Find the right words about your work
by Silke Güldner, Coach & Consultant for Photographers and Creatives.
The "about" texts in photographers' portfolios are often not very creative or meaningful. Somewhat unimaginative seem texts that describe that one has photography in the blood and has been taking pictures since childhood, or got the first camera. Other texts read like from a poetry album or like an application for a date. Do you think your clients will be interested? It's often not easy to talk or even write about yourself. Do you feel the same way? Yet the person behind the photography is just as exciting as the work, and visitors to your website want to know who's behind it.
Make them curious!
So what is it that someone interested in your work should know about you so that they seek out contact with you? With the power of online marketing, meaningful self-promotion for photographers has not only become easier, but hugely important. With a single search engine query, everything there is to know about you becomes visible. What you have written for your website and also what is circulating about you on other platforms.
Take control of what you want clients to know about you, because a good "about" text can turn visitors into clients if you hit the right tone. You don't have to write a biography in the form of a novel, and it's not important that you relentlessly disclose all of your career stages. What counts is that you write something about yourself that relates to what you want to do for your clients and what you stand for as a person with your photography.
Give an overview!
I often ask photographers to briefly introduce themselves. Even if I've already formed an image beforehand, I'm always curious to hear what they have to say about themselves and their work, and how they see themselves. Rarely is the self-introduction an interesting or insightful story. Instead of giving an overview of themselves first, some just ramble on. Yet the facts about the person, such as who, what, and since when, are an exciting background to classify the work. Many even forget to mention the place where they live and work.
It's similar with the "about" text. Even if it's hard for you to write much, your resume in bulleted form already gives your visitors a good overview and shows where you're from, how you're trained, or if you've assisted. It's best to start with your current stations and work backwards.
Storytelling with words!
An artist statement goes a little further. It is your company mission statement and adds to the facts of your career path. To formulate your mission statement, it's best to gather thoughts about your work. Is there a certain artistic, creative attitude or values that are important to you personally and professionally?
With these basic questions you can build your text: Who am I, what do I do, and what is special about it? In addition to relevant facts like name, location, specialization and areas of photography, it's then about solutions for your clients. What do you offer clients, what problems do you support them with? And with what attitude or conviction do you do it?
Tell your personal short story! For a good artist statement, you can dive deep into your motivation and interests. And if you can't think of anything, grab a quote that fits well with you and the context.
- Leave out unimportant stations of your CV or typical application phrases.
- Start with what you have now and work backwards.
- Think about your goals and the vision for your work
- Be specific, make it clear what you really stand for
- Get creative, think about what your clients will find interesting
- Make your resume exciting, maybe with a little cliffhanger.
- And remember, commitment and enthusiasm for the cause, along with your portfolio, is crucial for the collaboration.