Photography Tips by Michael de Nysschen

Shoot what you enjoy

A great part of becoming successful as a photographer is shooting what you love.  There is nothing more rewarding than shooting what you are passionate about and seeing the result displayed and recognised by your peers and those that appreciate what you do.  When you are shooting what you enjoy, you will never feel constrained or limited to a certain style or type of photo.  It will always be rewarding; you will constantly learn or see something new.

Develop your own style and perfect it

There is nothing more rewarding than having people recognise your work just by looking at it.  Find your own style, develop, and perfect it.  With the massive number of photographers out there, you will need to find a way to stand out and be recognisable.

Success is based on one thing…

Work harder than last time, and harder than 99% of any other photographer.  Make an effort to improve constantly.  Learn new editing techniques that fit in with your type of photography.  NEVER think that you know all there is to know.

Be aware of social media

Remember to use social media to your advantage.  Learn to exploit every opportunity with regards to creating awareness of your business, who you are and what you do.  It may not have immediate results, but somewhere along the line your name will be mentioned and repeated as someone that knows what they are doing.  Our social media platforms have taken ownership of the digital side of our businesses and marketing.  When you take the time to learn how to use social media, it will work for you.

Follow the leaders, but don’t copy them

Each genre in photography has their leaders and those that everyone looks up to.  One thing they all have in common though is that they do the basics the same.  So, what makes them different?  It’s the subtle difference in the interpretation of a scene, a moment or an event that makes them stand out. Everyone can take a photo of a lion at a waterhole, but only one or two images have that wow factor. A drop of water, eye contact just above water level, or the perfect depth of field makes a shot stand out.  Look at the work of those that have made a name for themselves, study their work, think of how you might have done something differently and then apply it.  Just because they do it a certain way, doesn’t mean you should. Follow, never copy.

Understand the business of photography

Photography can be very rewarding, or very discouraging.  Make a concerted effort to plan for your future.  Set up payment orders for pension and savings.  Make sure you have a few months income put away in case of injury or sickness.  There are great photographers out there that cannot make a living because they don’t know the basics of business when it comes to photography.  Then there are some mediocre photographers that have waiting list the length of my arm. Learn how to promote yourself and stick to it.  Show confidence in your work.  People are going to use your services mostly because of you.  Your photography is the cherry on top.

Diversify

Yes, I know I said shoot what you love, but I also said never stop learning.  That doesn’t mean that you cannot diversify and add to the services you provide to clients.  With the pandemic our whole world has endured, many businesses and services providers have been forced to adapt.  I specialise in architecture, real estate, and interior photography. However, I provide services such as product photography and the odd fitness shoot to some clients.  Do I market myself as a product photographer or fitness photographer?  Not at all, but it has often helped in a pinch when my main line of income went quiet.  Make use of your knowledge and photographic skill to provide other services as well.  Know your strengths and find ways to apply them to other genres of photography.  It will never hurt having another genre in which you are good at to strengthen your business.

Text and images by Sigma Ambassador Michael de Nysschen of Miracle Moments