Branding/portfolio creation

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by georgejonesie, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. How do you brand yourself, or at least how do you brand your photographic work?

    if you photocrowd, and the bulk of your work is birds and animals being cute, do you use that as the theme of your self brand image, or do you go with what gets the most votes/likes on photocrowd?

    How do you choose the portfolio site to actually use for hosting? Base it with professional ideology between you and the company itself, or base it on what they use for the example galleries of client websites they use to make you want to use their services?

    Like with deviantART.. not my slice of pie. You search for something and you can end up with princess in field drawn by a 14 year old nestled between bondage photos taken by Kurt Krueger,,, not a good professional mix in my opinion. And rather off putting.

    I was thinking just to do the flickr route others have, but when i did some simple searches for certain content, even though the default content setting is "safe for work and children" i still got a large number of topless women, naked men showing "twig and berries" and underage naked boys showing "twig and berries" NOT something i want associated with what i do via a search funciton.

    portfolio box

    crevado portfolio


    are ones that seem to be professional minded, as well as offering free limited versions as long as you want.
  2. @georgejonesie, I tried to take a look at your PN portfolio but I got a 'page not found' error message. As far as I (very quickly) see, the only way a photographer can brand herself/himself is by a) selecting which competitions to enter and b) consistently getting high ratings in those competitions.

    In general, I think photographers are to a greater or lesser extent motivated to specialize in the kind of photography they want to do and are good at. So we talk about sport photographers, street photographers, landscape photographers, fashion photographers, wedding photographers, etc. Some photographers have a few different 'brands' (for example news photographer in my day job and also documentuntary/travel/wildlife/... photographer for x weeks of the year.

    Bear in mind that 'Bird Photography' is a quite specialized genre. Photographers are often of sometimes birdwatchers too and often know where and when have they best chance of taking photos. They often have more patience than most other photographers. They usually use (extremely) long (=expensive) lenses to capture fine details. Animals being cute? IMHO social media channels are awash with photos and video's of these. To me, it would seem very difficult to establish a unique 'brand' in this (free) market,.

    My advice is to take a step back and just consider what kind of photos you enjoy taking and are good at. Maybe there's a public demand for your photos, maybe not. You should definitely look at what's already out there on social media and photo platforms. And consider whether and how you could add to this with your personal brand. Alternatively, you could develop yourself a brand by consistently producing high quality results in any genre.

    In the final analysis, photographers become respected - even famous - not through 'branding' - but through their recognised talent, expertise, style and results.

  3. Marketing guy here. The word "branding" suggests a common theme that is associated with your name. Look up Peter McKinnon on Instagram for example. All of his work has a similar vibe. The subjects vary, but there is a Peter McKinnon look that is instantly recognizable.

    What is your end game? Are you trying to get work in a specific industry? A particular niche? Or are you just looking to build your own identity?

    I would argue that all of the platforms you mentioned are not the way to go. They control too much of your content, and ultimately own the rights if you publish your stuff there. Starting your own website is very easy these days. Take a look at Squarespace or WordPress and control your own destiny.
  4. Brand why and where for whom?
    What is your intended business model &/ nieche?
    I'd like to hear either:
    1. I shoot awesome *whatevers* all the time & would like to sell prints to strangers.
    2. I'm good (enough) at shooting *insert subject* and would like to get hired.
    3. I need to network with ***s to create ###s
    In case 3 I'd blog about my visions and hope for folks to contribute or at least offer themself.
    case 1 could be handled by a stock photo agency?
    case 2 might require a tiny personal webpage with an appetizer of a portfolio. All you need to convey:
    • I'm here
    • I appear worth calling
    I see no practical value in Flickr. What kind of benefit do you expect from being "tiny fish #2000001" in a huge (inter?)national pool of photographers? Do you really think hiring a 3rd world bot farmer to generate "likes" is efficient to generate sales at wherever you live? - Would "fame among peers" buy butter on your bread?

    Assuming I wanted to sell "myself, the photographer"; why should the selfbrand picture depict anything else than that or a visualization of my username? - If the latter was "Mr. Camera shake"* I'd take a studio shot of my Bergheil 6.5x9 next to a milkshake in transparent packaging from a big fastfood chain (and might end putting the result into a busnisscard holding name sign on a field or dress shirt).
    (*=Surely not well selling, but maybe deserved?)
    Thinking about the stuff that earned me money: I couldn't care less whats shown on such sites.

    I fear if you want free space to present yourself, you most likely have to bite the bullet and go social media? Not really my cup of tea.
    amishelectricco and mikemorrell like this.

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