If you have decided to take a path in the creative sector, there are many options out there for you. The work of a photographer can be demanding, complex, and extremely rewarding.
Like many creative careers, there is no one way of getting into work as a photographer. It comes down to one question that you can ask yourself, what is your passion?
Do you like to take photography portraits? Or do you like to capture life as it happens? Or sports photography, nature photography, wildlife photography, the list goes on. But what are the basics of getting into photography, and how do you make a living from it?
1. Getting the Right Education
While you don’t necessarily have to have taken an official course in photography, a degree in an art or media related subject does look good on your CV, especially if you are hoping to work with a company as their in-house photographer (for example, a baby photo portrait company), then having a certified qualification certainly helps you get your foot in the door.
More often than not, prospective employers will hire you on the basis of your work, so by developing your own individual style, or by strengthening your skills as a photographer begins by making a portfolio of your best work.
Make sure that the portfolio only contains around 20 of your best photos, as people don’t want to spend all day trawling through albums of photographs. Employers will hire you based on their first impression the majority of the time, make sure it is a good one.
The best photographers are rarely seen without their camera, have it on you at all times, you never know when an amazing photo opportunity will come up.
2. Getting the Right Equipment
Having the right equipment is an essential part of the business. From the right types of cameras to the accessories that come with it. The work of a photographer means that you will always need a backup battery or extra SD cards on hand, and for any additional storage accessories, you can order here.
Also important is the use of camera lenses for portrait photography.
The way we use computers for everything now has spilled into photography, and the days of developing film are slowly becoming a thing of the past, mainly because of the expense.
It is a lot cheaper to invest in a computer and a photo editing software package, but a detailed list of equipment you need is here.
3. Finding Work
The nature of the freelance photographer is one with many peaks and troughs. The work of a freelancer means that one month you will be inundated with work, and the next you will be left twiddling your thumbs.
There are small jobs that you can do to get you from A to B, such as a nightclub photographer, where you are going around the clubs photographing parties and people, but the nature of the work means that it is unsociable hours.
You can earn money by working with a photography studio that does family portraits. This is big business, and it pays very well. A lot of photographers who tire of the freelance lifestyle find themselves in this line of work, and it provides a nice balance of a regular paycheck with creative choices in your work.
If you are aiming to make a go of being a freelance photographer, there are many freelance sites that you can apply for work on. It is a way to build up your portfolio, and good feedback puts you in line for more work.
4. The Life Of a Photographer
It is an incredibly exciting and diverse career. One day you could be working in the jungle, and the next you could be freelancing for a newspaper taking pictures of a local sports game.
The nature of being a freelancer means that when the offers are there, you have to take them up, which means that as time goes on, you will continue to expand your photography style and “learn on the job” a lot of the time.
After a while, if you find that you have the know-how to make a sale of your work, you could either start to put on exhibitions of your work, or you could start up a business of your own, either by selling photos you have taken to publications, like newspapers or websites, or you may find that doing wedding photography by day and action photography by night gives you the balance in earning a stable income while still igniting that creative spark.