It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you would have to be a professional photographer in order to start making an income from your practice. But the truth is, it’s never been easier to become a photographer as it is at this moment.
Cameras are not costly, you can virtually learn anything from Youtube and developing images to be able to sell them is free (since they’re digital obviously!). You can buy a used camera for a fraction of it’s price and put on an automatic lighting setting to start learning.
Here are some of the reasons you should become a photographer even when it might feel an oversaturated field.
1.You don’t need any experience
I will go as far as to state boldly that you do not need any experience in order to start making an income from your craft. People are always in need on pictures, whether they’re wedding, maternity, or graduation images.
So you will always have clients in your close circle that will definitely pay you to take their pictures – and in the beginning your prices will be the greatest offer for them. Using automatic settings and learning while you are photographing will build your experience but will also let you make a bit of a buck on the side.
2. It’s easier than ever to get your images published
We are living in the golden age of distribution; before the internet you would have to physically go and try to sell your images to photo agencies and journals, but now you can apply for open calls and pitch your story ideas to different magazines. Of course there is also more competition, but being a relentless photographer with a clear objective to guide you, it will pay off.
But also the fact that before a photographer would have to be sent out to a location for them to get the shot from the ongoing situation. Now you can follow the current topics that are surfacing and make distinctive decisions on your direction based on that.
3. You can start earning money immediately
As I mentioned in the first reason, you can start making an income from your work pretty much immediately as you have a camera to shoot with. Decide on your photography style and stick to it when creating portraits and other photoshoot requests for your clients.
Make sure what your prices are and start increasing them once you notice you start developing your skills. Just make sure in the beginning your prices will be low enough for your clients to want to work with you, while you still don’t have much experience.
4. You can start your journey without a degree
Thank you for the internet again, you can find successful photographers near you in an instant. They may have had years of learning and priceless experience that they won’t be sharing with just anyone.
But many of them take interns for the help and in exchange you will be gaining valuable lessons and information about their practice. Most of the things to learn need to be seen in reality, in order to understand how and why it works the way it does. Learning from a professional how to become a photographer, will be more beneficial than you think.
5. Showcase your work on social media for free
This is another no-brainer; you have dozens of platforms where – with the consistent effort – you can build an audience for yourself and promote your work to new clientele. Especially Instagram and Pinterest are favorites for photographers, since they are image platforms.
Pinterest will promote your images for a longer period of time, unlike Instagram which will only promote your images once you are using the platform and are being more active on it.
6. You can build a professional portfolio yourself
With this resource you can easily edit your series of images and learn to better distinguish how to compose the final series. This is a major thing to learn, even if you don’t have a sufficient amount of ‘golden shots’.
It’s because the better you get at looking at your work through critical eyes, the more compelling series you can showcase to your future clients and other applications you decide to add your work to.
7. You can learn as you go
If you truly want to become a photographer, you need to know that it’s a never ending learning curve. There will not be an end point to what information you can acquire, and having a healthy hunger for the field will be your biggest guidance.
Try to learn as much as you can from everyone you meet, and don’t forget to communicate; with your clients and their need but also with your mentors, if you have doubts or questions. You can set up weekly or monthly challenges for yourself and feel instant satisfaction once you’ve accomplished them.
Start with making a clear plan for what you want to do and review them every couple of months to see what worked and what not. Especially in a creative field, failing is just another step to learn how to do things.
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