So, you’re a photographer. Congratulations! You are an artist. You’re dedicated to your craft. You’re driven and hard-working.
Yet, you wonder: How in the world can I make a living off my craft in today’s competitive market? Where do I even start? Making a living by doing the thing you love is one of the greatest feelings in the world, but you have to do it the right way.
Following the steps below won’t guarantee you success, but it will definitely put you on the right path to working your dream job for the rest of your life.
Do What Works for Others
Contrary to what you may believe, you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Find out what the successful photographers are doing. Visit their sites, like this one that showcases David Koonar Photography in Windsor. This leads us to our next point.
Find Your Niche
Finding a niche is important. It informs everything that you’ll be doing next. What equipment you’ll buy. What your clientele will be. How you’ll approach that clientele.
Remember, while you may be wildly passionate about one niche in particular, you have to remember that Photography is a business like any other. There has to be a demand for your niche. Your passion matters, but the passion of prospective customers will matter even more. You need to keep that in mind if you’re trying to make a living.
Trying to find a marketable niche can be overwhelming but take heart! You are a photographer. Take inventory of your skills. What are you best at?
If you can apply those skills to a marketable niche that you are passionate about, then you will be successful.
I regret to inform you that you will be requiring a camera in order to engage in photography. I know it’s shocking, but I think you’ll recover.
Like all startup businesses, you will need to invest and acquire the equipment that is best suited for your particular niche.
You will need, at the absolute minimum, a camera, lenses, and a flash. Then, based on what it is you’re doing, you may need lights or diffusers. You may also need to rent a studio.
Getting all the lenses you need should be your focus as you start to move forward. This improves the quality and versatility of your shots.
Get Better at Photography
No one is perfect. Check your ego at the door and improve yourself constantly. There are many things you can do to improve your skills. Join photography groups on Facebook. Take classes. Visit seminars and workshops.
While you do all these things, you must be completely open to constructive criticism. Over time, you will see improvement in all aspects of your composition. The quality of your work will progress, and demand will grow.
Build a Portfolio
You did it! You’ve got all the tools and you’re a great photographer, but you need some way to sell those skills to prospective clients.
You’re going to need to build a portfolio. This could mean going out into nature and snapping some beautiful pictures. It could also mean doing some pro bono work with models in order to get your feet wet. It all depends on your niche.
Once you have a bunch of pictures, be selective. When people look for photographers, they are looking for quality and they are looking for shots that stand out. Okay pictures won’t cut it. You have to showcase the best of the best.
Edit, Edit, Edit
Further to the point above, you will need to know how to edit your pictures in order to enhance their worth. Clients want to see beautiful, fantastic things. Photoshop is your friend. It allows you to fix lighting and color balance, or draw the eye to a specific part of the image. Learn the program and learn to love it. Editing will add tons of value to your photos!
Put Up a Website and Join Instagram
In a perfect world, you’d be able to create every Social Media account under the sun and post to them constantly. Unfortunately, we live in a world with time constraints, so let’s start with the Photography basics.
You will need a website in order to showcase your portfolio. Be sure that it is stylish and easy to navigate. As someone working in the visual medium, your website needs to reflect the quality of your work. It is recommended that you hire a designer to make it for you.
Every photographer worth his salt needs an Instagram account. Make one immediately and post quality content to it everyday.
Did you find these tips useful? Feel free to share this article with your friends. If you have another tip that I may have missed, feel free to leave a comment below.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Photography category on Running Wolf’s Rant.