Social Media Photography And Finding Your Style: An Interview With Nordica Photography

Social Media Photography And Finding Your Style: An Interview With Nordica Photography

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cole-jakob What first intrigued me about Nordica Photography’s web page was their advertisement for a social media package.  It’s the first time I had seen a package offered by local photographers so I started asking some questions of how this fairly new market was working out for Cole and Jakob.  They also have what most would see as an unconventional when it comes to their marketing approach.

How did you each get your start in photography?

Jakob started when after getting his Masters Degree in Business, he landed an awesome government job in Stockholm. They needed an in-house photographer, he volunteered and rest is history.

Nordica 2 Cole started because of two things: his mom and his goal to start a business. His mother has been a photographer for over 20 years and Cole was always around it. He wanted to start a business where he could follow his passion, so photography fit the mold perfectly.

What was the hardest thing about moving to shooting professionally?

Avoid marketing to your competition (which is a bizarre and ridiculous trend we notice) and focusing on your marketing efforts on your target market. That and staying true to your brand, which in photography, should be your style.
Once you start moving your style around in different directions you veer away from your brand, and that’s a surefire way to lose potential clients, and have retainable clients shift to the competition. Be consistent to your style, and your brand strength will build from there.

On your site you have a package for social networking.  Can you expand a bit on what’s offered that would be different from a standard portrait shoot?

Nordica 3 Images are destined for different homes, and you should prepare them for such in your editing efforts. Some are meant for print, which could be billboards, canvases, paper, or anything in between. Alternatively, images find their homes on the web. We prepare images that are destined for web-optimization in our social media packages, which will allow for a perfect photo for our clients to be best represent their online brand.

How this is different from stand portrait shoots depends on the client, and how we communicate before the shoot. What we want to learn from a client is who they are and what they represent. With that information, we envision how we visualize their own online brand (or their personalities, which in today’s social media world, is their brand) and convey that into a photography shoot. The shoot itself may not be completely different in approach and techniques from other photographers, but what may be different is our own psychology in knowing what the images will be used in the end.

Has that niche been well received?

Nordica 3Extremely well. While weddings are our main business focus, focusing on social media users has been very successful. People are understanding that they themselves are their own brand online, and the starting point for building a fantastic brand is the visual aspect. That means having a kick ass picture, which obviously bodes well for the business of photography.

What seems to have the largest return on investment for your business marketing dollars?

Not spending any money at all on marketing has been our biggest return on investment. We haven’t since day one, and we likely never will. Everything we do is a profit if you equate expenses to profit because we invest our efforts into social media marketing, which if done with a strategy in place, does not cost anything.

Nordica 5 We believe that our style and our efforts in communicating our style as our brand will build our market for us, and to this point, it has.

What advice would you give to our readers who are looking to ‘go pro’ and turn a hobby into a profitable business?

If you cannot identify your own style from your competitors, your brand hasn’t started to take shape. Wait until that happens or you may find yourself in a competitive environment that you’re not quite ready to be a part of yet.

Jakob and Cole can also be found on Twitter and Facebook if you’ve like to get in touch with them with more questions.

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Peter West Carey leads photo tours and workshops in Nepal, Bhutan, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and beyond. He is also the creator of Photography Basics - A 43 Day Adventure & 40 Photography Experiments, web-based tutorials taking curious photographers on a fun ride through the basics of learning photography.

Some Older Comments

  • Helios Monocular January 23, 2012 06:55 pm

    Hi...

    Thanks for sharing this information.it will help for photography friends and will make their photography better.it will covering how personal style and starting a business interact. It helped me finally put into words my reasons for remaining a hobbyist.Great insight and overview from some talented individuals, cheers.thanks for posting this blog..

  • Michelle June 19, 2011 09:20 pm

    Informative read for a newby like me, I have a love (addiction) relationship with photography, yet manage to get by on a few hrs sleep between my baby's demands and my hunger to learn as much as i can before wetting my feet in this industry. Saved hard for my first SLR and tested my images on Stock sites to see if I really did have any talent, before moving forward. It would be awesome if i could use my talent to help fundraise for my sons operations and for other kids in need, Will be following your sage advice on facebook :)

  • mark July 9, 2010 10:40 pm

    this is very helpful and interesting

  • Michelle Armour July 9, 2010 06:20 pm

    It is great to see an article that gets you thinking. Thanks Peter

  • Dallas July 9, 2010 04:53 am

    This is a really helpful and interesting article. Thanks for sharing!

  • kk+ July 9, 2010 03:25 am

    congrats homeboys. nice article! :)

    "Social Media Photography" is more than a marketing program by which photographers sell more portraits & headshot photography packages.

    i'd love to see an article about what the new school avante garde of social media photography are up to and thinking. start with Thomas Hawk & Laughing Squid and go from there!

  • Andrew July 9, 2010 12:46 am

    Very interesting perspective on branding and photography. For being wedding photographers, this is a very unique way of marketing a service and unconventional. Rather then paying for marketing - as they say - they are essentially building a base of followers by providing a service and having clients come to them. Interesting and thank you for putting this together Peter and DPS!

  • Girish July 8, 2010 09:33 pm

    Hey mates,

    Nice interview. Congratulations.

  • Jonathan July 8, 2010 02:27 pm

    Great insight and overview from some talented individuals, cheers.

  • Vince James July 8, 2010 02:09 am

    Thanks so much covering how personal style and starting a business interact. It helped me finally put into words my reasons for remaining a hobbyist. Without my own personal style, what do I really have to offer potential customers? Great article overall.

  • April July 8, 2010 01:32 am

    Cole & Jakob definitely have their own unique style. I like their engagement & weddings shoots in particular.

  • Tyler Ingram July 8, 2010 01:11 am

    Cole and Jakob are great people to get to know. I like seeing what sort of things they come up with their various weddings, e-sessions and other photos shoots.