Many people dream about living a life where they can support themselves with an artistic career – the freedom to be creative and express yourself, plus get paid well while doing that is a dream many people share.
Whether it is commercial or artistic, the field of photography is a fun career that some people could potentially make good money at doing if they work hard and were able to obtain just a little bit of luck!
Ways to Get Started in a Photography Career
One of the most common ways that people use their skills of taking pictures is documenting major events in their client’s life. Starting young builds experience. Everyone wants good quality pictures from major live events, and this is especially true on their wedding day, so they can save the best shots from their big day and look back on these memories for decades. Simple tip on how to get started: Do you have friends or family getting married soon? Use this as a potential opportunity to get a paying gig.
- Before you start off and venture out on your own in your new career path, ask to shadow or help a local, established photographer so you can review their work and see how they handle situations. Do this for free – the experience is worth it
- Ask questions and come prepared; bring a notebook full of questions and ask questions and put yourself in hypothetical scenarios
- Ask the photographer questions like – “what tips would you give yourself if you could go back in time and you were just starting out?” Ask how they solve problems, deal with difficult clients, and manage their time.
Once you’ve shadowed a professional, and feel confident moving forward, you should work towards booking your first paying gig. It will be stressful, but use that stress to your advantage by channeling that into positive energy toward your first assignment. Craigslist or local job boards, networking, and asking friends or family for referrals are always a good place to start and start small.
Success won’t come or happen over night and it takes a lot of work. There will be ups and downs – and a lot of frustration. The frustrations, however, will be learning experiences and a chance to grow your wings and grow your skill set. As they say, “calm seas never made for a good sailor.”
There are three career paths to making money as a professional photographer; You can work as an independent contractor for another photographer that supplies their own equipment for events or photoshoots, or you can work for a studio that will cut you a paycheck every week, or start your own business. There are benefits to all of these; it’s just up to you what works best with your career goals and your lifestyle. Experiment and try them all, there’s no blueprint for success.
Although it may be difficult to start out in, once you establish yourself in a career as a photographer, it can be a great and very rewarding life choice, as you are around a lot of people during very best moments.
Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by Mike Baird
Article by Tricia Keffer
The Author, Tricia Keffer, photographs weddings and travels abroad for photography assignments.