by Stuart McIntyre Published 01/04/2012
When offering this amount of service it's crucial that the word gets out to potential clients that you are out there and open for business. Part of Stuart's strategy in this regard is to enter competitions and then, in the event of being successful, to shout long and loud about the achievement to attract fresh business and to strengthen the link with existing customers.
"I try to enter a few competitions each year," says Stuart, "and I've found that it's a good way of assessing any improvement you might have made, while it also helps me to choose my future direction. Winning the
Click Photographer of the Year Award last year and now following this up with the Fresh Makeover Photographer of the Year Award has given me a big boost. The Click Group and Fresh Photographer of the Year Awards have a really good prize pot of £6,000 in total, but most importantly the customer wins a prize of £500 as well. This is great PR, the customer is delighted, and you can tell future clients all about it!
"The shot I chose to enter was a favourite because it was one of those days when everything came together. The client was cool, she had loads of hair for our stylist to work with and she was a natural in front of the camera! The young lady in question is only 13, so as a makeover photographer I have to choose age appropriate poses that still are 'cool' for a teenager.
"She had three different outfits and this was the most 'rock and roll.' I remember saying 'I want loads of attitude' and she was great at throwing that look to the camera. The postproduction was done in-house by Carly Townsend, and she added layers and textures to the image to provide depth and strength."
"It wasn't just the quality of the pictures Stuart had entered," says Click and Fresh's CEO Charlie Kaufman, one of the competition judges, and a man who also had something to celebrate, having just been awarded an SWPP Fellowship in Marketing. "It was also the quality of the presentation. So many photographers had not perhaps thought enough about how they presented their work initially, and when we shortlisted images to judge it was amazing how many came back to us with a huge amount of Photoshop work carried out. Both Stuart and Click Photographer of the Year Mark Ashworth started off with work that was impeccably finished and mounted on board, and it was up to the kind of standard that you would expect for a Fellowship panel."
A great achievement, and for Stuart it's just another reason why he, and other motivated photographers like him, are continuing to buck the slump and are growing their businesses.
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