Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Get Out There: Becoming My Neighborhood Photographer

My dogs could be THE best advertising campaign I could ever have had (second only of course to letting my work speak for itself). When I walked my dogs this evening, several of the people who had seen me before waved at me as if they knew me. My dogs, a lovely Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute, were quite the attention-grabbers. And it was then that the idea came to me: Since everybody in the neighborhood knows me as the lady with the two "big arse dogs" as one neighbor said, why not use that exposure so the area comes to know me as "the photographer in their neighborhood (with the big arse dogs.)"

I wrote a feature article once business people, including real estate agents and private practice dentists and therapists, said they experienced an increase in sales once they started displaying photos of them and their pets on business cards and fliers. People tend to respond and relate to cute puppies and babies in positive ways that may make them give your business a second look when others are quickly forgotten. The next business postcard I pass out should probably have a picture of a person interacting with their pets.

Since I don't have a lot of money for advertising, I have to be my own brand, my own product. If my neighbors get used to me walking my dogs every morning and evening, passing out promotional fliers, coupons, or business cards, I think they will come to think of me as an extension of their space, a part of their community. It may make me seem more real to them, someone they can approach. I've been told several times that some think of photographers as being elitist. I want them to see me as a part of them, somebody working hard trying to showcase a special skill set. Either I will become my neighborhoods photographer or they will thing I am a big pain in the arse, It's a fine line, I'm sure!

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