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Becoming A Professional Photographer : A Basic Guide

If you have dreams of becoming a photographer, then you’ve probably spent hours thinking about what it takes to actually develop an income snapping photos full time. Thankfully, this guide exists to detail every step that you have to follow to turn your career dreams into a reality, and it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might initially expect to get started today. So, if you’re interested in becoming a photographer and would like to know more about what it takes to open your own successful photography business, then simply read on to uncover a variety of tips and recommendations that you can utilize now! 

Take Part In Training

First and foremost, you must always begin your journey into a new industry by taking part in sufficient training, as you need to be able to prove that you have the knowledge and skills that are required to become a talented photographer. Fortunately there are so many different courses that you can sign up for, whether you want a basic photography qualification that briefly covers all of the most important aspects, or a specific wedding or landscape photography course that allows you to specialise in one key area. Taking part in training will not only increase your abilities, it will also help to boost your confidence and provide you with self assurance that your career is heading in the right direction. If you don’t manage to pass your training or get a very low grade on many of your course modules then this may be a sign that photography isn’t for you. However, if you still maintain a strong passion for photography and want to learn, then simply sign up again for more training until your skillset grows accordingly. 

Identify Your Market 

Identifying your market should be your next port of call, as you should always decide on an area in which you can specialise so that you can advertise your services in a more concise and efficient manner. There are lots of different pathways that you can explore as a photographer so it all depends on your personal preferences. Have a think about what kind of environment you would like to work in and with whom, as your subject contributes massively toward your overall experience on shift! Working in a fast paced high fashion photography set will be totally different to snapping wildlife photos covered in camouflage, so take some time to debate each option before making a final decision. It’s always a good idea to do a little research online if you’re unsure, as you can easily find first hand accounts from professionals who work in each area of photography that detail the benefits and drawbacks of their market. 

Invest In The Best Equipment

Once you’ve completed sufficient training and know exactly who (or what) you’d like to photograph, then it’s time to start purchasing all of the necessary equipment that you will need to create some beautiful images. You need far more than just a camera, as there are hundreds of different accessories and adaptations that you need to invest in to make sure you can cover all bases and snap the best quality photos no matter what environment you may be in. Of course your camera is still the most important piece of equipment that you will source so do not choose the first or cheapest camera that you find – take some time to read reviews and locate the best quality camera for your budget. You can find examples of photos that have been produced by your potential camera to see whether the look is something that you were hoping to recreate, or check for negative comments that detail specific complications or issues that you may encounter with the device. Always purchase a camera that maintains a long warranty, as you need to have peace of mind that you can take your device back to the store to get it fixed, replaced or refunded if anything were to go wrong, as accidents do happen. Buying a host of different lenses, filters, stands and memory cards is an essential step that you must never skip over, as you’ll need a totally different set up for each location or model that you photograph. 

In the modern market it’s important that you can match the speed of other advancing photography businesses who are beginning to stock a variety of more technically superior photography equipment. For example, investing in a drone such as the new Mavic 3 could be the perfect pathway to explore, as drone photography is in high demand at this moment in time and could act as a great unique selling point to help you attract more customers. Drone footage offers a completely different angle that you would get the chance to achieve on the ground, and it can be perfect for a variety of different uses to add flare and provide texture. Utilizing smaller extras such as go pros and other adventure equipment may also be of benefit depending on the type of photography that you’re planning on doing, as you may need to keep your hands full yet still capture what’s going on around you. Investing in the best quality equipment will allow you to work with confidence, as you’ll know for sure that the art you produce will be the best possible quality. 

Start Practicing

Once you feel as though you have all of the right training and equipment to begin your photography journey, it’s time to practice your skills to make sure you have what it takes to establish a professional business. Practice always makes perfect, so the more that you are able to practice then the better your images will likely be. Practice on a variety of different subjects with different lenses and filters to see how they can change the image, and play around with the settings on your camera to better understand it’s potential and what you can really do with it. Don’t worry if your practice pieces don’t turn out as you had initially hoped, as this is exactly why you’re choosing to practice in the first place. You’ll soon begin to develop your own little tricks and hacks that help you to improve your photographs, so there’s no time like the present to start practicing your snapping skills to build your confidence and get ready to take on paid work. 

Market Your Services 

As soon as you’re ready and willing to open the doors to your new photography brand, then you must begin to market and advertise your services to drum up sufficient attention and make sure you can actually benefit from a healthy flow of customers. You could be the most talented photographer in your country and still find no clientele if you fail to spread the word about your new business, so it’s absolutely vital that you can take the right steps to reach out to your audience and let them know you’re open and ready to make their photography dreams come true. One of the best places to market your services is on social media, as you can use one of the most popular photo sharing apps to start building a portfolio of all of your best work that potential customers can view. Using hashtags and other helpful additions will make sure that your photos reach their intended audience, while sponsoring influencers to plug your page can be even more beneficial. 

Becoming a professional photographer has never been so simple when you can take the time to utilize the tips detailed above! 


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