How to start your photography career? How to establish yourself?
Basic Photography
Pixean
August 1, 2018

Millions have dreamt of becoming professional photographers. Thousands have done it. Photography is a creative art form which requires a lot of technical knowledge, skill and diligence. Diligence comes from a burning passion within. There have been many who have started photography solely for the monetary benefits and have failed. For something creative, you require zeal to excel every time you go out there to perform. Hence it is time for you to ask yourself whether you have that passion to pursue photography as a career. Let’s discuss about photography as a career and how to do photography professionally.

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Starting your photography career…
You may have been a photography enthusiast before you actually thought of making it a career but professional photography is an entirely different game. Photography may be a creative art form. It may be a passion for you and you want to excel in this art form but when you are looking at it from a career point of view, it becomes a business and like all other businesses requires a carefully planned road map. Let’s go through a few of the details.

1) Finances: Photography is a very expensive hobby.

When you are thinking of starting it as your career, you need to have your finances sorted out. An initial investment will be required to buy a dslr camera and a lens along with camera flash, tripods etc. Now, all these can be taken on rent too, but that will take away a huge chunk of your profits. Last moment availability of cameras and lenses is a bit of a challenge as well. I started with a basic dslr camera and a couple of prime lenses and so can you. With an increase in business, you may later look to improve your gear. Whatever may your gear be, ensure you are carrying extra memory cards and batteries at all events. You cannot give any excuse for a missed moment. You cannot cite lack of memory cards or power as excuses for such disasters as it looks thoroughly unprofessional. This can be very bad for your business.

2) Knowledge and practice:

Before you start off with professional photography, you need to make sure you know the basics well. A good hold on the knowledge of photography is mandatory. You need to be well versed with the exposure triangle parameters and the concepts of metering and exposure compensation. Handling the auto focusing mechanisms of advanced cameras is also a challenge you must be aware of. Practise shooting in low light conditions. Take practice photo shoots of your friends and family and learn the ways to control the depth of field, motion capture and creative angles. Confidence is required to take the big step forward in to professional photography. You can gain confidence solely by doing more and more shoots. Such shoots may be unpaid shoots also.

3) Handling clients:

Client is business. Client satisfaction should be the most important thing playing on your mind when you are looking to travel the distance in your photographic career. As amateurs, it can get quite tricky to understand the exact client requirements as they themselves are often not clear. In such cases I prefer to talk to them normally while trying to analyze what all things are of prime importance to them. Accordingly I plan some of my shots. When you put forward suggestions to them, they get quite impressed and start contributing more often than not. Remember, they are not professionals and hence they may not be able to clarify the exact type of shots they require. Show them some samples of your work to get better clarification. At the beginning of every shoot, you should have the exact client requirements on your mind and deviation from such things should be done only when all the required shots are perfectly taken.

How to get found as a photographer?

Your marketing strategies and social media visibility goes a long way in determining the success of your business. More you show your work to the people out there, more the chances of them hiring you. This is the basic rule applicable for all sorts of businesses and the same goes for photography too. This is the reason why most famous photographers are looking for several ways to increase their social media footprints. Some are doing by daily vlogging on their Youtube channels while others are giving away free tips and tricks on their Facebook pages. You can take a leaf out of their books to find out different strategies. Stock photography can be a good option to get your name out there too, although this can be quite time consuming. Try to approach the small magazines to get your images published. Such achievements are often serious deal breakers and can boost your business.

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How to establish yourself?
In a world where the number of professional photographers is continuously increasing, establishing yourself is certainly a challenge. We have already discussed about the marketing strategies to increase the viewership. Apart from that, establishing yourself will depend upon the quality you deliver in the initial stages of your career. Take up some free shoots for your friends or family and build a sort of portfolio for your advertisements and marketing purposes. Once you have done this, try doing some low budget commercial shoots. This will give you a fair idea about the challenges one can come face to face with. Sharing your portfolio on social media and submission of photographs in exhibitions can lead to an increase in popularity. 

Another significant thing you need to have on your mind is the genre of photography you are getting into. Choose the genre based on your passion. Career options are available in all genres like fashion, sports, wildlife, portraits etc. Many photographers choose the genre according to the money they believe is involved in. However, I feel the right way to do this is by choosing what drives you all the time. There will be several obstacles on your way and your love for the game is going to be your best friend!

Basic Photography
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