If you are thinking about pursuing a career in photography, there are a lot of routes you can go.
Photography is a good career if you are willing to put in the hard work to make it happen.
The good news is: there are many opportunities for photographers out there.
The bad news is: it can be tough to find the ones that are worthwhile.
With this in mind, the question of whether or not photography is a good career route is pretty open-ended. You can get into photography in so many different ways – both through traditional and non-traditional routes.
So, you’ve got a nice camera, you really love photography, and you’ve thought that maybe it would be nice to make a little bit of money from this passion you’ve discovered. Before you decide to make that leap, read on. You may be convinced to throw that idea out the window, or you may find that you truly are ready, and it’s time to try your hand at photography as a career.
Some people get a college degree in photography and translate that into teaching photography classes. Others might start their own photography business. Even more, people take a more blended approach where photography is just one way they use to make money while working a second job or finding alternative income sources through blogging and other means.
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What is a Photographer?
A photographer is a professional that focuses on the art of taking photographs with a digital or film camera. Photographers use artificial and/or natural lighting to snap pictures of various people, places and things in various settings.
Some photographers focus on studio work, while others explore the natural, outside world. There are a variety of photography niches that one can choose from and be able to showcase their artistic ability uniquely.
What does a Photographer do?
A photographer generally works in a freelance capacity and is hired for specific jobs by numerous clients. Some photographers work exclusively in certain segments of the industry, such as wedding, graduation and other event-type settings. In contrast, others do mainly corporate work and spend most of their time taking photographs that will appear on business websites and other promotional material. Still others, however, focus more on the artistic side of photography and choose their own subjects and material they wish to shoot.
Other forms of professional, full-time photography involve:
- Taking stills for motion pictures.
- Taking pictures of crime scenes in cooperation with local and federal law enforcement agencies.
- Taking pictures for digital and print newspapers (photojournalist) – though often newspapers will work with a photographer on a freelance basis rather than hiring him or her full-time.
A part-time or freelance photographer who a client hires is responsible for following the client’s wishes down to the finest details, as well as for setting up a business model that makes pricing and options clearly visible and accessible.
A professional photographer who works full-time often does studio work that involves taking pictures in a controlled interior setting with professional or amateur models. These photographers can be freelance or can also be kept on retainer by certain magazines and fashion companies.
Finally, photographers are responsible for the digital or physical development of their pictures and may also be responsible for small or heavy editing of their pictures. For physical prints, a photographer will be required to know how to best develop their film or will be expected to hire other professionals to develop their film for them.
The editing process of photographs, on the other hand, may include simple cropping or could include changing colour schemes, lighting, and adding or removing objects from pictures to ‘clear them up.’ Some clients will choose to edit the pictures themselves, while others will expect the photographer to do the necessary photo editing.
Photography as a Career: What Is It Like?
Photos are a form of art and the best way to portray the world with your eye.
A photographer does not spend his life like people in other fields. However, the saturation of photographers in the industry has made the field more competitive and challenging.
We have put down some points to help you experience what it is like to be a photographer.
A Photographer Sells his Vision
A photographer gets the chance to inspire the world and to sell his vision from a different perspective.
Your different vision and perspective determine the uniqueness and individuality of your work. Having optimism in your personality enables you to express yourself through art.
You May Get A Chance to Live Your Passion
If you are passionate enough and zealous about photography, then it is the best career for you. You will live your life through the camera lens and get the chance to tell a story from your viewpoint.
In a photography career, you have the liberty to select the field of your interest and the fact that you have chosen your own path will keep you happy and motivated. A photographer’s life is never the same, and it is not boring like other office jobs.
Hard Work Pays You Well
Take my suggestion and do not choose a career as a photographer for the sake of money. You may have to face difficulty if you are pursuing this field for the money.
Photography requires passion and devotion. No doubt!
A good professional photographer never starves and gets plenty of offers, but a beginner can sometimes struggle to keep up and survive, but this can be applied to any type of business.
Best Career For Explorers
Photography is a good career for explorers. As a professional photographer, you get a lot of exposure and multiple opportunities to explore new ideas and places.
A photographer gets a surplus of outdoor experience, but it can vary according to the field that you have selected. Due to plenty of experience and exposure, you always keep learning something new.
Requires a Lot of Practice and Hard Work
To be a professional photographer, you need to be loyal to your career. This field requires a lot of practice to polish your photographic skills. With time and practice, you will learn about the perfect angle, timing, light exposure and right compositions.
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Challenges In Photography Career
Photography is a good career if you have an excellent skill set, good creative ability, composition, and technical expertise. The photography career can be challenging, and it may give you a hard time if you are not passionate about it.
Good photography skills come with a lot of practice and hard work. This career can be rewarding if you love to take challenges and are eager to live your life through the eye of the camera.
Suppose you have decided to choose photography as a career. In that case, you have a multitude of options to choose from and create your own photography career path, from a portrait to a commercial photographer and even as a freelance photographer.
Each field opens different doors of opportunity and requires another skill set.
To be a successful photographer in a particular photography field, you need to have in-depth knowledge about traditional photography as well as modern photography.
Good image editing and composition skills will help you to excel in this realm of art. Be ready to inspire the world through the lens of your camera.
In the following sections, you will find all the practical details you can use to jump-start your photography career. You will be able to understand the scope of the freelance photographer in this ever-developing industry. Starting to think about hiring a wedding photographer? Check out our range of Mornington Peninsula wedding photography here.
Things to Consider Before Becoming a Professional Photographer
You’re not good enough…yet
Maybe you love photography, and maybe you get a lot of compliments on your photos, but you may not be a good enough photographer to make money from people yet. Do you sometimes take a bunch of photos where the majority of them are garbage? Do you often say to yourself, “I’ll fix that later in Photoshop?” If your photos aren’t consistently in focus, exposed correctly, and great IN CAMERA, before you get to Photoshop, you’re not ready.
If you look at other professional photographers’ work and wonder how on earth they got their photos to look like that, you are not ready. I don’t mean that you have to produce photos exactly like the photographers you admire. I’m saying that you should have an understanding of how they achieve the look they get. You should know how light, depth of field, angles, etc., contribute to the photo. You should have an idea of how much of the photo is a result of post-processing.
Having a nice camera does not qualify you to be a professional photographer.
You don’t have enough experience
This goes along with not being good enough, but the experience is important. You have to be consistent every time. You have to know that every single session you do will result in good photos and that you can roll with the punches if conditions aren’t ideal. You have to know your camera settings inside and out because when you’re chasing a naughty toddler around, you don’t have time to try to figure out what your shutter speed should be.
You don’t want to lose the love of photography
Once you turn a passion into a job or career, you have a very real possibility of it turning into something you do because you have to and not because you want to. I’m not saying this happens to everyone, but I’ve seen enough professional photographers burn out and quit that I know it’s a very real thing. You may think that it will be fantastic to make money doing something you love, but are you ready for the possibility of not loving that thing anymore?
You don’t want to deal with business stuff
Taxes, business licenses, contracts, equipment upkeep, scheduling, email, phone calls – it’s all a very real part of running a photography business, and it takes far more time and effort than you’d like to believe.
Being a professional photographer is not just happily snapping some photos, collecting money, and then spending all of that money on anything you’d like. There are expenses, lots and lots of expenses.
There are boring, repetitive tasks. There are hours spent doing behind the scenes stuff.
No matter how great of a photographer you are, if you aren’t good at the business side of things, you will struggle as a photographer. It’s hard. It’s frustrating. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. Some days horrible things happen, like The Cloud losing your entire photography calendar (yes, speaking from experience).
Sometimes you have to ask people for money, and that’s not easy for everyone. You have to be able and willing to run a pretty tight ship with scheduling, collecting money, and sticking to your policies. You have to decide your policies and your fees, and how you are going to do business beforehand because believe me, people will ask you to change all of it for them, and you have to be ready for it.
You don’t like to deal with difficult people
Working with people, but even then, sometimes some people are hard to deal with. When people are paying you money to photograph them, sometimes they expect you to do anything and everything they want, and sometimes, even when you’ve done your best, they aren’t happy with you. If you are sensitive, like I am, that kind of criticism can be very hard to take.
Most people you will take photos of our fantastic, wonderful people, who love your work, and love you, which is why they hired you. That doesn’t happen every time, though.
Sometimes you have to spend lots of time on the phone talking to a worried client (what about the weather? what about junior’s bad haircut? what about clothes they’ll wear? what if they smile awkwardly?). Or someone who has lots of ideas they saw on Pinterest and wants to discuss every one of them with you, in-depth, even if they aren’t even remotely your style of photography.
Sometimes you’ll show them their gallery, and they’ll say they love it, except can you photoshop every single wrinkle off of their face? Questions are great, and most people don’t have unreasonable demands. But, you have to know that sometimes people are just not on the same page as you are, and you have to be able to work with them and do your best to keep them happy.
It isn’t the fairytale job you think it is
People talk about how much fun it must be to be a photographer and how much they wish they could be a photographer too. Many people who jump into the photography business without doing a lot of research and self-evaluation get a harsh slap to the face when they realise that it’s work. A lot of work.
Many people pop in the “professional photographer” scene on a whim and pop right back out of it within a year or two, and sometimes don’t even last a few months. It’s work to get clients. It’s work to keep clients. They don’t just fall in your lap, waving hundred dollar bills and smiling their pearly whites for your camera.
You’re going to have competition and sometimes criticism from others. Sometimes the world of photographers can get pretty nasty. You will find wonderful people to collaborate with and those who encourage you, but you will also find some that will tear you down if they get the chance.
There are many benefits to running your own business, but it’s also hard. You have to know what you are doing, and if something goes wrong, it’s all on your shoulders. Being a professional photographer is much more than love to take pictures. When you realise all of the work it’s going to be, you might decide that taking photos for the love of it and because you’re an artist may be much more fulfilling in the end.
With the boom in advertising, media and the fashion industry, photography has emerged as a lucrative and thrilling career option. Until some years ago, the masses regarded photography as a hobby profession only, but now it has emerged in a big way.
These days, photography is fast emerging as a popular career choice among all age groups. Photography is both a science and an art. It is an artistic means of expression, the camera replacing the pen or the paintbrush.
A photographer must create a good composition of any subject, a piece of machinery, the beauty of the human body, scenery or a child’s smile. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.
It is rightly said that a single picture can sometimes be much more eloquent than a thousand words. Few vocations offer a larger variety of prospects than does photography.