I don’t like to post images that look like ads. But I am still trying to figure this out, using social media to promote my work, to engage people, to find new clients. I often worry that I’m not doing enough, not reaching out enough. I don’t like self-promotion. But it’s difficult, being your own sales and marketing team. And it’s hard to be subtle and show restraint when your very life depends on the hustle.
I’d like to think that my work speaks for itself, and it does, to a degree. But it’s a whisper. It’s a low voice in a sea of shouts. Slow and steady wins the race, they say. Be patient, they say. It takes years to build a business. Is that what I’m doing? I didn’t think of it like that six years ago when I embarked upon this crazy dream. I just followed the breadcrumbs, and crumbs they were. But I hustled gigs, and people helped spread the word, and I’m still in the game. For now.
My goal has always been to create portraits that you’d stop and look at. I wanted you feel something. I...
This is the first portrait I ever got paid for. I got $50 which is not a livable wage for all the time and work involved but what I learned was invaluable. North-facing windows, I discovered, provide the best light. And the serendipity of location my ally.
I began my portrait photography career as a Task Rabbit which gave me experience and helped me build my portfolio. But it was no way to live. The so-called ‘gig economy’ is rigged. Service providers compete on price. It’s a race to the bottom. In order to win projects you have to bid blind, and bid low. There was no way I could make it as a photographer that way.
But how DO you make it? I don’t know. Word of mouth and constant hustle. It’s not enough to be good. You have to be lucky, and dogged. And you need friends. Thank God for my friends. Gratitude is always helpful but what I’m really here to talk about is authenticity. Truth. My photos strive for a certain truth in how they portray the people in them.