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The Business of Commercial Photography: The Survival Guide

Lesson 5 of 30

Building a Brand


The Business of Commercial Photography: The Survival Guide

Lesson 5 of 30

Building a Brand


Lesson Info

Building a Brand

So with that, we're gonna move into branding. Are there any questions, kind of wrapping up that last section, before we move on? Who can tell me what a brand is? You can just shout out, what do you think is a brand? Laying out expectations. Laying out expectations? Identity. Identity. A point of view. View. Consistency. Consistency. Style. Style. So brand today, is the entire experience of working with you. It can be made up of lots of little things, like a logo, or you know, your portfolio, but it's, literally, everything. It's someone's first interaction with your website, it's someone meeting you on the street, meeting you on set. It's someone talking to a friend that's met you and what they say about you. All those things go in to make up what brand is. And to build a brand, you have to know who you are and you have to have a vision. It's the same thing with your work. There shouldn't be a disconnect between you and your work and your brand. You don't wanna be c...

reating, you know, conceptual, quirky portraits and then have a brand that's targeting very traditional clients that don't want humor and don't want to do anything ... There's a disconnect there, that's not gonna work. So your brand needs to line up with who you are and with your work. So think about who are your customers, who are they currently and who do you wanna be working with? How are you gonna reach those people? What do you want to mean to your customers? What do you want them to think about you for? Or why do you want them to come to you? What's the experience that you want them to have? How do you want them to feel when they see your work? These are all things, and you can go on and on and on, but you have to be intentional, again, just like we talked about with creating work. When it comes to building your brand, you need to be intentional about thinking about these kinds of things, so that you can make informed decisions. It's not your whole brand, visual identity, but it is a part and it is an important part. I think it used to be that people thought a logo was a brand, and that maybe was. But today, again, it's about the experience, the entire experience. But we have to start somewhere, so we'll start with visual identity, because I think this is one of the first things that photographers should be thinking about. And it's a good place to break into this conversation.

Class Description

Whether just starting out in the commercial photography industry, or ready for a new chapter in your career, John Keatley shows you how to survive in a competitive field. Known for being innovative, creative and thinking outside the box when it comes to his photography, John applies those same skills into running his business. In this in-depth course, John shares some of the key elements that allow you to be an artist and a business owner. You’ll learn:

  • How to find your style and attract the clients you want
  • How to create a bid
  • The importance of drafting a treatment
  • Estimates and billing for your work
  • Planning and scheduling your production
  • Tips on memorable branding
  • The difference between an Art Director/Agent/Art Buyer
  • Techniques for editing your portfolio

If you’re at the start of your career or ready to expand your client list, this course will be the game changer you need to create a solid foundation for a thriving business.


Bonnie Aunchman

John & Creative Live - Thank you - Best. Class. Ever.! This is a GREAT class! If you are a photographer, this is definitely a MUST GET class, but even if you work with photographers as part of a creative team - you have to take this class. (I'm a Photo Stylist) John covers it ALL in this class - it really, truly is a Survival (Success) Guide. John is so detailed, honest, and generous in his knowledge/experience/wisdom in the commercial photography industry in helping you understand the business and really succeed (& stand out). When I see that John is teaching a class on Creative Live - I'm in! (I have his other valuable courses as well)

a Creativelive Student

I was lucky to be part of the studio audience for this course. John is an awesome teacher and did an outstanding job of making sense of a very difficult side of photography for a creative to understand. He shared his 18+ years of experience, including the good and bad he has gone through. The "special guests" alone are worth the cost of this class. John has an amazing team working beside him behind the scenes. Their perspective on his business was priceless!

Joseph Brewster

John gave an enormous amount of insight and practical advice in this comprehensive course. I really enjoyed a course focused more on commercial and editorial rather than wedding and family, which is more common. Great info and great work all around!

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