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There are a few different reasons why your automotive photography business WON’T succeed. If you are doing any of these then guess what, your business will NOT succeed. If you implement the advice given here into your business, it is almost guaranteed that you will see success sooner or later. The hard part is actually sticking through it and seeing it happen, but the good part is that this is your passion so you are willing to do anything to make it work! Just do it!
 

 
In order for you to succeed in the automotive photography world, you have to be willing to put yourself out there as much as possible, practice and have a unique selling proposition, just to name a few. Why would I choose you to shoot my car over the thousands of other automotive photographers? What makes your images so special?
 
I have compiled a list of the most important things you need to do in order for your automotive photography business to succeed. After all, who wouldn’t want to make a living doing what they love?
 

 
Here are the top 6 things you shouldn’t be doing in your automotive photography to guarantee a successful business, one that you can use to pay the bills. Don’t expect to see results within one week of implementing these, it will take some time, but it is definitely worth it!
 

You Are Not Getting Clients You Are Not Getting Clients

 
What does every business need to succeed? Customers, right? You can’t have a business without someone buying your products or services, you’d go bankrupt quicker than you can say cheeeese.
 
People seem to take this lightly but it is absolutely the most crucial part of any business, it cannot survive without customers!
 


 
The problem is that most automotive photographers don’t go out and look for customers, or clients, whatever you wanna call them. You expect the clients to come to you just from seeing your images somewhere online, it’s not happening. Well, it might happen but it’s rare and you can’t expect to have a successful business if you sit there waiting for them to come to you.
 

How do I find clients/customers?

 
If this is something you’re struggling with, here are a few tips to help you get started. These are not all of the ways to get clients but it’s a good list to help you get a first few clients and then you can work your way up from there. Getting started is the hard part.
 

    – Go to car meets/shows, take pictures of other people’s cars, post them online and tag the owners.

    – Leave your business card with a car enthusiast who you would like to work with

    – Ask your friends if they need any photoshoots

    – Ask your friends to ask their friends if they need any photoshoots

    – Share your posts on all social media sites and get your friends to share it

    – Ask past clients to refer you to one of their friends. Chances are, if that person is a car enthusiast, his friends are as well.

    – Call, email, or ask in person any shops, dealers, or businesses that are car related if they are in need of a photographer.

    – Offer special first-time client discounts.

    – Keep all your clients happy, that includes the past, present, and all future clients.

 

You Are Not Always Practicing You Are Not Constantly Practicing

 
Ever heard the saying “practice makes perfect?” Well, it’s true, the more you practice, the better you become. Did you know that it takes 10,000 hours of doing something in order to master that skill? How many hours have you put in so far?
 
You have probably noticed this first-hand. When you first picked up your camera, how were your shots? Maybe they were good but most people start off having pretty bad shots. Now, let’s look at your current shots. Huge improvement, right? That’s because practice makes perfect. Now imagine how your shots will look 2 years from now, I bet they will look WAY better than they do now. That’s just how this works, the more hours you put in, the better you will be.
 


 
The key here is to keep practicing. I don’t care if you don’t have clients with Lambos, Ferraris, or Bugattis, you have to practice! Otherwise, you will never get a chance to shoot those high-end cars. You have a car, right? Might not be a Ferrari, could be a Corolla, it really doesn’t matter, just go out and practice!
 
A really good photographer can make even a Prius look good in their shots, they don’t need some fancy cars to make the shot look good. Can you do that? No? Then get to practicing! Don’t ever stop practicing!
 

You Stop Hustling You Stop Hustling

 
Every day I’m hustlin, hustlin, hustlin.
Hustle real hard.

 
Seriously, get off your ass and start husting. Everyone wants stuff handed to them, guess what? It’s not happening! You have to work for what you want and give it your all! The hustle never stops!
 


 
How many times have you seen someone become successful in anything without hustling? No one will do the work for you so you have to get out there and hustle your way to the top.
 
The hustle never stops.

The grind never stops.
 
If you want something where you can just chill and not have to hustle then I have to tell you that the automotive photography industry is not your cup of tea because in this business it’s nonstop hustle trying to get clients and keep business booming.
 
How bad do you want it? If this is something you don’t care too much about then your hustle doesn’t really matter but if you want this to become something you can pay your bills with, then you need to get out there and put in the blood, sweat, and tears.
 
Okay, maybe there won’t be any blood or tears but you can bet there will be some sweat! Especially on those hot summer days!
 

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You Don't Have a Unique Selling Proposition You Don’t Have a Unique Selling Proposition

 
Out of all of these automotive photographers, you want me to choose you to shoot my car? Why?
 
If you can’t answer that question then you need to go to the drawing board and figure it out.
 
These days everyone wants to be an automotive photographer so you have to figure out a way to stand out from the rest of them. Do your shots look like everyone else’s or do you have a unique style to offer that no one else can replicate?
 


 
If you don’t have anything special to offer then why would anybody choose you to shoot their car?
 
It’s simple, really, all you gotta do is keep trying different styles until you find one that is unique and works for you. Everyone has their own style, you just gotta figure out a way to show it through your lens.
 
Be different

Be unique
 
Keep in mind that different isn’t always better. The key here is to have a unique style but at the same time make sure you’re producing some great results. Again, it all comes down to the previous 2 tips, keep practicing and keep hustling. At the end of the day, it will all fall into place as long as you keep at it.
 
Give it your all and don’t stop until….

actually

don’t ever stop!
 
If this is something you love to do then I don’t see why you would ever stop doing it.
 
What is your unique selling proposition?
 

You Don't Have a Website You Don’t Have a Website

 
Another reason why your automotive photography business won’t succeed is because you don’t have a website.
 
I get it, you have a Flickr account or a 500px account, I don’t care, that’s not going to work.
 
In order for you to pass yourself off as a professional automotive photographer, you must have a website.
 
You could be the best photographer in the world but if you don’t have a website to showcase your portfolio, to tell prospective clients about yourself, ways to contact you, and to display your services, you will not succeed.
 


 
A 500px portfolio will not tell your clients anything, it won’t tell them you’re available to shoot or that you even shoot professionally. They will just assume that you are a hobbyist.
 
That’s why it’s crucial to provide your information to all eyes, you never know who will want to contact you for a shoot so make it easy for them.
 
In today’s world, it is really easy to have a site up and running in minutes. If you are interested in creating a website but don’t know where to start, just leave me a comment below and let me know. I will do my best to help you since I have some expertise in creating website (just check out LTSC).
 

You Don't Go The Extra Mile You Don’t Go The Extra Mile

 
Last but definitely not least, you don’t go the extra mile for your clients.
 
Everyone can offer a simple USB with all of their clients images on them, but what if you also included a canvas print for your client without them ever knowing about it before.
 
I don’t care what you say, everyone loves surprises.
 
Imagine hiring someone to shoot your car and you pay the regular pricing for 20 photos and they told you that was all that’s included. You get the 20 photos back but they also give you an unexpected canvas print of your car, or a calendar, or whatever, just something that you weren’t expecting, that’s a pretty cool surprise and I’m sure everyone would enjoy getting a little gift from their photographer.
 


 
There are other ways to go the extra mile, not just by gifting products to your clients.
 

    – You can also provide better customer service than anyone else.

    – Provide more images than promised.

    – Keep in touch with your clients and make sure they are happy even after the shoot.

    – Remember birthdates and send canvas prints to your clients as birthday presents.

    – Offer to go to lunch with your client to discuss the shoot before and/or after it’s done.

    – Allow the client to choose his/her favorite images and use one of those for the special gift.

    – Ask your clients to recommend you to others ONLY if they are happy with the results.

    – Ask your clients what could have gone better during the shoot.

    – Check back with your clients in a few months and see if they are interested in another shoot.

 

That’s all folks

 
Keep in mind that this will take time. It is not a get rich quick kind of deal. Look at it this way, you are already spending time doing what you love (shooting cars) so why not make a living off of it so you can focus more time and energy into it. Once you start doing that you will see massive improvements in your shots and all other aspects of your photography.
 
If you follow this guide, you will be on your way to succeeding in the automotive photography business in no time.
 
Don’t let anyone tell you that you will never make it, it’s up to you whether you make it or not. Do you have enough motivation to keep going? Do you have the skills or are you constantly practicing? Do you have a unique style? Do your clients enjoy working with you over and over again? Do you clients feel happy knowing their car is in your hands?
 

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To help you get started, I have included a worksheet and a business blueprint that you can follow to help you succeed in the automotive photography world. Make sure you download it so you can get the most benefits out of this post.
 

What have you taken from this post that will help you in the future? Please share in the comments below.

If this has helped you in ANY way, please hit one of the share buttons so we can get it in front of the eyes of many other photographers.

 


 

Feature image credit: Aleksandr Poltavskiy
Categories: Blog

Elvis

Elvis is the creator of Learn To Shoot Cars (LTSC) and an experienced automotive photographer. With 15+ years of photo retouching and 5+ years of car photography experience, Elvis brings some of the best information to automotive photographers.

2 Comments

Adam Midghall · December 18, 2015 at 11:49 AM

i have wanted to start a website for a while but i don’t have any experience. what programs or websites or tips in general do i need to get a modern smart website?

    Elvis Pasic · December 19, 2015 at 8:16 PM

    There are several different ways to create one, two ways I recommend are either through http://www.squarespace.com or http://www.wordpress.com
    Squarespace is easier to use for a portfolio site. WordPress is more of a blog platform but has a lot more extras via plugins that can do almost everything you need for a website.
    Since you’re just starting out I would recommend using Squarespace because it has a friendlier user interface so it’s easier to use.
    You’ll also need a domain name which you can buy on http://www.godaddy.com, that’s what I use. They usually have $1 domains so look for the coupon on Google. Your domain name should be as close as possible to your name or the name of your business. Don’t get anything hard to spell or remember.
    If you need anymore help, feel free to e-mail me at elvis@learntoshootcars.com

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