Many people think the job of a photographer means they are going to just be paid to take photos for a living. Unfortunately this is only half the truth.

Being a great photographer is not the only skill you need. Your ‘Photography IQ’ could be really high and you might be taking incredible photos. However this is just one element of the steps to photography business success.

In my Aspire & Thrive Workshop I start with an important chat about this as a bit of a stark warning to aspiring photographers. Being a great photographer is just a third of what it takes to running a successful photography business. We need to tackle two other big areas, beyond taking awesome photos, if we are going to make a good go of things.

The first is ‘Emotional IQ.’ For people photographer’s this is so important. What does this mean? Quite simply it’s about empathy. Which out in the field is understanding, in the moment, how people how are feeling. It is understanding the dynamics of a wedding day for example. If we can’t relate to people, we can’t interact with them in the way we’ll get those genuine, honest snapshots of time. Relating people well is a huge step to authentic storytelling.

The other important IQ area (the third, and in reality the foundation, of the triangle) is ‘Business & Marketing IQ.’ We might be great photo takers. We might be awesome with people and have really high ‘Emotional IQ’, but we also need to know how to promote ourselves. If we don’t know how to do this, and ultimately get bookings, we are going to struggle big time. And whilst taking photos is great fun, if it doesn’t generate consistent profit, it is not a viable business and you will be back doing the job you didn’t enjoy before.

Investing in your knowledge of marketing (and within it branding) is one of the best things you could do this year. I am launching a new course to help those who have a bit of a mental block on this area and to arm you with the skills needed so look out for more information on that soon!