEB usage. If you wish to use the images online (social sharing or website), then make sure you will get ready-to-use smaller versions JPGs alongside the high-resolution JPGs.

For the ratio, I dare to say the most common is a 3:2 ratio, and not 4:3 or 1:1. If you have special ratio requirements, be sure to communicate it with the photographer. Click here to know more about aspect ratios.

4. How many pictures will we get?

Although knowing the exact amount of images you will get is highly improbable, you can still ask and have an approximate idea. The number of pictures you will get for an event coverage will vary depending on the approach of the photographer. Some photographers, for example, commit to a minimum of deliverable photos, let’s say 30 pictures per hour of service, and the number then can always increase. Most often than not, you will get a selection of the best moments, and not every single taken photo during the event.

5. Are the pictures retouched?

Retouching pictures should be an intrinsic aspect of the treatment process of the photographer. In other words, photographers should take the time to retouch the photos taken during an event, and provide you with the best quality outcome possible. If they are not able to say anything about the retouching aspect, I would strongly advise you to clarify it, and understand if you should expect this or not. The retouching process should not be an aggressive and modifying one, but rather an enhancing and correcting one.

6. Do you add watermarks?

Watermarks, who uses them anyway? Many photographers indeed! Be aware that if you do not wish to have annoying watermarks on your final pictures, which is probably the case, you should clarify it with the photographer. A great way to know if they use watermarks is merely looking at their online portfolio.

7. How can we use the pictures?

The usage of the pictures is a topic for a whole article on its own. Nevertheless, let me tell you a word that goes unnoticed more often than not: Copyrights. To avoid getting into discussions in the future, or even legal fights with an author, be sure it is clear where and how you can use the pictures you are getting. The more rights and possibilities you want to have, the more expensive the copyrights will get. If a photographer doesn’t clarify copyrights usage, be sure to ask about it, and avoid living on accident.

8. Can you provide an invoice?

Getting an invoice should be the norm, without a doubt, but there are cases in which a photographer doesn’t have a way to provide you with a legal form of receipt. If this is the case, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable situation in which you cannot legally declare an expense you had. An invoice is particularly relevant for companies requiring photography services, though. If the legal status of the photographer is unclear (they do not have a legal entity business behind their shop), then you should probably consider hiring someone else.

9. Do you back up the images?

Last but not least, you should be able to know if the photographer will be able to keep the pictures in storage for you. If, for whatever reason, you need to get the images from the photographer again, be sure to know you if you can do so. Some photographers will charge extra fees for the storage of your event pictures.

Final thoughts.

Hiring a photographer shouldn’t be a painful process, and I hope these tips help you find the best photographer for your event. Ultimately, the most important thing is that you are happy with the results and that you can use the pictures for your communication and marketing campaign.

Do you have other questions you think are relevant before hiring a photographer? I would love to hear your advice! Leave a comment below or get in touch with me, and I’d be glad to adapt my article to make it better.

This article is part of a series related to the process of hiring a photographer from A to Z. I’ll be writing a new one every week, so be sure to come back, so you don’t miss what’s next. Thank you for your time!


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