Building Your Brand
All right, so now I wanna talk to you guys how I built my brand or how to build your brand. The biggest thing for me was sticking to one thing, and I kind of usually, outside of photography, like to wear all hats and kind of do everything, but sticking to one profession and doing one thing and being really good at it was obviously key for me. And I wanted to go all in on doing automotive/action, so I really took the time on doing my homework, how to make the images feel fast and basically just to my style and how I wanted to shoot everything. In the industry, you really wanna be pretty close to people and I think, with all the work that I've done and produced, it's all been with my friends and I really believe that doing a big job or just any job, even spec work, it goes a long way when you're with friends 'cause I tend to get the most out of it and I feel way more comfortable and in the end, you're producing something that not only you, but your friends can enjoy and...
put in their portfolio as well. A lot of people have helped me out through the years, now I want to try to help my friends and my team out and just make the best content possible. Okay, so the team that I usually try to surround myself with are are obviously people that have the same creative mindsets. To me, having just more heads is obviously better than one and when you're comfortable around the people you surround yourself with, you're gonna produce a lot better things than you would just on your own, or maybe you don't, but to me, that's the biggest part of my career, is having those close people and more heads involved and that way, you can have different ideas, angles and then just different content. That's kind of where I have built my brand, is having a close team and almost just a good group of friends that is just building a great portfolio for themselves and me. One more thing with just the industry, whether that's client or agency, you really, obviously you're wanting to make them happy but if you can become friends with anybody through agency or client, taking them to coffee before a job or picking their brain on what they like to see, or what the feel is for this next campaign that you could potentially shoot or anything in that matter, that goes a long way and I've learned that through many photographers and many creatives. You really gotta make connections in just little industry parts like that. So, kind of becoming friends and building relationships is the biggest part that I've found in my work and yeah, working with friends is the way I get the best content. So, whenever someone asks me what the biggest, I don't know, jump to making a name for themselves with photos is, I always tell 'em to be consistent because that's literally where people are gonna find you and people will really know your brand. I always love not having my name or me being credited but people can tell that I've shot that just because of the way the treatment is on the image or the way it was shot. If you have that look and people can just tell from a mile away, "that's an Aaron Brimhall shot," that goes a long way to me and that also builds a lot of confidence in your own work. So, staying consistent to me is building a look and feel or a treatment, in other words, on the images that you shoot. I also really think it's important to stylize something beforehand, whether that's a car drifting in the dirt or that's a different concept with a model wearing something different or there's something in the foreground of the photos, but having that look in every single photo and you can tell it's yours and other people can recognize that it's your image is the best part of what I do and why I like to do it. And so, I think staying in your right lane and doing one thing and making it yours is key. So, being consistent is obviously, I would say it's number one on my list. For me, I've always said no to the jobs that I knew I shouldn't have taken or took. Eight years ago, I got asked to shoot weddings for five to $10, and I'd always say no just because I got sick of it, and I knew what I was worth and I knew what I wanted to do. And so for me, I wasn't there yet, but I took those people that I that I looked up to and I wanted to be just as good as them. and so, I didn't make money for two years and my wife sacrificed and she worked for me, and she was doing restaurant gigs and doing all that kind of stuff. So, it gave me time to really focus on my brand and my feel and what that meant was doing a lot of spec work for companies and I still do that to this day. It's not like jobs are coming to me left and right, I'm still working to get jobs and having brands find me. I feel like photography is just so progressive in so many different ways and that's kind of why I am still in the game, is because I'm constantly learning every single day, whether that's from another photographer or just something out in the field while I'm shooting. I really want to have my work show what I'm worth. I don't want to have my name on wedding or engagement photos. I want them to be like... I want photos that I've shot to be a big deal and mean a lot to me than those types of things. So, saying no to jobs has just been probably the second biggest part to me with my career. Another huge thing that I could talk about is finding time for yourself because that time you're gonna be able to build that look and feel for yourself. You're gonna be able to shoot spec work. You're really gonna be able to do what you really wanna do. If you don't have that strong portfolio, you're not gonna be able to reach out. I mean, you can still reach out to those clients that you you're dreaming of, but they're not gonna find you and if you don't have that strong portfolio, they're not even gonna think twice about it. And so, finding time and saying no to those jobs, really wanna build that niche, and I have a niche and it's a very really tight niche but I'm happy in what I'm doing and I wouldn't wanna do it any other way. If you build your brand with the time you have, that's just gonna lead to bigger and better things.