Motivation can make you a successful professional photographer! Or can it??

The one thing that eludes me on a constant basis is MOTIVATION. I can be pretty lazy at times. My wife can attest to that. When it comes to staying motivated to build my brand as a photographer, I have to admit that I have been pretty slack since I decided to go full on pro.

My mentor, whom I respect beyond measure, is a pretty successful photographer who has photographed some pretty big brands. He has given plenty of advice and has guided me in the direction I need to go. Pretty much copying his business plan would have all but guaranteed at least some success IF I would have stayed on track.

What was my problem? Why do I constantly lose my motivation? Frustration! Frustration from being rejected by more businesses than I care to admit. Reasonable quotes being turned down because the client says I don’t have what they need in my portfolio for the project they are doing. But, I know I can do the shots they need. Knowing that you can do the shots isn’t enough in this day and age.

Also, not seeing immediate results from what effort I have put into the brand. I will tell you from experience, success in photography will not happen over night. At least not profitable success. There is a big difference in staying busy and being profitable. I personally do not want to be one who stays busy but gets paid peanuts for hard work. I feel that my skill level and experience can justify my higher rates compared to someone who is just starting out, but the low ball quotes will always get in the way of landing good photography gigs.

That is another big reason why I lose motivation on a constant basis. There are plenty of folks out there that charge such a low price for the same services I provide, but they lack the experience and proper equipment to do a phenomenal job. Don’t get me wrong, there are some that will do a good job, but are underselling themselves by charging crazy low fees for all of the work that is involved with certain projects.

Anyway, I know it is very hard to keep moving forward with all of the things that can and will get you down when I comes to being a successful and profitable photographer, but I will say that we all need to ignore the rejection and learn from our mistakes. Always keep striving to get better.

Posted in General, Horse photography, Location Headshots, Peter Hurley Tagged , , |

Horse Photography in and around Wake Forest, NC

horseEyeHorse Photography in the Wake Forest, NC Area

Here’s a little history about how I became specialized in equine photography and how it has become a passion for me……

When the day came to retire from law enforcement after eighteen years of service because of a busted knee, I contemplated what I was going to do to make up for the loss of income. I lost a lot of sleep thinking about how I will help support my family, but I was not going to let it beat me. After all, I was a veteran police officer that dealt with the worst of society for many years and a simple thing like finding supplemental income was no problem! Right? What should I do??

I had already been partaking in photography as a hobby since the early 90’s anyway, with an occasional paying gig, so I thought I would just dive in and go full time with it. So I thought…..

My early struggle was to decide what niche to fill. I despised doing weddings and I can’t chase down children for family portraits with a bad knee. Then, the idea smacked me upside the head when I see horses everywhere around Wake Forest, NC. I mean, it seems that every country road I drive down has a horse in the field or even a farm dedicated to horse boarding and training.  I have always admired horses. And, despite having a few bad experiences with them like almost being bucked off, one stepping on my foot and one that was super stubborn and would rather eat than listen to me, I still liked them.

That was it!! I would focus(pun intended) on horse photography!!

Now what? To build my portfolio, I had to do a few shoots for free. I quickly found out that I not only liked photographing horses, but doing so helped bring out creativity that I did not realize I had!

As I mentioned earlier, there seems to be a sizable population of horse owners in this area and I have been on and seen some remarkable farms.  Farms that are full of color and great backgrounds for this type of photography.  I have also photographed horses on small plots in back yards.  Do not think that just because you believe you have an unflattering back yard fenced in for a horse that you can’t take great photos.  There’s a lot I can do with depth of field and camera positioning to bring out the beauty of your horse.

Now, I also had to decide how I would go about the type of packages I would have available. I do not do horse events unless I have been hired by a horse owner or the manager of an event. I don’t just travel to them, shoot away and hope I can sell some images while I am there. I tend to lean more towards the security of a more guaranteed  payment.

I still delve quite regularly into commercial photography as well as events, but the core part of my business entails photographing horses and their owners.
As of now, I rely mainly on word of mouth and referrals to get my business, as my website does not quite get the traffic I would like. That’s another story for later…..

(Enter plea for help here) Having said that, if you or someone you know has horses, I would gladly put a quote together for you 😉

Posted in Equine photography, General, Horse photography Tagged , , , |

Am I ready To Be A Professional Photographer?

“Am I Ready To Be Professional Photographer? Part 1

I have asked myself that very question so many times since I retired form eighteen years of being a cop. I have dabbled in photography since the early 90’s but bought my first digital camera in Photographer Holding Camera Outside 2006. That purchase opened up a whole new world to me. I have since bought much better, and more expensive equipment in anticipation of my retirement because I knew that I wanted to be a “professional.” But, was I ready?

In this first blog of a series about my journey to become a pro, I will briefly cover what I have experienced in my first months at my attempt to achieve this goal.

I will say that it has not been easy and I knew it wouldn’t be. If it weren’t for a good photographer friend that opened my eyes to the dynamics of being a true professional, I seriously have my doubts that I would be where I am today as far as my skills and knowledge base. I mean this guy IS a pro and his work shows that he has been in the photography business for quite some time.

It has been an uphill battle with doubts about my skills and the daily tasks that I had no idea were necessary to keep above the rest of the endless number of “pros” in my area. Website maintenance, blogging, social media, networking groups. The list goes on.

My first priority has been to build my portfolio. To do this I have occasionally had to take photos for free. Yes, I said for FREE! In order to have a solid portfolio with a variety of images, I had to work many times for free. No one, in their right mind, will hire a “pro” that does not have proof of their work. This had to be done and I am still building my portfolio.

Second, I am always reading, studying, shooting. Then repeating.

The training NEVER stops. Even the guy I mentioned above is constantly trying new things. I can compare images I took last year with images I took recently and there is a big difference because I am always trying to improve. Keep training. Keep pressing on and your work will sell itself.

Am I ready to be a professional? My hard work has paid off. I can definitely do the job at a “pro” level. It can only get better from here because of the solid foundation that has been set by my mentor and friend, the “Professional!” You know who you are. Thanks, friend…..

Posted in Photography Tips Tagged , , , , , |

Headshot Photographer – Wake Forest NC and North Raleigh

Headshot Photography of Young WomanAlthough I provide headshot services all over the Triangle, Wake Forest is a town that I know a lot of people. It’s also so close to North Raleigh
via New Falls of Neuse that I can easily provide headshot services to both North Raleigh and Wake Forest on the same morning or afternoon.

I make headshot services easy by bringing the studio to you. Whether it’s one per person or five people needing headshots for LinkedIn, a Company Website or other professional use need, I make it convenient by coming to you.

My pricing is competitive for the Triangle area, but it’s not all about the price. Price is just one of the many factors that you should consider. Service before, during and after the sell are very important. Conveneince is also another key factor that should be considered. So if you are talking with other photographers about headshot photography be sure to not only consider the price but the other factors involved.

If you are in need of headshot photography for Wake Forest or North Raleigh, please feel free to call me at 919.271.4198 or use my contact form.

Posted in Professional Headshots Tagged , , , , |