This is episode No. 2 of our WPPI special. I’ve partnered with Rangefinders to bring on guests who are speaking at WPPI, and here they’ll share some of their secrets with The Click Cartel listeners. This week is something a little bit different than the wedding and portrait photographers we’ve done in the past. If you have wanderlust and want to make photography your career, then listen up, because Laura Grier has got some great info for you.
Name: Laura Grier
Location: LA and all over the world
Niche: Adventure/travel photography and photojournalism, destination weddings
Experience: 17 years professionally, studied photography in college
Hustler level: Bond status
Bonus for Click Cartel Listeners: 30% off any annual plan from Zenfolio! Be sure to listen for the exclusive promo code
Laura’s stories are the best. She got her foot in the door by staking out a headshots studio in West Hollywood and basically demanding a job when she was 21.
After a while, she helped the studio branch into weddings, and eventually started her own business shooting weddings. This led to some destination weddings, and coupled with her own personal experience traveling and shooting friends’ weddings abroad, she started down the road of travel photography.
Imagine this: You watch a movie, Casino Royale, and think to yourself, “That’s some cool scenery. I wonder where they filmed it?” A quick Google search tells you a lot took place in the Czech Republic.
The gears start turning in your head. How awesome would it be to do a James Bond-themed road trip across the Czech Republic, taking photos and making memories all the way?
So you send an email to the board of tourism over in the Czech Republic and pitch your idea. They love it, and all of a sudden you’re flying to Prague with your boyfriend and spend two weeks traveling and shooting yourself as a Bond girl amidst the beautiful backdrops.
Talk about a dream job! Laura got back from her whirlwind road trip recently. Her creativity in brainstorming the idea and her fearlessness in pitching the right people paid off.
Laura is not just a photographer. She is also a travel writer, which makes her more marketable to her ideal client. A lot of tourism-based clients, like state and national tourist boards, are looking not only for pictures but for press, which boils down to words and articles.
If you’re not a writer yourself, you can partner up with a staff writer somewhere. They write the story, you take the photos, then you can pitch the package deal to clients.
Laura found that once she broadened her horizons and began marketing herself as a “multimedia maven,” it gave her more access to the types of jobs she wanted to get.
She’s also had success with strategic hashtagging on Instagram. She followed big names in the industry and used the same hashtags on her own photos and amassed an impressive following pretty quickly.
And Instagram is also great because you have something you can show brands right away. They’re often looking for authentic, adventurous content, not styled shoots.
Who wouldn’t want to make money without even trying? Laura’s way to do this is to repurpose her old photos. If you just let your photos sit on a hard drive, you’re leaving money on the table.
Remember that Bond shoot? Now it’s being turned into a piece on spicing up your honeymoon by adding a theme…Laura’s great at repackaging her ideas into something fresh so that the money keeps coming in.
Another great way is to license your photos through stock photography. Laura uses Robert Harding because there is an emphasis on travel and nature. She takes photos, sends over maybe 100 shots, they accept what they like, and the ka-chings happen all night long.
How would you like to walk into a random gas station and see they’re selling greeting cards with your images on them? Stock photography can do that for you.
Laura has nothing but good things to say about Zenfolio. In fact, she’s even speaking for them at WPPI. What she likes about it is that they are a one-stop shop, from hosting and customizing a beautiful website to printing to customer service to email marketing.
She even has a promo code for Click Cartel listeners. 30% off any annual plan from Zenfolio! Be sure to listen for the code and go to www.Zenfolio.com/ to apply it.
Social media can really work for you. If you are just starting out, you have the power to choose your own path.
Any words you want to say about yourself, the brand you want to create—you have it all so that you can tailor yourself to get exactly the jobs you want, with instant reach and a bigger audience than old-schoolers might have ever had.
If you want to hear more about how to become a multimedia maven, be sure to check out Laura at WPPI where she will be speaking on behalf of Zenfolio (. You can also check out her websites: jetsetcollectivemedia.com, LauraGrier.com and BeautifulDay.photography and on Instagram: @lauragriertravel