Welcome to the 26th episode of FloInsider – a podcast for photographers and creative business owners who seek inspiration and a fresh perspective on how to run their business, navigate this weird time that we all live in, and find meaning and happiness in their daily routines.
We’re excited to introduce you to our next podcast host – Oli Sansom, a known photographer, and educator based in Australia.
In this week’s episode, Oli talks to Michelle Grace Hunder, a music and portrait photographer, who tours the world shooting pop star Ruel. Michelle also produced a feature film about women in music, called “Her Sound Her Story”. She is an endless hustler who built her entire business on relationships. Not on Instagram, not on SEO, but on the connections she creates with people within her industry. Michelle shares how Twitter and Twitch (a platform mostly used by gamers) played a major role in her business and career growth, as well as what does it actually take to get into the music photography business and be successful at it.
Tune in, learn and enjoy!
A few cliff notes from our chat with Michelle Grace Hunder:
- People hire people they like to hang out with. That is especially true in the music business because there is a lot of touring, closeness behind the scenes. So it’s all about being a good hang, friendly, easy, and fun. Michelle says it’s even more important than how good of a photographer you are.
- Ask to be paid. Even if in the beginning it isn’t much – but ask for something. Learn how to ask for money and don’t work for nothing. Even if it’s a small amount, always get compensation for what you do. You need to value yourself so that others can value you too.
- Build relationships. Don’t rely on social media alone. If Instagram disappears tomorrow, you will always have your connections and relationships. People who like you, who support what you do, who want to help and work together with you.
- Don’t be afraid to use avenues nobody else is using! Michelle found that there were no other photographers on Twitch, so she started using it and doing livestreams, to build a community and alternative income for herself. That was during the pandemic, yet she still continues to use Twitch and has a devoted audience there, excited to learn from her and support her projects.
- Michelle made as many direct connections to artists as possible, mainly using Twitter for that. After shows she would tweet the photos directly to the artist, keeping that momentum of being the first one to share imagery from an event. Twitter is a great tool because there are no gatekeepers between you and the person you’re trying to reach. The artists would usually retweet her images and often be up for a partnership/job.
- Each of us has that inner voice, in the back of our head, that plants doubt, fears and makes us question our expertise, abilities, and results. Michelle shares her experience within the ‘TheInner Critic’ project made by Canon Australia. Take a few minutes to check it out and don’t forget to be kinder to yourself.
Was this interview helpful? Refreshing? Insightful?
Once again we got a great reminder that there’s no golden rule or one tactic that fits everybody. Dare to explore new avenues, follow your intuition and embrace your uniqueness. There’s no point in running away from it, or molding yourself into something else, just to fit in. Life is way too short to be “normal”.
Also, check out Michelle’s course on Music Photography via mghmasterclass.teachable.com/p/mgh-masterclass
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