Shooting for a Commercial Client - Individual Style vs. Diverse Skill Set

One of my best clients as a freelance commercial and editorial photographer has been Port Ludlow Resort. In school it was always encouraged to focus on developing a specific style so that potential clients know what they can expect from you. Photographers strive to have a "thing" they are known for. While I agree that having a unique style is beneficial as it allows potential clients and art directors to feel comfortable that the know what they will get on a commercial shoot, it should not come at the expense of developing a broad skill set. The majority of the work I post to my website is outdoor lifestyle or product related to sports and outdoor adventure. This is my focus and the reason I originally did a lifestyle and landscape shoot at Port Ludlow's Golf Course. It was a great shoot that fit my style and I have used multiple images from that day on my website and in my book.  Here are a few images that I haven't previously shared.

As you can see I started off shooting landscapes and sports images that are very much in line with what you see on my website and in my printed portfolio. However, Port Ludlow's need for this type of imagery is limited. What they did have coming up was a large development called Port Ludlow Cottages. Because I had spent time learning about architecture and real estate photography even though it wasn't my focus I was able to step in and provide professional quality images for their development as well. So while my style may have helped draw their attention, it was my ability to adapt that has allowed me to keep them on as one of my best clients.  Here are some examples of the work I have done for Port Ludlow Cottages over the last several months.

Getting a client is just the first step. In order to have a successful career as a freelance photographer you need to establish relationships with clients that allow you to continue to shoot for them on a regular basis. I am thankful I have had the opportunity to develop that relationship with Port Ludlow Resort. I was also happy to hear that one of the homes I photographed for them won this years PCBC Gold Nugget honors for Single Family Detached Home under 2000 square feet. Congrats!

Of course I always love the opportunity to do what I love the most and couldn't have been more excited to shoot some landscapes and lifestyle images for their marina. And what a night for it! Keep and eye on my Landscape gallery for more...

Sunset Marina Landscape
Peter Hanson1 Comment