Erik Almas shares his thoughts on marketing. An outtake from the upcoming DVD with Erik Almas

Erik Almas shares his thoughts on marketing. An outtake from the upcoming DVD with Erik Almas

Text Onscreen: Photographer Erik Almas on
aspects of image making. An excerpt from the upcoming DVD ‘On Aspects of Image Making.’
Outtake from the chapter on marketing. Erik Almas: What I find fascinating about
photography today is the wealth of pictures. There are so many pictures being made. There’s
so much imagery and there are so many websites and magazines. We’re surrounded by imagery
all day long. It inspires me to be a better photographer. I think the whole community,
the whole craft of photography’s been elevated since cameras got so inexpensive and the accessibility
and availability of the tools to make pictures have gotten so affordable. Anyone now can
be a photographer. It’s a great, great thing. I feel we all work harder at producing better
pictures. Within that context of the wealth of photography
and imagery, it’s standing out. It’s becoming increasingly hard to be noticed, to get hired,
and to get some appreciation and feedback for the pictures that you take. I get a lot
of questions about how I made it, how I went about becoming a commercial photographer.
I think the path I took is a little different than the one you have to take today. I want
to share a few things that I think are fairly universal. As photographers, we strive to create something
better all the time. The pictures we take today we won’t like as much tomorrow. The
pictures that we took two weeks ago, they’re definitely not good enough. In that strive
for creating something better, we stop sharing the pictures we take with the world, because
they’re never good enough. The thing is you will always become a better photographer and
the pictures are never good enough because we always want to do better. My philosophy is don’t just wait to the point
where you feel that you’ve got something amazing to show to the world. You have to share it
as soon as you’ve got one picture you’re happy with. My experience was that I stopped assisting,
started producing a portfolio, and two years after I felt I had something great and I started
putting it out there. I realized what happened was I had a great portfolio and I started
marketing that work, and it took another two years of marketing before I got noticed. The
beautiful part about that lesson is if I started both at the same time, building a portfolio
and marketing, those two would have matured at the same time and I would’ve saved myself
a couple of years. Contrary to a lot of other theories that other
people might tell you, I say if you have one good picture, put it out there. I think people
that hire photographers want to discover new talent. If you send out one picture and they
see it, they will go to your website and think this is maybe not good enough, this photographer
isn’t mature. The rest of the work is not as good as that one picture I saw. But, then
you send another one, and you send a third, and you send a fourth. They get to follow
the development of your career. I think people take… I don’t think they will be turned
off by it. They don’t have to see a perfect portfolio. I think they take gratification
in discovering talent and seeing them mature. As your work matures, so does your marketing.
They will evolve at the same time. When you have a perfect portfolio, you will actually
get hired. You won’t have to work on a perfect portfolio and then start marketing and wait
for another two years for that to come to fruition and become hired. I mentioned not sending out one promo piece
but sending out several. I get people asking to assist me all the time. Rarely do I have
someone ask twice or three times. That has only happened a few times, and I remember
those guys’ names. I feel the same should apply to photographers trying to reach the
photo editors or the art buyers. You don’t do it once. You do it consistently over a
longer period of time. As artists, we’re not really all that savvy
when it comes to marketing, but we have to be. In this competitive field that we’re in,
we have to treat the marketing efforts like any other business or product that is trying
to reach a larger audience. We can’t just say I’m going to be discovered or I’m going
to meet the right person. Unless you really connect with them, they will forget the next
hour the moment you’re out of the picture they saw. They will repeatedly need to see
your name. The theory in marketing is that by seven touchpoints
they will start noticing. So, don’t send out one piece. Don’t ask one photographer one
time to assist him. It has to be seven times according to theory before they remember your
name, remember that you knocked on the door, remember the picture you sent. Keep that in
mind. Don’t think that the marketing effort happens once. The marketing effort is a plan,
something that spans a period of two or three years where you say in two or three years
I want to work for these people. Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish. You
make a plan for marketing as well. I’ll show you some of the marketing plans
that I have in place and the goals I have for who I want to work for. We follow this
plan religiously. As you see in this old marketing material I have, I stayed consistent with
my layout and the amount of cards I sent out and who I sent it to for six, seven years
now. In that consistency, people start recognizing your brand and they recognize that this comes
from Erik Almas. I established then some sort of look or some mark that the marketplace
can recognize. For that, I think you will be hired. As we talked about developing your own style
and creating something that’s uniquely yours, I think that’s the only way to be noticed
in this mass of imagery. You have to have something that’s unique, something that’s
representative of you and not everyone else. That’s the only, only way. You start by creating
unique imagery, something that you relate to. Then, you apply that to the marketplace
not once but over a span of two to three years, every month or every other month. Then, as
you mature, your work matures, the marketing efforts mature, and you should be able to,
if done consistently, to break into the marketplace. Text Onscreen: Please visit
for more info.

One comment

  1. Erik! Thank you for taking the time and effort to share your insight and knowledge. This is truly inspiring.

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