There are many people out there that will tell you that being a photographer is a dated profession and that you will never be able to make a decent living. Well, I am telling you that this is just the opinion of those individuals who do not share your passion or enthusiasm in this field. There are many people out there that you call on for advice, but just remember, expressing one’s opinion on a career choice that is foreign, is often worthless advice and can lead to you missing out on a wonderful opportunity to follow your bliss and be successful in the end. 

Do your Research

Research is all about identifying your wants and your needs, and being able to distinguish the difference between what is real and want is just “a pipe dream”. Once you have an idea and a direction as to the genre of photography you wish to pursue, you can pat yourself on the back, you have now reached first base. The next step is how much time you are prepared to dedicate to learning the trade, using your creative eye and abilities master the tools of the trade. There is really not that much theory to learning the functionality or the “maths” behind the settings. Having an eye is everything, and understanding light is the next major step in the learning process. No one will ever ask you to explain to them the steps you followed to get that perfect shot, rather, they will hire your services based on what you can show them and the impression that you make.

How to approach learning to become a Photographer

Shadow a Photographer That You Admire

Before you make that purchase, be an observer, ask questions and make yourself available to shadow a photographer in the area that you most admire. The best way to learn  is by using your ears and your eyes and to ask questions while on a job. remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question, that is the way we learn, so don’t hold back, you are working for free and probably doing the “slog work”. You will learn how to communicate and deal with clients professionally, set up studio lighting for tests, and most importantly be able to carry out a shoot from start to finish with confidence. This is invaluable in the learning process. All you need thereafter, is the appropriate camera gear and lighting equipment of your own that will meet your needs, in order to start up. In case you are unaware, becoming a professional photographer requires a substantial cash injection to acquire the best gear possible for the genre of photography you wish to focus on as a career. Without this knowledge, the outcome could end up being a disastrous and a financial nightmare in all respects. You do not want to be that person sitting with camera gear that fails your needs and has emptied your pockets, it will kill you in every way.

Attend a Short photography Course or Workshop

Once your mind is made up as to where you want to go with your photography, do some research as to what schools and colleges are out there that meet your needs. The “gut feel” is normally the best choice, so as a creative, go with it. My suggestion is to find a course that is small, or taught on a 121 basis, where you are not just a number and churned out like sardines, and on completion to go find your feet. A one on one teaching option provides personal and hands on attention, normally tailored to your needs and taught by someone who is passionate. Practical attention on a small scale provides you with confidence and the focus you need to get from a beginner to pro. There are even short courses that provide, not only the reading material and notes, but professional advice and camera gear, providing great opportunities for practical application and camera choice when  you are ready to buy your camera. A great teacher is everything. If you like your teacher, you end up learning more and being a success sooner than later. The less stress, the better you learn. Being able to express and unleash that talent sooner than later in a natural way is progressive and adds confidence from the start. At the end of the day,  it’s all about practice, practice, practice…

How to plan your Budget for setting up your Business

Most of us have a limited budget, so plan wisely in all respects.

Firstly, your camera gear, quality over quantity applies, do your homework and make the right choices. Once the money and the clients start rolling in, you can upgrade to the next item on your list. New or preowned is fine, so long as it comes from a reputable source and is properly checked out. Preowned is far more cost effective than new, and there are some great deals out there to be had.

Secondly, your marketing is key to any successful business, especially in the start up phase where building clients and your brand is everything. Search Google for business plans that are applicable to your needs, as well as online platforms that best display visual content and have the reach that you need to ensure your services, and your name reach your target market. Word of mouth is great, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and speak out of what services you have to offer. Initially, everyone is a potential client. A suggestion, is that you make use of free social platforms like Instagram and Flickr to build your brand and portfolio while gathering the visual content for the potential of a well planned and optimal website. Websites provide a great platforms for attracting and building new business, so long as you build, manage and comply to the constant tweaks required for ranking on Google. Just having a website will not generate businesses, you need to always be working on fresh and exciting content in order to gain weight amongst your competitors.

Thanks for taking the time to read this short and simple blog, and wish you all the best.  Like everything in life, Rome was not built in a day, but Rome did conquer, so stick to your guns and it will happen for you.