How to Begin a Career in Photography
Photography is arguably the most popular hobby in the world. Almost everyone owns a smartphone that can take high-quality photos at the touch of a single button.
Fifty years ago, automatic functions on any camera were limited. You’d need to match your settings with those on your light reader and trust that the outcome would be of sufficient quality. Now, whether you’re a smartphone photographer or use a DSLR, photography is entirely accessible.
In the UK, photographers earn
an average of
You’ve got the photography bug, but can you turn it into a career? The simple answer is yes. The reason for the answer’s complexity ties into our opening two sentences: almost everyone has a camera on them all the time. As a result, sectors that require professional photographers have shrunk. Despite the shrinkage, it’s still entirely plausible that money can be made from photography. You just have to be a little savvy.
To start your photography career off right, we at Courses Online want to give you a list of dos and don’ts to help you on your professional journey.
The first colour photograph
was taken in
Freelance or Contracted?
Like many creative jobs, photographers can either be freelance or under contract, but what do those terms mean?
“Self-employed and hired to work for different companies on particular assignments.”
“Employed by a company with a set of explicit terms and conditions of employment.”
For this section, you might find our article about building up a freelance career useful. Freelance work tends to give the photographer more freedom to pick and choose what they want to do. Alternatively, contractual work offers stability.
Do Invest in Your Profession.
It is true that you can create excellent photographs with even the most basic equipment, but if you’re going to impress potential clients and build up a portfolio that not only looks great on the small screen but translates every detail onto a larger screen, you’ll need quality equipment.
The things you should put money towards include:
A DSLR Camera
Full frame if possible.
A Range of Lenses
Varying from long telescopic lenses to wide-angle short ones.
There are cheaper alternatives, but Photoshop is hard to beat.
You’ll sometimes be shooting in low light. Don’t risk motion blur.
It’s not necessary to buy everything at once, but by reinvesting into your photography, the results will speak volumes.
Today, within two minutes, more photos are taken than the whole
Do Build That Portfolio Up.
They say the proof is in the pudding. In this case, it’s in the portfolio. Your potential clients and employers will not only want to see quality but an extensive, variety of work. Used to taking pictures of flowers? Take your camera to a football match. Is weddings your cup of tea? Why not try some interior design shots? By focusing on different subjects, you’ll not only build up your skills but also demonstrate your ability to adapt to different scenarios.
Don’t Think Work Will Come to You.
As we mentioned, the industry has shrunk in recent years. You’re competing with a vast number of photographers, who might have been doing it for longer, or with better equipment, or have more contacts in the photographic world.
Sometimes it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. How do you ensure you’re in the right place? One word – networking.
Tell everyone you know that you’re busy pursuing a career in photography. Your name will spring to the forefront of their mind when anyone mentions potential photography projects or events. Get your name out on social media and don’t be afraid to approach potential clients.
Windows XP’s default wallpaper called
is the most viewed photograph of all time
Do Shoot a Wedding. Even If It’s Just the Once.
A wedding is the happiest day in most people’s lives. With that happiness comes an intense pressure for everything to be perfect. Including the photos. Despite this immense responsibility, wedding photography allows you to dip your toe into the professional world. You’ll have to adapt to different lighting and social situations. Furthermore, guests at weddings don’t tend to be the most actively compliant; therefore, you’ll have an opportunity to flex your organisational skills.
Don’t Give Up
This piece of advice might sound cliché, but you seriously shouldn’t give up. Having a career doing something you’re passionate about is everybody’s dream.
Take small steps, but make sure that every day you’re building towards your goal.
To help build up to your dream career, why not browse our extensive list of courses: