Will got started with photography and videography back in high school when he took a media arts class that focused on both photos and videos. Up until that point he never really knew what he wanted to do, but there was an immediate fire that lit up during that class. In addition to school work, he’d also spend hours researching tutorials on his own to learn how to best sharpen his skills. After some time, Will got into the photography/videography business with these skills, which you can see on full display here on his website.
When setting out to start a business, most people focus on maximizing the amount of money they can make, but Will takes a different view. The most important thing in his eyes is personal freedom and fulfillment, which are things photography work fits perfectly. Whenever Will does media at a life event like a wedding, those photos will live on with his clients for decades to come, having a lasting impact on their lives. Business isn’t all easy though, since for every high there is a low.
The biggest lesson we can learn from Will is that taking rejection well is one of the most important skills one can learn. It’s not easy to need to constantly sell yourself, like saying “Oh, your cousin is getting engaged? I could take their wedding photos for them, want to show them some of my work?” but with time the no’s get easier to take. Another lesson is that the fun field work is only about 20% of what Will does as a photographer. The other 80% goes to sitting at his desk sending email and keeping the business side afloat, but it’s a big goal for Will to outsource the boring work so he can flip the script and have 80% fun work with just 20% business management.
Will’s photography naturally transitioned toward his entry into the creator space. Other people’s content is what taught him much of what he knows, so now he wants to be able to give that back to others. One of the most rewarding moments for Will is when someone comes up to him at an event like ProFusion Expo and says something along the lines of “Your videos have been so helpful for me,” since that’s exactly where he was a couple of years ago. Social media also acts as a source of work for Will, since the platforms essentially act as a higher level of word of mouth. The third and final usage Will gets out of social media is brand deals, but the main thing getting in the way of that goal is follower count. Even though follower count on platforms like TikTok isn’t that tightly related to how well a video will do on the algorithm, brands care. Another thing is that followers on TikTok, which is Will’s main platform, are worth less in the eyes of a promoter than followers on somewhere like YouTube or Instagram where your followers are far more likely to see each piece of content you put up. If you want to move your audience from TikTok to one of those other higher value platforms, you’ll be in for an uphill battle, since TikTok wants to do everything in its power to keep people on their platform, even shadow banning posts and comments that talk about going to your “link in bio.”
While Will loves doing photography and videography for weddings, he doesn’t plan to do this forever. Some time in the next 5-10 years he’ll be on to something new, telling new stories for new people. If you’re interested in photography or videography or just want to see more of Will, check him out on TikTok @_willdelaney or Instagram with the same handle- @_willdelaney.