- How to Become a Photographer - Gig Work
- How to Become a Photographer - Online Sales
- How to Become a Photographer - Second Shooter
- How to Become a Photographer - Gallery Sales
- How to Become a Photographer - Photo Services
- How to Become a Photographer Without a Degree
- Recommended Photography Gear
- How Do I Make My Photography Business Profitable?
- FAQs About Printing Photos on Metal
- Photography Business Tips: 4 Things To Do Before a Photo Shoot
Photo by curtoicurto via iStock
An interesting fact about professional photographers is that some have degrees in fine arts, some in business, some in technical school, and some have no degrees or internships.
The bottom line is that many paths cover how to become a photographer. Some of the best methods of how to become a photographer without a degree can have you earning income from the very beginning of your career path.
Today, I will show you some ideas of how to become a photographer that you can get started on right now. By the way, when I say how to become a photographer, I’m speaking about professional photography, whatever form of this field you choose.
In addition to discussing the different paths for becoming a photographer, I’ll give some general hints and tips that you can use to your advantage as a professional photographer.
Table of Contents:
How to Become a Photographer - Gig Work
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One of the most accessible methods of how to become a photographer is to do gig work.
By my definition, gig work refers to any type that is not a traditional, regularly scheduled job. It can include freelancing, independent contracting, on-call work, temporary work (full or part-time), and online services platforms.
When considering how to become a photographer, all those ideas listed above can be used separately or simultaneously.
Online platforms for freelance photographers are popular with gig workers because they often take care of the parts of gig work that can be a bit of a hassle, namely, finding the jobs and getting paid. The downsides are that there is a lot of competition, and the pay can sometimes be lower than if you find the photo jobs yourself. So, in other words, there are trade-offs.
How to Become a Photographer - Online Sales
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Having an online presence is pretty much a necessity for becoming a photographer. Even if you’re old school in most everything else, being online with either social media or a website is simply how things work now.
I still use business cards made of cardstock, but even with that classic method of business promotion, my website and email are listed on the card.
Your photography website or account may be simple, with some self-promotion and a few examples of outstanding images. Still, many photographers opt for having some sort of online sales potential.
Many website builders are available to help you operate a photography business. Having a website with a shopping cart can also be beneficial. Many online printing companies offer competitive pricing for photographers selling physical prints.
Shiny Prints, a professional printing company specializing in metal prints, offers a program for professional photographers with special price incentives. Check them out for your business.
How to Become a Photographer - Second Shooter
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Becoming a photographer may be centered around making pictures of people, such as portraits, weddings, and other special events. Before venturing out entirely on your own, you may want to try being a second shooter for an established business.
Consider it an internship, though you will want to be paid for your work. You’ll also have to bring something to the table for most established businesses to take the chance of using you. Also, the pay will not usually be top dollar, but that’s part of becoming a photographer in that industry.
Once you get in, you’ll learn more than just the imaging side of the business. Be helpful, fulfill the tasks assigned, and stay observant of everything involved in becoming a photographer operating that type of business, from initial meetings with clients to how to comport yourself during the event and on to the delivery of the images.
How to Become a Photographer - Gallery Sales
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Gallery sales, online or in person, is another easily accessible step in how to become a photographer making money from your images. Instead of the labor, such as being a second shooter, it’s all about the artwork, the prints.
You will want to have an eye-catching display when selling physical prints in person. Metal prints from a high-end printing company, such as Shiny Prints, can make a huge difference.
Metal prints from Shiny Prints are outstanding in quality, made with the dye sublimation process on high-quality aluminum panels. When you combine your best artwork as a photographer with the visually stunning display of a large metal print, your stuff stands out, leading to sales.
How to Become a Photographer - Photo Services
Photo by Marcos Elihu Castillo Ramirez via iStock
This could actually be lumped together with gig work, but I’m listing it separately due to the fact that you can become more or less of a permanently contracted photographer. Real estate photography is one of the biggest forms of this step of how to become a photographer.
Besides the always busy real estate photography market, there are other photo services needed. Insurance companies often have a similar arrangement with local photographers. Many types of businesses need small product photography.
You could also branch out on your own to offer virtual tours for local businesses, such as becoming a Google Trusted Photographer.
Here is a YouTube video from Momentum 360 on how to become a Google Trusted Photographer:
With many services, you can work per job or set up a contract as a photographer in your area, accepting assignments as they come. It’s a great way to make money as a photographer, but keep in mind that it won’t make you rich overnight. But it can add to your bottom line, even if you’re primarily working in another genre of photography.
How to Become a Photographer Without a Degree
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Having a degree in photography or business can be a great help for becoming a professional photographer, but it’s not a guarantee of success. It still requires hard work, talent, skill, and perseverance.
It’s those things that I think matter the most for how to become a photographer than others want to pay for their wants and needs concerning photography. Being a professional photographer is the best career choice I ever made. Use these tips for how to become a photographer yourself and join us in the fun of professional photography.