Defining Your Style: Consistency is Key
Let's go so we'll talk about to finding your style and when it comes to style right the first question is what style what do you mean by that is that the way we drives us the way we poses the way we you know edit yes yes tell all those things right why does it matter so much and you know how the hell do you determine what it is and I would say when we're talking about style it's it's been involving since the day we went in business and as we showed kind of the evolution of our imagery yesterday it was very apparent that it's evolved every single year absolute last since we've been the guy we just had a wedding client that picked their pictures for their album and they're waiting was five years ago so we're talking about like the second year studio was in business so I had to pick all these pictures for their album and it was hilarious just looking at it because we had you know the newbie tilt so every image was like crazy angle so uh seeing where it started from and where it is now it'...
s just interesting to see how it evolved to the years because I tried to collect images from every year to see how our style evolved beat on sal we were created yesterday I was listening okay so let's keep going so your style the hardest thing to explain to people you know what? What is my style? What does it mean? But it's very, very important to your business that you start developing a style and let's pause here for a second. The biggest critique I give photographers when we go out there is if I go to your website and I start looking at your imagery do I see consistency in your style and what I'm looking for? Its consistency in your posing, consistency in your editing consistency in the overall feel and mood of your imagery and I challenge you go to south and kata dot com if you want to goto our portfolio section and whether you love or hate my work doesn't matter you're going to see consistency in the imagery and that's the most important part when trying to develop your style I mean is you look behind us here on the board this is you know this image here in the bottom left that's taylor's image the image in the in the middle that's taylor's image they match the overall look and feel of our brand there's consistency whether she's photographing your event or I'm photographing your vent and that's very important to growing your business. Now granted, we're a two person team, but let's say you're just out there on your own and your solo photographer growing your business you still have to have consistency again not only in editing but in the posing aspect right, we goto websites and we'll look at your work it can't be a mix of traditional, you know, little kids you know, big dramatic shots I've got to get consistent out of you because when your clients come there, what are they seeing? Are they are they clear on what kind of guitar if you are and what makes you stand out from the crowd? So you also wanna have current images so you won't see images from five years ago on our website because our style has changed, so keep your work recent so people can really get a sense of you know where you are now don't put work up there from two years ago because your style more than likely has changed since but a lot of people truth be told, have images from two or three years ago up there because they're not as active a cz we are right, so if that's the case and that's your objection you go sow how do I get fresh work up there? Work with models, work with friends, work with family, get creative but get shooting because that's the only way you're gonna be able to define your stop and again the truth is we didn't realize how important this was until three years into our business, right? We were all over the place we looked at those images yesterday we'll look at a few more today, but we didn't realize how important this was to our business until about our third year in, when we finally looked at our portfolio and realized we were all over the place. So that's again, very important, we offer a product and service and if we wanted to be unique and valued than we have to stand out from the crowd and so if I go to your website, right, and all of you out there, if I go to your website, is there any difference between your work and the work of your competitors? You might think there's a difference, but is there a perceivable difference between you and your client? And so this is where again, we have to check our ego if we want to be really busy, people know, maybe you should here's an exercise for you. Why not take your who you believe to be your top three toe five competitors in your area and bring up in your web browser, their websites, all of them up and your website, and have three to five people over that you trust? Have some pizza, some beer, whatever you want to dio and explain to them this exercise back here's, who I consider to be my competitors what's the difference between their work in mind not only that I know sally's talked before don't look two competitors to match pricing don't let that drive your pricing but that's not to say sal and I don't know who our competitors are we're very in tune with our market when bridal shows come in and there's you know, ten new photographers we go and check out all their booth what they offer their style because we have to stay educated because of brides come up and they'd be like, well, this studio has, you know, offers album in their packages we can say well, actually they don't offer this caliber of album, they offer a different caliber of album we have to stay educated and know who is out there and who were competing with and that way we can address are competitive competitive advantages with our studio that's exactly right? We're not looking to use them to determine what we're going to do or not do but really it's just about being aware and then we still want to set the tone but I want to come back to this exercise get those people in a room with you okay? And you need people who are going to give you honest and real feedback and if they should be late late people right? Meaning we're not looking for people who are photographers because they're look they'll see differences that the average person will not you have five lay people in the room. It could be even your mom. I mean, like, my mom does not know anything about photography. She either likes a picture where she doesn't my mom's not gonna start talking about composition, leading lines, all that stuff. Get him in the room. And if you start, if you find that your circle of influence, these five, three, two, five people can't really articulate the difference between your work and anyone else's and just want to go, I think it's better. They might be giving you a line of b s, right? If they cannot articulate the difference between your work and someone else is that is what your client is seen, right? The average bride, the average mom who wants family pictures, the average senior, they don't understand leading lines, they either like images or they don't like images. And so that exercise as rudimentary as it may sound, we'll teach you so much about your business. I highly encourage all of you to do something like that, and that will give you honest feedback that you won't get from anyone else. Your clients who were coming in at the night are coming in right, they're anonymous. You don't know who's looking at your website you don't know how many other for tigers they have up on the screen but they are comparing you to other people and if there's nothing in your work that draws them in to call you you just lost a client and so try that exercise encouraging in the beginning we were all over the place today obviously a much different story our look is very, very consistent and we not because we say so, but because our clients say so our senior clients are family clients, they will pick our images out of a sea of images and no it's one we'll tell us they can look through the yearbook until who went to us who went to a different studio for high school senior, right? Yeah, the kids in school this was interesting feedback for kids, the wallets so for high school seniors, wallets are like crack candyman, theyjust they're handing a mountain school like trading cards, right? And when they're doing that in school, what ends up happening is is that what the kids will come back as our logo is not on the image? The kids will come back to us and say, when we're handing out images, we can all tell who went to your studio versus the other studios that's a great testament, no logo, no branding, the branding is the posing the editing the style that is how important just a quick note on editing this is kind of off topic but we're talking about style you really have to be on point with your editing these days because of instagram all these you know filter applications especially high school seniors there really in tune with filters and editing they'll come in and say well I don't like that picture my skin's too washed out or I don't like that effect on it you know my hair is not its true color I'm like what just what do you know about filter right? But three years you're totally right three years ago the kids you know they're really wasn't instagram and social no and three years ago they saw special ed it they're like I wanted it's different and you know that was special edited three years ago was selling like now it's not the case it has to look right it has to be top notch editing it can't change their skin tones of chemical look washed out pale it can't change their hair color you know some effects make their look blue or something so they're really tone tuned in with this with the edit so get your edits together make sure they look professional that's right? So the market's changing right as it's evolving I should your business and this this conversation we're having is testament to what I've been telling you all along I'm constantly listening to taylor feedback on what's working what's, not, you know, yesterday we talked about what's not working for seniors are when they bring their sunglasses and I get carried away, and I take too many pictures of that. You start yelling at me, so never a good thing, but this is real world, so you definitely want to learn and and have that feedback loop going.