If you're new around here you may not know that for years this blog was the 'Sally Manlove Photography' blog. It now serves the purpose of just an outlet for a hobby, but I'll include some of my portrait work in this post for those of you who may not be familiar.
First off, if I were starting my business right now I would focus on micro-blogging. Specifically Instagram & short videos on various channels. This blog is fun, but the numbers show that for gaining business, a blog is not a very effective way for most people to do so anymore. Research what connects with an Instagram audience and above all be yourself, be genuine.
Find your style. This is hard because you probably have been stalking your favorite photographer on Pinterest and on their social media. You are heavily influenced by their style and that is OK. Think about what it is in their styles that are similar and what your takeaways can be. For example, instead of copying an exact pose in a similar looking spot, think about what the pose emulates (romantic? fun? cozy?) and what it is about the background that draws your attention. Is it color? Lines? Softness? Urban? Coffee shop cozy? Write down a few "feeling" words about your favorite images and instead of copying, drive around pre-session and find spots that speak those words to you. Think about your poses and draw them out/write them down if you must. I've referenced a notebook in many a photo shoot very quickly- ain't no thang.
Have a craft- don't experiement on clients. Experiement on your family and friends. Be sure they are comfortable with you sharing images before you do. When you start, take a few days to re-evaluate images and make sure they are what you want to put out in the world as your personal branded photography. Take awhile to figure out how you want your images to look, your clients to feel, what you like to shoot (Weddings, Families, Events, Babies), and be picky. I personally only showed my best work on blog posts and of course on my website. That being said, I still had to make sure that those 'best' images represented my work and that I could deliver in the future with similar results on a consistent basis.
Don't put other photographers down and DO make friends. There is no need to have a bad attitude towards others in the same industry. We're all just trying our best. Network, make friends, and be humble. Learn something from everyone you meet whether you deem them more or less advanced than you.
Honor your work and honor others. Remember that people can be sensitive about their bodies, their skin, their anything. It is up to you to make them look their best. Communicate effectively your ideas ahead of time to make sure your client is comfortable with the concept. Make them feel their best and they will in turn almost always honor your talent and craft as well (and pay for it!).
Keep Learning. It can be easy to get stuck after you get comfortable with the knowledge you needed to get the job done. Keep learning. Push yourself to shoot different places with new perspectives. Try a really different lens. Just, for the love- don't experiment with things on paying clients and NEVER on an event or wedding.
I hope these tips help you in beginning your photography journey. Thanks for stopping by!