- The Photographer's MBA: Everything You Need to Know for Your Photography Business
- Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer
- Living the Dream: becoming a professional photographer
It's never easy to embark on a new road, no matter what road that is. Starting a photography business is a very exciting thing and the thrill of a beautiful career ahead can be exhilarating. However it's not going to be easy. That's why we've put together a short list of five steps you need to take for starting your photography career.
(Success Tip #1: How to sell your photos of people having fun anywhere)
1. Build a portfolio
If you're going to go after a career in sales, you're going to need a solid resume. If you want to be a photographer, you'll need a portfolio. Degrees and diplomas aren't going to get you anywhere. It's your personal work that's going to get you hired or not. The best way to put together a portfolio is with TFI (time for images) collaborations. Sites like Model Mayhem will help.
2. Find out where you stand
This is very important because if you don't figure out your place in the industry, you're going to have a very hard time landing jobs. Family and friends will tell you your work is amazing, but be honest with yourself and recognize that they lack proper education. Enter competitions and if you're going to compare yourself to anyone, make sure it's someone better than you.
3. Invest in yourself
This doesn't mean "buy the most expensive gear”. It means going to workshops, photography classes and buying the right books. Education and lots of practice are the key to becoming successful in photography. Make sure you invest a lot of time and stay committed.
4. Invest in gear
I will never agree with anyone who uses the argument that all the great photographers and filmmakers use great gear instead of cheap cameras. Gear is indeed important and if you have the option of buying good stuff, you should. But if you can only afford third party lenses or entry level cameras, it should in no way feel as a limitation, nor should it frustrate you and keep you from shooting. Good photographers will shoot on anything and complaints about slow lenses and less than tack sharp images are for gear heads, not creative minds.
5. Have a professional attitude
(Success Tip #2: Take better photos with this deck of cards.)
Because this is a business like all others, attitude is crucial. Be a professional in all you do and you will earn the respect of your clients, who will ultimately recommend you for doing a good job and giving them the comfortable feeling that you are an expert who knows what he's doing.
To get an in depth perspective on these five steps, check out this video made by photographer Jason Lanier.