Photography Veteran Robin V Shares 3 Steps to Creative Business Growth
In the dynamic realm of celebrity photography, where creativity intertwines with intuition, Robin V rises above the rest. With her unwavering passion and distinct perspective, she navigates the intricacies of the entertainment industry, capturing the essence of each subject and immortalizing the moments that shape our collective cultural consciousness.
Hailing from the vibrant city of Baltimore, Robin took an untraditional path in her journey into photography. Seeking even more opportunities, Robin left Baltimore for Miami with nothing more than a one-way ticket, a dream, and determination to make it on her terms.
Brand equals value
Since its inception, the photography industry has been dominated by white individuals, and Black professionals, particularly Black women, have encountered challenges and obstacles as they try to break through. Robin remarks, “From the beginning, I completely understood how important my branding would be to my business, and I branded with intention.”
Knowing how she wants her brand to live and breathe, Robin creates a strategy that aligns with her vision and resonates with her target audience. “I would not show up to a photo shoot in sweatpants and a T-shirt. I come dressed to the nines,” she says. “I want my commissioner and client to know I am charging a premium price because I shoot luxury and I am luxury. The total package, including myself, is a part of my value.”
Putting systems in place
While photographers find joy and fulfillment in capturing moments and expressing their artistic vision, monetizing their passion in such a competitive industry can be complex. “If you don’t have a strategy to scale your photography business, you will struggle,” Robin observes. “Many photographers struggle because they love what they do but don’t have systems in place to ensure profitability.”
Finding the right balance between passion and profit requires persistence, adaptability, and a willingness to navigate the challenges in the industry. “I love what I do. I can do it with my eyes closed, but with no systems, you can get taken advantage of,” says Robin. Those systems include handling inquiries, scheduling, photo shoots, editing, and rates. “Photography is an expensive profession; if you are not pricing correctly, you are working for free. As a Black woman, I had to learn my value, and I didn’t learn it until I knew my value.”
Photographers can draw inspiration from countless sources that fuel their creativity and push the boundaries of their art. Working as a model in visuals directed by iconic directors such as Hype Williams and Benny Boom, Robin became fascinated by the cameras and everything happening behind the scenes. “By being on sets with countless directors, I picked up aspects of lighting, placement, and creating perspective,” she says. “I find inspiration in movies and even social media. I am constantly asking myself what lighting and lens is used, was this on a built set or in a studio, and what time of day is the shot.”
But what’s most important is having a unique vision, and developing it. “Photography is about training your eye to see and look at your subject a certain way while shooting. This will separate you from the pack.”