If you want to make a career out of shooting concerts, it’s important to self-brand. Self-branding is an important tool for figuring out who you are and how you are different than any other photographer out there.

I’m still trying to figure out my self-brand, but I’ve learned a few tricks through some very experienced photographers I’ve met and through nurcosta’s The Art of Self Branding.

Discover how people see you.

It’s hard to know what qualities other people notice in you unless you ask. So ask them! Ask your family, your friends, or people you work with what positive qualities about you stand out to them.

Then once you know a few qualities that draw people’s attention to you, don’t be afraid to play them up a little. You know what you’re good at.

While it’s important to know how people see you, it’s also important to not care what judgments people have. Don’t worry about what other people think about you! Own yourself. Own your brand.

Make a website and a business card.

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When you people send in press pass requests to photograph a show, most people just state the publication they work for. Which often times works.

But if you have more to offer than the average Joe, you don’t want to do the bare minimum.

If you really want to stand out, make a website to showcase your work. Even if you don’t have a ton of images in your portfolio just yet, still make a website. Most people just starting out don’t think to do this, so it will set you apart and show people you care about what you do.

Once your website is published, include a link to it when you email a publicist to request a press pass.

Then, once you’ve made it to the concert, you’ll most likely be shooting with several other photographers. If you’re a student like me, chances are you’ll be the youngest photographer there by at least 10 years. The photographers around you have had years of experience. Don’t be afraid to talk to them and get their advice.

Something all of these photographers have in common is they will probably all give you a business card.  Business cards don’t need to be complicated – just your name, email, and website is enough content. Places like Vistaprint can help you come up with a design and order them for a cheap price.

Be yourself, always.

Most importantly through all of this, stay true to yourself. No one wants to work with someone who is pretending to be something they’re not!

As the wise Dr. Seuss once said,

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”