Working as professional photographer is very exciting. Now a days lot of amateur photographers are considering photography as career. It is fun to know that your photography hobby can get you money as a side business, or even can be your primary business. I have seen dozens and dozens of the photographers starting their photography business with all excitements, but eventually fail as a professional photographer and end up closing down. Well there can be many reasons for them not able to sustain. May be a wrong start can also lead to not being successful professional photographer.
Before starting photography as career, a professional photographer should have gone through following steps.
It is very important to have a good education before you start any business. Photography is no different then starting other business. If your base is solid and clear you can build up a good building on that. So learning from a good photography institute or college is defiantly a good start. Although there is vast knowledge available and shared online but having one mentor will defiantly help kick start your career.
I faced so many problems when i was trying to learn photography in Ahmedabad India, so to help other photographers who really wants to learn photography and make photography as career, i have started my own courses which you can find here. I have courses for different level photographers, from amateur to professionals, and many students from all over India has joined our courses and improved their photography skills with the help of our courses.
So once you have learned photography and enriched your self with the knowledge. It is now time for you to start working on creating an amazing photography portfolio to showcase your skills.
BUY RIGHT EQUIPMENTS
Now as you already know about photography and the category you want to shoot. It is right time to invest in the right gear. According to the category you want to work in, start building up your kit accordingly. For an example, if you are planning to work as wild life photographer, your kit should be focused more towards buying more tele lenses. Fashion photographers should carry variety of lenses from ultra wide angle to medium telephoto lenses, and variety of lights would be good option. For Some one shooting products all the time, should buy more macro lenses and optical lights. For architecture photography a good tilt shift lens, a sturdy tripod and next generation tethering device sounds like a good option.
LEARN BASIC EDITING
Being a professional photographer and retoucher together does has its own benefits. I really prefer every photographer should know basics of editing. Because now in digital era if you want to stay ahead of your competition, you need to have edge. Benefit of being a retoucher and photographer together is, you can create your own unique blend of photography and retouching and create your own style. Now a days clients are prefers photographers who has their unique style to the final shots. So lets say if you can be photographer cum retoucher then it will give you a jump over your competition.
PREPARE A PORTFOLIO
One of the very important thing for a professional photographer is to have a profession portfolio of his/her work. Because a well crafted portfolio can get you good number of clients and quality clients. So once you are done with your learning and buying the right kit for you, it is now time to shoot more and more everyday. This will do two things, first is you will enhance your skills by more and more practice. Second is you will start getting new pictures for your portfolio and those pictures, if marketed in right way, will get you some initial clients.
For portfolio building shots, it is completely fine to work on a lower price or on TFP bases with models and clients. As the TFP shoots will give you hand on experience on working with models. If you go and meet the agency or clients personally, my suggestion is to print your work and take along. Your printed portfolio defiantly makes big impression on clients. While preparing your portfolio make sure to add only your best work. No agency or clients are interested in looking at all images. So keep your portfolio short and very much to the point only.
SHOWCASE YOUR PORTFOLIO
Creating a portfolio is just like putting up your card in the deck of 1000 cards. To get noticed by your future clients or agencies, you need to market your self well. For showcasing your portfolio you have got so many good options. Social media is one of the very fast and easiest way for showcasing your work to others. You can also create your own website for display. A local ad in some magazines also can get attention of niche people. Well done marketing is the key to a quick response from the clients.