Many people who love taking photographs dream of being a professional photographer, travelling around the world to capture beautiful wilderness photography or personal portraits.
With these five tips, you will be able to move closer to your dreams and start your career as a photographer.
- Pick Your Focus
It’s important to decide what type of photographer you want to be. The requirements to become a photojournalist will vary from the requirements to become a forensic photographer. Find your niche and become an expert. By focusing you will be able to build your credibility as a photographer in that niche.
- Get the training
Depending on what field of photography you want to specialize in, you might need to get a college degree. A photojournalist or a scientific photographer will need the training not only in photography, but also in journalism or science. Other specialties will benefit from college training but do not require it. If you don’t want to spend the next four years in class, try to find an internship. Approach people who are making a living doing what you want to do and see if they offer an assistantship. You’ll be able to learn the ropes and improve your photography skills while you help your employer.
- Join organizations
Taking great photographs is only one half of the equation. You’ll also need to make connections. There are different types of organizations that you should consider joining. First, think locally. Many of the businesses and organizations in your area will need to hire a photographer at some time. Join the Chamber of Commerce and other business networking groups. This will give people a chance to know you and your work and you will be more successful when you approach them than you would be cold calling them.
The second type of organization you should join should be related to your specialty. This allows you to become an expert in whatever you are shooting. If possible, join organizations that are comprised of photographers in your niche. You’ll also want to join a broader organization that would include different business people in the niche you want to pursue.
The third type of organization you’ll want to join is a general photographer organization. This will keep you up-to-date in the photography world. You’ll get great tips on becoming a better photographer and you’ll have the opportunity to pick up more skills at conferences and workshops.
- Start Local, Start Small
Although you may desire to land a contract that sends you to Hawai’i to shoot travel photos, you’ll have more success if you start locally. If you want to be a travel photographer, see if the local tourism bureaus need photographs for their brochures. As you add to your portfolio, you’ll be able to get bigger and better jobs.
If selling your photos online, start with submitting your photos to the micro-stock sites. After you have success with those you will then be able to approach the large professional stock sites to offer them your services as an experienced stock photographer.
- Invest in your career
You don’t need the most expensive camera on the market to be a successful photographer, but do buy the best equipment that you can afford. If you want to become a professional photographer full time, you will need to invest in your career.