Whenever I tell people how I get most of my photography work, they're facial expression usually says it all. It's a mix of fear, disgust and confusion.
"You pitch yourself? Isn't that really scary?"
The answer is simple: at first it is, but eventually, it gets easier.
The second question is always: "Why pitch? Why not just market yourself?"
The reality is that I've learnt over the years that simply "marketing yourself" isn't enough in the commercial/fashion photography world.
I like to put it this way: if you sit around waiting for everyone to always find you, you could be waiting your whole life. Equally, waiting for people to come to you often leads to photographers taking on absolutely any job which lands in their inbox. The whole point of becoming a photographer (for most of us) was to shoot images we love! At least, thats why I started.
I've always had ambitions. I've admired certain brands. I've got a certain kind of image I'm drawn to.
When I wasn't pitching myself, I felt like I'd never be able to work for the brands I dreamt of because "how would they ever find me?!"
Pitching means that we, as photographers, get to take control over our careers once again. No more refreshing our inboxes, waiting, and hoping that someone perfect for us will email us.
Of course, that doesn't mean to say that you shouldn't do other forms of marketing (I love marketing!), but pitching has become the biggest way that I get my work.
I want you to start thinking about this. I want you to make a list of the brands you dream of working for. Let your imagination run wild! Look at your portfolio; can you see your style suiting a particular brand? Or if you look at a brand you dream of shooting for, and realise that your portfolio doesn't suit them... go out and shoot something that you feel you could show them!
I know some of this might sound crazy, and scary but I promise you that it works. It's ok to dream big. It's ok to have ambition. It's ok to put yourself out there in front of the people you want to work with.
No fashion photographers got to shoot for Chanel, or Vogue, or Harpers Bazaar, or D&G by waiting for an email to land in their inbox.
I hope this acts as a little inspiration to put yourself out there :) Let me know if you have any more questions about pitching!
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