Keeping Photography Relevant in the Digital Age
Every artist will need to find his own path to success, but here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
1. Hone your craft. Even if you're already professionally taught, you might benefit from a few photography courses or workshops to help you discover more about your craft and master techniques that you hadn’t even considered dabbling with previously. If you're self-taught, this might be the perfect time to pursue a more formal education that can help you understand what it takes to stand out from the other hobbyists and amateurs.
2. Don't be afraid to go niche. It's no surprise that stock photography is a big business on the web, but most stock photos are soulless and dull. If you're willing to create something new and different and offer it to other creative professionals, like cover design artists, you're bound to hit on a niche that hasn't yet been exploited. Communicate with designers and others who frequently need photography to see what they're looking for, and find a way to provide it.
3. Market yourself as an artist. Too often, commercial photography is treated as a technical skill. While it certainly requires technical prowess, it's every bit as much of an artistic endeavor as painting. Create a unique visual style for yourself and use it as a signature. Display your work proudly and sell prints that people would be happy to have on their wall.
4. Don't undervalue your work. Artists willing to work for free or at reduced prices quickly devalue their own work. Set reasonable prices and stay firm. Deliver a quality product. If your work is high enough quality, the price will be a secondary consideration: Buyers will find the money to pay for something they need if they're confident it's the best they can get.
Whether you're a new student taking his first photography courses or a veteran trying to find a path through the ever-changing landscape of new technology, there's no reason to despair about the future of photography. Things may be different these days, but those changes might be exactly what you need to breathe fresh life into your career and photography in general.