Teaching You How To PhotoHustle

I've added a new label (Photographers Tips To Learn - found on the
sidebar) of my blog. This collection builds a series of how to hustle and make money with your photography.

In my last post Camera and a Kayak I shared a photo exploration/ told you I go on photo-walks to prevent becoming overwhelm. It's a little ironic that I take pictures to get away from my photography. As a photographer you must always be shooting and always have a camera with you. Shooting more will help you become familiar with your camera and it will definitely improve the way you see things. However the most important thing for a photographer (other than composition development) is to learn mind control; controlling your own mindset.

Kevin's, Bruce Wayne by Day, Batman at Night, about routines segregations and tips for major success inspired me to write this article; from a photographers point of view.

Before I serve recipes that work for me, here's the appetizer: You must be a hustler in the photography industry and it's a must to hustle hard - if you want to make it big!

The Fork In The Road and Making Your Name

For starters, being a photographer is tough, but, I say the same about being a professional basketball player. The last three years I've read the gossip in our photography community (mainly the older photographers), talking about too many people are calling themselves photographers because of the affordability of SLR cameras. My logic remains: anyone can buy a basketball used in the NBA but it's what you do with the basketball that makes you the LeBron James and the Kobe Bryant; it's what you do with your camera that will make you the photographer you'll become.

If you are thinking about becoming a professional photographer you must really think about it and decide if this is what you want to do. Decisions are to be made from: I'm I willing to put the amount of time in that's needed (based on how quick you learn), I'm I willing to cut down other expenses to invest in my career (ended my long distance puppy love relationship; became expensive if you're coming into this game as broke as I once was) and is this something I'm really passionate about and want to making an awesome living from.

The decision were made now what?

From Kevin's article.

If Bruce Wayne had a clone with a camera, in the day, here's a list of things he would be doing and why: reading books and blogs, commenting on blogs, writing proposals, sharing your work and networking; shooting for 'overwhelm-symptom' prevention or shooting on set of your own photo shoot.

Reading books and blogs: You've made a decision of the lifestyle you want to live. My decision was to travel to tropical locations and photograph commercially for clients and photograph commercial lifestyle advertising for clothing brands (I'm writing this write now from my room overviewing the beautiful waters of the Bahamas - where I am from; here's a photograph I tweeted using Photo Booth and TwitPic for you to see). Most of the things I read are to help me stay updated of what's going on in the industries wether it's about business deals that are being made, events that's going on, books and blogs to help me photograph better for these clients, books and blogs to help me write better proposals/ pitch better to clients etc. Read books and blogs that will add value to your career. (Follow my blog now.)

Commenting on blogs: I comment on blogs for two reasons, it gets my name out to other photographers and it shows other photographers that I really care about the community. I think work should be critiqued. When I critique I leave detailed comments and I encourage people who are trying to keep trying to become better. (When you follow the blog, you'll see, when I share, sometime in the near (I didn't rhyme intentionally), a beautiful story about the best life changing comment I left on a blog. You never know what can happen in life. Explore (smartly) until you figure out.

Writing Proposals: You've decided that you want to make a living at being a photographer, you can make an easy living quickly if you became a wedding photographer. I have nothing against wedding photography (it's just not for me because of personal reasons). I said you can make an easy living quickly because people are always getting married. I wonder if there's such thing as a divorced photographer. If so you'll probably become a billionaire photographer very quickly now-a-days. Shout-out to all wedding photographers! Jasmine Star I see you!

Back to the proposals shall we - practice formatting your proposal to make deals (big deals = big money), I'm constantly pushing and editing proposals to help me explain myself clear to make deals quicker (show tell and show your client your vision; it's in your head now get it in theirs). If you want to make money you must communicate with your clients. (I'll post about in this new Photographers Tips To Learn section as well; look out for it when it comes.)

Sharing Your Work and Networking: In order to share work you must create work first. The best way to make a name for yourself is to let your work speak for itself. The only way to make your work say good things about you is to keep on shooting, practicing and editing; perfecting your photography. Networking for me all falls under: commenting on blogs, creating better work that people will spread word of mouth on and writing/sharing images via social media (if you're reading this now then I must be doing something good in my networking department) and finally attending events to Network. Photoshop World is coming up, I went last year but I'm not able to attend this year if you see Scott Kelby tell him I made you sign up and send a hello for me. (Click here for more information and to sign up for PSW)

If Batman had a clone with a camera; in the night, here's a list of things he would be doing and why: editing proposals for shipment and editing photos for shipment to appropriate destinations.

Daym we're back to proposals! It must be really important for a photographer. Yes it is. After you've edit your proposal, go back and edit again. I spend time writing my proposals making sure that I explain the value of my service to my client. I don't want my client to become less interested in my service because of silly grammatical mistakes. It takes a lot of work but we're all human, therefore we make mistakes. I make them here all the time on the blog and other places I write. I even make them in my twitter tweets at times. The simple answers to correcting your mistakes are: one, get someone to read what you write and the more you practice the better you'll become. (I make my computer read back to me as I follow along; explore the speech section if you have an Apple computer. It's in your system preferences.)

Both day and night you should always be thinking of new ideas and writing them down. On that note I'll end this with - Keep On Hustlin', stay creative, and I wish you the best of luck being a PhotoHustla!
Follow Dwayne on Twitter: @DwayneTucker
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Patrick said...

Great info DT!
thank you for sharing. I think more people need to hear this kind of stuff.

Patrick Warneka

j.t.bailey said...

Hey Dwayne, I'm a new photographer and I wanted to email you personally about your techniques(this is based on your work on your other website DwayneTucker.com regarding skateboarding), like the lens you used what you were thinking about. I am in grade 10 and I am taking a SHSM(specialist High skills major) in film and editing and I wanted to really get into your head and learn all I can. It is my dream to photograph and film skateboarding. Is their an email I can speak to you from ?

Dwayne Tucker said...

Keep on Shooting; Keep on Hustling!
Check your email cuz!

Nassau, Bahamas | Miami, Florida