The thing that the digital era has increased the most is photography. Nowadays, everyone has become a photographer with the help of expensive gadgets. Despite this, the demand for professional photographers has not decreased. If you are passionate and want to know how to start a photography career, this article will help you a lot.
The field of photography is so large and exciting that it is impossible to work without skills. Starting a career in photography can be challenging since this field is grave. One needs to have characteristics like innovativeness, a creative mind, and passion. And you likewise need to become familiar with the specialised parts of photography. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.
You have to learn how to manipulate things/objects, control lighting and surroundings, to have the ideal impact.
Do You Want To Turn Your Photography Hobby Into A Career?
If you’ve been enjoying your photography as a hobby and decided you’re finally ready to take the leap and do it as your FULL-TIME job, there are plenty of things to be aware of before you take the plunge.
Photography as a hobby can be a GREAT way to make some extra cash here and there, but there is a whole lot more to it if you want to set it up as your full-time business without the safety net of another job in the background.
While the idea of taking this leap might be a huge one, being aware of some of the simple steps to turn your hobby into a job that will cover all your monthly bills and create the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of could be the way for you to get out of the rat race and start making money doing what you LOVE full time.
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Find Your Niche
Whether you are a landscape photographer, a wedding photographer, portrait specialist or a newborn photographer, be clear about what you are offering and what type of photography you specialise in. Having a set genre will help solidify your brand and allow you to focus your energy on developing your style and marketing to the right audience.
You might also consider incorporating your photography niche into your brand name – such as ‘Jane Smith – Landscape Photography’ or something similar, so potential customers can see at a glance who you are and what you do.
Build A Portfolio
Without a portfolio, no one will know what you can do. So before you try to turn your photography hobby into a business, it’s essential to build your portfolio and start working on images that reflect the style of shoots you want to do regularly.
Your portfolio will be one of your main selling points, so make sure to use your BEST IMAGES in the style you specialise in.
Engage some subjects to help you set up some shots if you don’t already have them in your existing portfolio, and make sure you have all the equipment you need to create a portfolio of images that truly showcase your talent.
Include Your Prices
There is nothing more unprofessional than a photographer that doesn’t have a price list. So if you are going to jump from being a hobby photographer to a business, make sure to list your prices and clearly outline what is included in your various packages. Take the time to work out your services costs and ensure you are on par with other photographers in your niche and the local area.
Create Some Marketing & Branding Materials
If you haven’t already done so, you will need a business name and some marketing and branding materials. This can be as simple as a logo, a business card, and a digital flyer to kick your business.
It’s also an excellent idea to set up a photography business website and Facebook business page so your clients can review your portfolio and services at any time. Check out Wix or a similar DIY website platform. This is a perfect way for potential customers to review some visual marketing before they contact you.
Find A Way To Generate Leads & Consider Freelance
Whether you advertise on Google and Facebook or search job boards for people looking for a photographer, you will need to DO SOMETHING to find the work as it won’t just magically come your way without some effort on your part.
Waiting for work to come in when your photography is just a hobby can be acceptable. But when it’s your full-time business, it’s vital to ensure you have regular inquiries and work coming in. If not, you may end up with some serious cash flow issues.
Consider approaching your local clubs, schools, art galleries, event companies, bridal shows or anything that is happening in and around your local area. When starting, it’s essential to put your hand up for as much work as possible and set up a range of different lead generation options and opportunities for photography work. While your phone might ring off the hook some weeks, it’s always good to have some other options when times are quiet to build up your sales and meet your ongoing cash flow needs.
Get Referrals And Testimonials
Potential clients often use testimonials when deciding whether to book a photographer, so make sure to ask all previous clients (who were happy with your work) to write a short testimonial that you can include in your portfolio social media pages and website.
Set up an email system via Survey Monkey or send an email with a questionnaire to create these and use them in your marketing.
Figure Out The Numbers
While your photography side gig might have been humming along nicely as a hobby that pays for a few nice things here and there, it’s a different story when you rely on it to pay all your bills. Ensure you run the numbers and determine the income you will need to manage your day to day expenses AND cover your taxes.
You should also work out any legal issues before making the final decision on your business. Should you set it up as a sole proprietorship or an S-Corp? Do you have contracts to use with clients? You may want to ask your accountant, lawyer, or financial advisor if you need assistance.
How to Get into Photography and Start a Career
Beginning a career in the photography industry can seem like a daunting endeavour. Yet, with the abundance of available resources, tutorials and knowledge on this creative path, jumpstarting your photography career can be a relatively seamless process. To determine if being a photographer is the best path for you, you will need to focus on a few critical aspects of this industry.
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Which Camera Should I Begin With?
Choosing the right camera for your photography career depends on several factors, including quality, capabilities, and affordability. When starting, you should consider keeping your expenses low and purchase a camera that is accessible and easy to learn.
If you’re looking to shoot digital photography, a standard DSLR with a primary kit lens can be a great first camera for any budding photographer.
A DSLR from brands such as Canon, Nikon or Sony have a high megapixel count and quality lens glass – making them viable options for professional use. For example, consider purchasing a DSLR from the Canon EOS Rebel line or the Nikon D series.
On the other hand, jumping into photography can be incredibly inexpensive if you start off shooting a film. Finding a starter 35 mm film camera can be done through eBay, thrift stores or even local online sellers.
The price points are substantially lower than digital, making this appealing for photographers on a budget. Additionally, learning on film is an excellent way for any creator to truly understand the mechanics and basic principles of ISO, aperture and shutter speed. A recommended starter film camera is the Canon AE-1 Program.
What Should I Learn About Photography?
When starting your photography path, it may seem as if there is an overwhelming amount of information. From technical aspects to the steps in creating stunning images, there is a massive online presence of how-to guides and tutorials for learning any photography aspects.
To learn more about the medium, you have several options for educational and professional insight. You can:
- Choose to pursue a professional degree in photography at an arts university.
- Enrol in several workshops for photography based on your niche, such as “Portraits for Beginners” or “Creating Stunning Landscape Images.”
- Bypass proper education and self-teach yourself.
- Consult the Internet for learning resources such as photography dedicated blogs, online learning tutorials, teaching websites and instructional video components. For example, a helpful online tutorial website is Skillshare.
- Find a local photographer in your area and reach out about assisting opportunities. This will help you learn the process of shooting and the business of photography.
- Consider a part-time job at a photography studio to learn lighting, gear, and photographic setups.
- Become a second shooter for successful wedding photographers in your town.
- Recruit family, friends, and strangers to be the subject of your images. Practice your craft every day.
- Shoot many images – to become a better photographer; you must constantly be honing and perfecting your skill set.
These are just a few ways you can start jumping into the photography industry and gaining hands-on, practical experience in creating imagery. Whether you choose to follow a standard educational route, earning a photography degree, or bypass this to pursue a self-taught approach – you will learn the essentials of this medium.
To truly become a photographer, you should be relying on trial and error to grow in your work. With the birth of digital photography, we now have the opportunity to fix and alter our mistakes in an instant. Using your digital camera, you can now teach yourself how the main components of taking an image work.
As we know, to compose an image, you must understand the relationship between ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture – better known as the exposure triangle. The best way to develop your form is by taking images in different lighting setups as interrelated components. Take photographs indoors, on a cloudy afternoon, in the bright sun or even in the dark of night – understand how to adjust and alter your settings to match your situation.
Once you have learned the Exposure Triangle process, you can now start creating images with ease. Aim to shoot every day to grow your body of work while employing your personal touch and creativity in your photos. We have the best wedding photographer in Yarra Valley to capture your beautiful moments on your wedding day.
What Kind of Photography Career Path Should I Follow?
The last component of kickstarting your photography career is determining what kind of employment you will seek in the industry. This choice depends on a certain number of factors such as financial stability, comfortability, photography niche, and marketing abilities.
Photography has never quite fit the standard job description as few traditional photography positions follow the 9-5 method.
With this being said, there are still options for contracted positions – you need to seek them out. On the other end of the spectrum, a majority of photographers will choose the self-employed route. Which path you choose is unique to your preference. Let’s explore these options below.
A contracted photographer maybe someone who works solely with one client, studio or agency to produce images. For example, a hired photographer could work for:
- An e-commerce brand at their headquarters where the primary responsibility is to create photographs for their online store and product distribution.
- A photography studio within their city was focusing on capturing portraits of clients that come to the studio.
- A photography company that hires photographers to capture events or tours.
- A wedding photography company that hires photographers for their client’s special day.
- Working with a modelling agency to photograph all new talent in their studio.
These are all examples of working as a photographer under the employment of someone else. These positions can range from part-time to full-time opportunities, but most actual contracted photography work is salaried and meant to support you financially fully.
If you’re a photographer who wants consistency and work satisfaction, you should consider working in a contracted manner.
Freelance / Self Employed
On a completely different note, many photographers prefer the freelance, self-employed route of the industry. In this way, your business is built off of multiple client contracts and the ability to take work from anyone you choose.
Freelance opens up a plethora of opportunities for the budding photographer. You can choose to work with fashion brands, magazines, news sources, online publications, bookstores, agencies, and studios – all on a retainer or project to project basis.
While this flexibility is great, it is essential to remember that freelance and self-employment can be inconsistent and stressful. Finding clients can be a daunting and challenging process that will take many hours of dedication and perseverance. When working as a freelance photographer, you have to remember that you are now running your own business.
If you’re considering jumping into this photography route, you will want to have some client leads or financial savings to keep you afloat while you aim to land work. Being a freelance artist can be difficult, but the end payoff makes it a worthwhile experience. Being able to choose your clients and projects is every creative’s ultimate dream.
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The absolute path you can choose as a photographer is to work solely out of your home studio. This aligns with the idea of self – employment but calls for a reliance on creating only studio work. This option can be great for portrait photographers or even product photographers who capture images exclusively on backdrops.
A home studio can be relatively inexpensive to set up, making it a viable option for building your business. If you are considering starting a home studio, you will need to identify your ideal client base.
Are you located in a small city and want to focus on headshots or individual portraits? Or are you located in a thriving metropolis where you can photograph models, celebrities and influential industry leaders? Whichever you decide, creating a home studio allows you to work from home, determine your ideal clientele and market your work with consistency.
Tips On How To Start Career In Photography And How To Become A Pro
Start By Self Questioning
To start photography can be a fantastic decision if you can deal with the correct harmony between your innovative enthusiasm and entrepreneurial skills. Just the same as starting some business, set up a list of inquiries that you have to ask yourself before starting a career in photography and thinking of how to be a professional.
Get Right Education
Professional Photography is one of the fields where structured training is not essential. You can self-practice, learn, and improve your skills and creativeness without joining any professional institution. But, it can increase the value of your career, skills, and experience as an expert photographer.
Start Taking Photographs
Photography needs a great deal of understanding and experience. Begin by taking a ton of photographs before you search for the best job as a photographer. You can begin with a snapshot camera, then move on to the professional equipment. Click as many photographs as you can from various angles. Search for fascinating scenes, attempt to make the photos appealing and attractive, use diverse lighting, etc. Remember, it doesn’t make a difference as it is your talent and ability that will make you a professional photographer, not the types of equipment you use.
Do Apprentice With A Professional Photographer
It is an excellent practice to collaborate and learn from other professional photographers. Try searching for job vacancies as an inter to gain real-world experience, which no institution can teach. Get the knowledge and develop the skills-set by doing assignments with the photographers.
Sometimes photographers even send interns to cover their assignments on the off chance that they have other vital bookings. This could be a golden opportunity for you to learn how to deal with clients.
Attend Photography Workshop And Seminars
Go to photography exhibitions, shows, and workshops. You would meet a ton of photographers at these events and could learn a lot from them. There are various online photography groups that you can join. These few things will help you a lot in getting exposure, and also you’ll be updated with the latest trends.
Create Your Online Presence
The best practice is to create a personal portfolio website. A Portfolio website is the best source through which you can show and outsource your work to the world. The best part is you can target people all around the globe. So the chances are that more opportunities can come your way in becoming a successful professional photographer.
Market Your Photography Business
Once you’re done with your Portfolio website, you need to invest time in marketing yourself. Today, with the Internet’s help, it becomes a lot easier to present yourself to the world. You can join groups on social media, share your work there, send emails to the clients about the services you offer.
You could even stay active on social media and forum websites to build a network with others. One can also participate in photography contests, seminars or exhibitions. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.
As you can see, starting a career in the photography industry can be achieved in various ways. From choosing a simple starter camera to learning the basics and determining your ideal employment level, you can kickstart your career in little to no time.