Brand, Portfolios and Background – Stuff I struggle with.

As a photographer, I love to make photographs.  I love to take the time to make something look perfect – or to capture that single fleeting moment in time when something, or more likely, someone, does look perfect.

So editing is a struggle for me.  It means lots of sitting down and going through all the images I captured and figuring out which ones are the better ones of the few, which should have some tweaks added. (I do 90+% of my editing in lightroom, so I don’t have the huge change ability given by photoshop.)

But harder than editing is brand building, portfolios and target markets.  I find since I’ve started this journey that I spend more time reading things like this sales technique book called WOMBAT selling.  I don’t think it’s bad, or dry reading even – this book in particular strikes a chord with me – I am interested in it’s message.  But it’s not something I’d have read before I ran my own business.

I’m constantly trying to update my portfolio.  I just put this one together on Snapixel – a site that I have stock photography on sale through.  It’s why I chose this fun theme for my website based on wordpress instead of building it – I wanted something worthy of building a real portfolio, and Photocrati seem to have figured it out – even if I haven’t figured out how best to exploit it.

It’s why I’m having a hell of a time figuring out what images I want in my real portfolio and hung on my wall in my office.  Because really, what you show is what you get.  But what I want to do isn’t something there is much market for in our small town.  Nor do I have much in my portfolio right now that is the type of photography I want to do.  I need to use my portfolio, and my website, and my word of mouth and every other tool available to me to build a brand that people want to stick with – I just worry about pigeonholing myself by building a brand that is too specific.  Yet I worry about building a brand that has no momentum because it is so widespread and generalized.

Jasmine Star wrote today about branding – in her case helping her sister build a brand for her wedding so that everyone who is involved in the creative process of a wedding – and believe me, it’s a lot more than I thought before I got married! – are on the same page and working from the same brand.

I need to do the same thing for myself and my photography business.  While still getting a chance to get out there and make photographs.  The balance – I love doing one, but the other is important, but not if it interferes too much with the first.  See the rub?

It is probably my greatest challenge.  I will rise to it though, because that’s what we do when we’re passionate about what we do.

Later friends.

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Jeff Closs

Photographer/Owner at J Closs Photography
Jeff is a portrait photographer based in Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada.He is also a geek, and a dad.When he grows up he hopes to be a superhero, a firefighter or lead the resistance against an alien invasion.
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