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Working as a professional photographer can be a great career choice for those willing to work at it, but you should always remember that it does take a lot of work.
Photographers work as self-employed freelancers more often than not, and that is never an easy life for those who are just starting out. Then again, nobody gets into artistic endeavours such as photography for the money. Photography is an art form, and those who are the most successful have a passion for the art as well as the will to succeed.
Of course, passion and determination can only get you so far. To truly make it as a photographer, there are certain things you should be doing. This list is by no means universal, but it should help you get started in your photography career.
It’s a common misconception that all professional photographers have state-of-the-art photography equipment that costs thousands of dollars. While there are certainly photographers that rely heavily on expensive cameras and equipment, it is possible to take beautiful photos with a cheaper camera. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t know all about your cheap camera and its features, however. You should be as much of an expert on what your camera can do as possible, even if its capabilities are relatively limited. Experiment with its different settings, read up on the kind of camera you have and learn what kinds of pictures you can take with it. Even if you don’t think you have a “good” camera, you should still be able to get some great shots with it if you know what you’re doing.
If you ever want to be hired anywhere as a photographer, you need to have some work that you can show off to potential employers. This means building a portfolio of your best photographs. You should have several photos in your portfolio, and they should cover a wide range of subjects. You should also keep adding photos to your collection. The more it grows, the more you will be able to show employers and clients what you can do.
The thing about photo opportunities is that they can and do happen at a moment’s notice. Some of the most striking and beautiful photographs ever taken were completely unplanned; someone just happened to be in the right place with a camera at the right time. You don’t need to travel with an expensive camera and your equipment, but try to keep a camera with you at all times.
While there is nothing wrong with being able to take several different kinds of photos, you should be able to find one niche that suits you. This could be landscapes, portraits, weddings, photoshoots or anything else you would be willing to try. You will find something that will turn out to be your forte. Once that happens, start advertising it as your specialty.
You probably won’t become a successful photographer immediately. It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of networking and more than a little luck to really make a career out of snapping photographs. Don’t get discouraged if you have trouble finding work right away. Keep taking pictures, building your portfolio and making contacts. You will find success eventually. Until then, don’t quit your day job. You will need to support yourself with your job until you can support yourself with your career.