Be Personal - Stand Out from the Crowd as a Photographer

Be Personal – Stand Out from the Crowd as a Photographer


Be-Personal.jpgLet’s face it. Right now the industry isn’t as robust as it was 5 years ago. As a result, many amateur photographers looking to break into the business are hurting. Job opportunities are slim. Jobs that do become available don’t pay well.

How’s a photographer to make it to the pro level if supply and demand is standing in the way?

The answer is fairly simple really.

Be personal.

A photographer – amateur or professional – with an outgoing, friendly, and personable attitude will always make an impression on potential clients. And standing out from the crowd is your number one need right now.

Think about it. A personal photographer uses his or her greatest resource: their own personality. This asset cannot be taken away by economic climate. And it is one that can be developed and matured through concentrated effort and time. Nothing can separate you from who you are. While you are waiting for the economic times to get better, develop your personality and your personable skills.

Ask yourself these questions, and answer honestly:

  1. How often do I genuinely ask my acquaintances and friends how they are doing? Do I look for real answers, or do I ask simply to be polite?
  2. Do I utilize the technology available to me to broaden my network and help people without expectation?
  3. How fast do I respond to emails? Do I take a day? An hour? A week?
  4. How often do I review my voicemail and respond to callers? Do I make this a priority?
  5. When was the last time I sent a personal note to a long distance friend? Or called my mother?

Think about all the pro photographers we look up to and love. David Jay. Dane Sanders. Jasmine Star. These photographers are not so absorbed in their work; they are absorbed in the people who revolve around their work.

It’s very basic, really.

Be personable.

If you shoot less, take the down time to grow your level of personal interaction with other people. Make more calls of inquiry to friends. Send personal thank you notes. Write a letter. Have a party – formal or casual – and set up a photo booth for your guests to take fun, laid back pictures. Take out your camera and practice interacting with your family as you take pictures of them. Learning how to engage while creating images is essential to your business. As you grow this skill, your subjects will not only be more comfortable with you, they will be more impressed with you, also.

Be personal, and your business will grow as you do.

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Christina N Dickson is a visionary artist and philanthropist in Portland Oregon. Her work includes wedding photography and leadership with

Some Older Comments

  • Ellie July 24, 2009 12:33 pm

    Great article.. I am sure many will find it helpful.

  • Delme May 2, 2009 06:04 am

    Thanks for a great article, I think it applies to all business not just photography.



  • Albara May 1, 2009 02:19 am

    Really Great Tips .. and so inspirational ..

    Million Thanks Christina =)

  • TechFresh April 30, 2009 03:44 am

    Simple, right to the point and great tips, thanks Christina

  • Andre April 30, 2009 01:58 am

    Very interesting post. I usually take this one step further.
    -The customer is always right, even if he is not. People hate you for telling them that they are wrong. Rather accept responsibility for an order that went wrong (e.g. the customer ordered something different online than he thought), replace the item for free and later ask for return business. It helps to build a strong customer base and some turn in repeat business.
    -People like to feel important. I always compliment people on their choices when dealing with them via email.

  • Ilan April 29, 2009 09:05 pm

    That's a great post.
    The thing I felt after reading this article that the title is not entirely correct. I think it should be "Be Personal - Stand Out from the Crowd as a _________" The tips here fit any professional and not only a good photographer.
    That's only my humble opinion, as I'm only an amateur photographer :P
    My blog

  • Steve Tye April 29, 2009 06:54 pm

    What a great set of tips. Simple, short and to the point. Well done, Christina!

  • She April 29, 2009 05:40 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing this. Amen!

  • Joe April 29, 2009 04:56 pm

    I love the photograph/title. That was a great touch!

  • Ilan April 29, 2009 10:51 am

    My comments are not shown...? Weird.

  • Dave Kozlowski April 29, 2009 09:40 am

    P.S. I'm always open to assisting new photographers with questions, shoot me an email! Dave

  • Dave Kozlowski April 29, 2009 09:31 am

    Amen Christina!

    When I first started out, I feared shooting people. I avoided it at all costs. So, I forced myself to shoot people, family, friends, senior photos for acquaintances etc etc. It truly helps to practice with family and friends, and to develop 'people skills' as a photographer. It gets easier with practice, and over time.

    As far as setting yourself apart from the competition, I suggest pushing yourself into areas where you might feel uncomfortable...go shoot in the rain, or in the evening! I seem to do my best work after shooting in the most unusual places and circumstances.

    When all else fails, practice your editing and Photoshop skills in any off-time that you might have.

    Here is an example of some abstract photography that I did recently in the Dallas area, with alot of post-processing...hopefully it might give others some ideas and incentives to be more 'people oriented'.

    Faces of Dallas

    Personal Paparazzi
    Have fun y'all!

  • Peter April 29, 2009 08:11 am

    Such a good comment...short and sweet...yet full of good advice for thos of us aspiring to grow as photographers...thank you...