I recently entered my CN train image in a photo contest for Nikon Canada's Photo Of The Month on their Facebook Page, and with so many great images I thought it was a long shot! So I was pleased to find an email from them informing me that I had indeed won the April's photo of the month contest, and the prize?, the image would be posted to all their social media pages with my business info and image description! In this modern age of technology and social media this type of exposure is almost priceless, especially on a global stage such as Nikon! I have been constantly working to better my skills and knowledge and I am happy to see it pay off.
There is an immense amount of people launching facebook pages and creating watermarks to put on their images but not really committed to building a brand or business that will compete in the professional market, in my opinion this can frustrate the market or can help it. but it can create confusion on what passes as professional vs everyday photography. I'm not saying don't pursue your love for taking great pictures, and please don't hesitate on making it your business. I am simply saying being a photographer is hard work and a full time competitive self branding business that takes planning, networking and creativity that is not easily attained by just buying the latest camera and lenses! This photo business world is tight and you really need to be serious and gauge your future based on your passion, skills and vision on where you see yourself years from now.
Another area of branding that I personally believe is important is knowing your market and competitors, with a branding market such as Photography you must know who is out there, and how they are creating their unique brand, and their focused market! I have the utmost respect for some of the photographers I have met and had the pleasure of working with so far, their willingness to help and network has been extremely inspiring for me. I have been watching the community forms on Facebook and it's interesting to see how many people are willing to share what they know and learn, but remember it still is a branding market so don't share all your secrets!
I have witnessed a handful of the "professionals" out there that contribute to Photography here locally in huge ways, from Tanya Shields always giving her take and advice to Brent McCombs and Mike McCarthy pulling in great workshops. Also guys like Trevor Allen who I personally attribute my focus and drive to allow me to do what I do even more, just a visit with Trevor gets my motivation and creativity moving again. There is a long list of people out there making Photography unique and interesting and I appreciate all of their work and advice, as well their commitment to making photography the best it can be!
I don't claim to be the "next big thing" but I want to work towards that goal, and target my business around that statement. Thanks for reading this blog and I hope to see your take on this, good or critical...lol