Being a photographer is a dream that many people have. However, it can be hard to get started. Ace photographer Hikmat Wehbi shares his insights about becoming a well-known photographer and building a strong clientele.
Wehbi started his photography journey working for the Daily Star newspaper in Beirut. Today, he’s the Director of Photography, Creative Director, and Founder of W Studio, one of the oldest photo and video production houses in Dubai. He has more than 20 years of extensive experience in the field, and he’s worked with clients like Google, Chanel, Dior, L’Oreal, and Dubai Parks and Resorts. W Studio has received several awards and accolades over the years. In 2017, one of Hikmat’s clients won an Effie Award through a work collaboration with W Studio for Google.
Here are some tips that Hikmat wants you to know about getting more clients for your budding photography business.
1. Choose a focus.
“Most people start out wanting to take photos of everything,” said Wehbi. “It’s better to become great at taking pictures of one type, like weddings, food, nature, or fashion.” Selecting a focus will make it easier for potential clients to find you and use your services. It also gives you the chance to be the very best in your field.
2. Develop a fantastic portfolio.
Creating an impeccable portfolio is probably the number one way to get new and long term clients. “They need to see what you can do,” said Hikmat. “If they don’t see work that fits their vision, they won’t want to hire you. Make your portfolio sing.”
3. Build a great website.
“If you have a great website, it will get jobs for you without you lifting a finger,” said Wehbi. “I worked with a designer to build my fantastic portfolio website, and it’s helped.” There are premium website builders like SquareSpace and Wix that can help you build your own if you can’t afford a professional designer. Make sure it’s easy to navigate and that your content is stunning.
4. Create a brand.
Creating a brand does a great deal to help you market yourself. It can involve creating a logo, adding some flair to your digital presence, and carefully choosing your communication strategy. “Having clear communication and a strong brand image makes the client feel like they know you before they even meet you,” said Hikmat. “You want to let them know what you’re all about as soon as possible.”
5. Go above and beyond.
When you’re just starting and fighting for clients, you need to do everything you can to impress them. This could mean giving them extra prints for free, extending the photoshoot time, or showcasing their photos on your site. “Make an amazing impression,” said Wehbi. “If they’re blown away by you, they’re more likely to recommend you to other people. You never know what connection could lead to your first big client.”
Hikmat Wehbi transformed W Studio into a leading production house as he sought opportunity amidst adversity. He remained open to new ideas and was constantly adapting and evolving his approach. It is what made W Studio so successful today. If you want to grow your budding photography business, this advice from famed photographer Hikmat Wehbi could be your game changer. If you’re willing to put the effort in, you could someday achieve success, just as Hikmat Wehbi did.
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