My name is Dean, and I am a professional photographer with years of experience in the industry. Throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to work … Read More
Whether your photography business is just getting off the ground or you are well established, the best way to make sure you thrive is to make sure that your business is put in front of as many potential clients as possible. Now, with over a billion website registered on the world wide web and a society that pretty much lives on the internet, it seems pretty obvious that online would be the place to reach the most customers. Getting your photography business noticed online can quickly and easily; boost traffic to your website, convert interest into sales leads, enhance your customer journey and showcase your photography skills to open up new opportunities of work. You will notice that we used the word ‘can’ not ‘will’ and that is purely down to the fact this will only happen if a comprehensive digital marketing strategy is put in place and executed effectively. A big part of this strategy should be ensuring that you have maximised your websites visibility in a way that search engines such as Google will value your site and its content so that when potential customers search it prioritises your website above others in your niche. SEO for photographers is particularly important because the niche is very competitive, on the plus side, there are loads of tips based around your stunning photography that really enhance the possibilities for SEO.
One of the first things to recognise when embarking on this is that a successful SEO strategy will only be truly effective if the foundations are in place already, this means ensuring that your website is well designed, mobile friendly and is up to scratch in the speed department. If your site doesn’t already tick these boxes, then you will need to consider these as the first steps in your marketing strategy before your SEO efforts will be truly effective. You can find out how well your site performs for mobile friendliness and mobile speed really easily with tools provided by Google. Once you are ready to start work on the search engine optimization (SEO) it is important to recognise that it doesn’t always have to be overly complicated. You may choose to get expert help from a digital marketing agency, but you don’t have to do this to make a really good start on enhancing your rankings in the search results. If you do decide to go it alone, then here are some pointers that will help you make strong improvements relatively quickly and easily…
It is important that you do not overload your sites with random key words and that do not add value to your site content, yet you still need to ensure that your content answers question you’re your customers may type into the Google search bar. A great first step is to put yourself in your customers shoes and think about what key words they might search for, start a list using these keywords. Then search for the terms, at the bottom of your Google search results you will see a section for “Searches related to…” add these terms to your list also. For example, a customer might search for SEO for wedding photographers, the related to section will then provide searches such as best keywords for photographers, seo services for photographer and so forth. Once added to your original list you should have a decent amount of key words to get you started.
Next up, review your current content and wherever you can naturally exchange/add some of these key words, do. You can then look at the remaining key words and consider writing new content to add to a blog on your site, update this blog regularly with well written content that is useful to its readers (not forgetting to add the keywords) and you will indicate to Google that your site has answers that the searchers are looking for. Having a blog is also a really great way to keep your website looking fresh and up to date so it will kill two birds with one stone.
As a photographer your site should be full of stunning photos that showcase your work. You can use these to boost your SEO by ensuring that each photograph you upload to the site is labelled. There’s little benefit of having photo files named 1234.jpeg when you could call it beach wedding photography, for example. Having the files efficiently labelled will make a big difference into the amount of key words you can naturally have on your site, your pictures will literally speak a thousand words.
There’s so much more to go at when it comes to a truly effective website, from customer reviews to meta tags your strategy, and website, should never sit still. So don’t stop here, make a start and then move straight on to the next quick win.
Photography is one of those activities to which there is simply no substitute for practice. The best way to hone your photography skills, get to know your camera and learn what works for you is to get out there and takes lots of pictures. But what are the best assignments to set yourself to get the most from your new camera?
There are some great ideas for basic tricks that will get you started on advancing your skills beyond the simple family shot or the picture of the cat doing something cute. For instance, pick a location and take a set number of photos from that spot without moving your feet. See just how many different shots you can take from that spot, regardless of what they feature.
Another similar trick is to try to take a number of shots of a single item in as many different ways as you can. Say you take a vase of flowers – how many different pictures can you get? Close up shots, different angles, even from odd vantage points, count them up then try another similar item and see how you do from what you learned.
Digital cameras come with loads of different settings and something you can be like a kid in a sweet shop, eager to try them all. But the best way to get the hang of a particular setting is to limit yourself to it and only take photos with it for a trip, a session or even a day. Spend a whole session using that one setting or a focus length with the camera’s zoom. That way you will come to truly understand what works about the setting.
Auto mode is a great creation but can make us a bit lazy with our photos, allowing the camera to do all the work. Therefore, don’t allow yourself to use it for a series of photos and this can further learn you to see what modes work well in what environment. Try taking the same picture in various settings to see what worked best.
Go somewhere different
It is easy to fall into the habit of photographing the plants in your gardens or the landmarks in your town but to hone your skills you need to go further afield and try new locations. Whether this is a day trip or a full scale holiday, that’s up to you.
Photographic holidays are becoming quite popular with the Seamaid trip from Cro Exclusive Villas being one example. This offers a photographic holiday in Croatia and even the chance to try underwater photography. You can learn about seafaring and make use of the hundreds of photographic opportunities on the ship as well as the luxurious surrounding of the Adriatic Coast.
You don’t even need to go too far from home to practise your skills. A weekend to London, for example, has to offer one of the most varied urban landscapes to photograph. From the lush greenery of Hyde Park through to the historic landmarks and new cutting edge buildings, there are plenty of opportunities to try those new settings you are so familiar with.
So you’ve decided the time has come to buy yourself a decent camera. You enjoy taking pictures on your smartphone but you want to be able to do a bit more than even the phone’s camera can allow. The biggest problem with buying a camera is that there are so many to choose from, all with enticing write ups that sell their benefits. So what are the top dos and don’ts of buying a camera?
Types of digital camera
There are three main categories of digital camera currently available – compact, bridge and DSLR. The compact is the beginner’s level and is small enough to pop into a handbag or a backpack, even a pocket sometimes. They have good basic features but watch the sturdiness of the camera as if it is too thin and flimsy, it might break while being used.
Bridge cameras are the middle ground and have more advanced features without being as advanced as DSLR. They have a fixed lens set up with good zoom and plenty of built in modes for different situations. There are some good priced models from big name brands as well.
DSLR are the professional grade cameras and can costs thousands of pounds. They have the flexibility with interchangeable lenses and manual settings to take the photos but also require plenty of knowledge to truly master.
Understanding a bit about camera basics is important before making a purchase as this allows you to narrow down the field based around what you want or what you don’t want. There’s no point going straight into buying a camera with multiple lenses and a million zoom that is going to frustrate you when you come to use it.
Do look at the megapixels and the zoom of the camera. Most decent cameras now have around 14 megapixels, which means 14 million little points that combine to make the picture. The more pixels, the more image and this also means it takes up more room on your computer so if you have space limits, you may want to keep the megapixels to a sensible range.
Zoom is something else that is easy to get carried away with. Don’t worry too much about it when you first start, a 5x optical zoom is a great option to have and will let you zoom in without needing to get overly complicated.
Features of the camera
There are some good features that are worth having on even your first camera and many of the start-up ranges include these. Image stabilisation is a great one as this helps to reduce the blurriness of a picture that can happen if you aren’t completely stationary when snapping.
Face detection is another benefit often seen on smartphone cameras that helps the camera realise there is a person in the shot and focus on their face. A good digital camera will be able to do this even in low light conditions.
Don’t worry too much about Wi-Fi connection on your camera but if it has it, then that’s an added benefit. Most cameras will connect with your computer via a USB cable to transfer images so you don’t have to worry about sending them via Wi-Fi.