Over the last few years there's been a massive increase in the number of artists stepping into the professional photography space, and calling themselves "professional." There are a lot of different aspects to being a professional photographer beyond business cards and a billing system. I've written a lot about trust, client relationships and customer service, but this morning it's about your skill set and your gear.
You've got to have the skill set to deliver what you promise and meet your client's expectations. That means getting great results no matter what Mother Nature throws your way. Whether outside or inside, you need to be able to control the environment and capture outstanding images. You need to understand lighting, posing, composition and exposure along with every aspect of your gear.
As a wedding photographer, for example, you're on location and need depth in your lens selection to deal with the environment. David Ziser does an excellent presentation called "Big Church, Little Church." By changing focal lengths, depending on the area he has to shoot in, he's able to maintain stunning bridal portraits and totally control his environment. He's always ready for whatever challenge comes his way.
One other aspect, so important to being a professional is having depth in your gear. That means backup equipment, so if something unexpected happens, you're ready. I'm always amazed at a photographer who takes on an assignment with one camera body, lens and flash.
Remember Murphy's Law: If anything can go wrong, it will. Then remember Murphy's Second Law: Murphy was an optimist!
Those aspects of defining yourself as a pro mean you need to know what you're doing in ANY situation. That's a key to what I love about what Tamron has been doing for the past few years. Their crew of outstanding tech reps are on the road all year long teaching and helping photographers become stronger in so many different categories.
In November the Mobile Learning Center is on the road hitting three key topics in Dallas and Arlington, Texas, Las Vegas and Riverside, California. They're focusing on three primary topics, Travel and Nature Techniques, The Art of Macro and Lighting Like a Pro. Regardless of your specialty, there are aspects of each to help you raise the bar on your skill set. Plus, at every program, they're available to help answer your questions on other challenges. There's also an opportunity for you to check out both the new and the tried and true lenses in Tamron's product line.
Tamron's crew is there to help you become a stronger artist. Check out the schedule for the Mobile Learning Center with a click on the van up top. Check out their YouTube archives for great technique and a better understanding of how to create "wow" images. (A "wow" image is one that's so good, you'd only need to show that one image to get hired!" Visit Tamron at any of the upcoming conventions you're headed to in the new year. The Tamron team needs to be in your network.
Last on the list, Tamron's engineering team never slows down. They keep introducing new and outstanding optics and the best way to check out Tamron's quality for yourself is to visit a Tamron dealer. Just click on the link below.
Remember, you've chosen to be in a word-of-mouth profession. Any moron can get their first customer. The key is to get your second, third and fourth clients and have all of them telling their friends. If you miss the mark and they're unhappy, especially when you're just starting out, you'll spend more time hiding from disappointed clients than building your business!
You need to build your reputation on a solid foundation of technique and understanding how capture stunning images. Best of all the Tamron team is there to help!