Do you want to become a photographer and make decent money? Do you think that a photographer can only make money in the studio? We will tell you how to become a successful professional photographer, what directions there are, and what to do as a beginner in the profession!
Pros and cons of working as a photographer Weigh all the pros and cons - that's what you need to do before you choose the profession of a photographer to understand if you really want it.
Pros of working as a photographer
Work schedule. Working as a photographer means being a freelancer. You choose your own days when you can go to work, as long as you're not tied to an employer. It's up to you whether you take the job or not.
Profit. Professional photographers earn from $500 per shoot. Since there can be several shoots a day, the income increases proportionally to your ability to work.
Disadvantages of being a photographer
Here are the two main cons to consider when planning to start a photographer career:
- Competition. Every second considers himself a photographer. Not all clients see the difference between a professional and an amateur, so they often go to the latter, preferring the benefit over the quality. You need to be able to advertise yourself to get new orders.
- Non-permanent earnings. If one week is jammed, you may spend the next without work. Expensive equipment. To become a professional photographer, you will need equipment. It's expensive, so you'll have to splurge.
How to become a photographer on your own
Every photographer's story is individual, and not all professionals have attended courses. With some diligence and patience, you can become a photographer without anyone's help. Be prepared: it can take more than one year. You will have to look for and correct mistakes in your own work.
Here are some tips on how to become a professional photographer at home:
- Buy equipment. Buying an expensive camera is not worth it, because first you need to train your hand. Get any kind of camera. Now there is also mobile photography, when all the shots are taken on your phone (provided you have a good camera on your smartphone).
- Master Photoshop/Lightroom. Or any good photo processing program. Learn it and other useful tools like a background remover so you can use it wisely.
- If you manage to get a job as an assistant to a professional photographer, it will help you get hands-on experience shooting. When you get the opportunity, focus on seeing the photographer at work during actual photo shoots, editing photos. Being in company with a professional photographer will give you a chance to see how to run a business and how to communicate with clients.
- Practice. Try looking for assistant jobs on job sites, or write directly to a photographer whose shooting style you like.
- Have patience. Learning to take pictures on your own is very difficult. Ask your friends to point out your shortcomings and constantly improve, take pictures. Fix your mistakes and take pictures again. It will take time for you to learn how to take pictures and process them well.
Equipment for the novice photographer
So, you have decided to become a photographer. Now you need to figure out what, besides your own talent, it will take. What camera to choose - a DSLR or mirrorless - you decide. There is a lot of controversy about this, because both have their own disadvantages and advantages.
Advantages of a DSLR camera:
- Battery lasts a long time without recharging
- Large selection of lenses
- Fast operation (power on, focus, extra functions)
Disadvantages of a DSLR camera:
- Big and heavy
- Minimum price of a good camera is $1000
- Difficult to use in the dark - you can't see anything in the optical viewfinder (the device that determines the boundaries of the frame)
Mirrorless digital camera
Advantages of a mirrorless camera:
- Compact and lightweight
- A simple "digital" will cost a maximum of $300. Fast autofocus in any shooting mode.
Disadvantages of a mirrorless camera:
- Battery lasts about 200-250 frames
- Slow performance
- Few optional lenses
Professionals still prefer the DSLR, but things can quickly change, because progress does not stand still.
Overall, the photographer's kit is not that great:
- Camera - get a good camera. A memory card (if not included in the kit) - at least 16 GB, because the photos will be "heavy"
- Any computer that has good software for processing photos
- Flash for taking pictures in dark rooms or at night
- Lenses - for diverse shooting
- Charging blocks - allows you to connect several batteries at once
- Tripod for precise shots
- Extra memory cards if you run out of the main memory card
- Carry bag/backpack - you need somewhere to carry it all
- Strong muscles to carry a backpack full of gadgets with you
If you are a studio photographer, you will also need:
- A studio space - or an arrangement/acquaintance with good studios with multiple interiors or rooms
- Scenery (multiple backdrops or arranged interiors)
- Lighting equipment
Decide what kind of photographer you want to be, get the right equipment, sign up for courses and... go for your dream! Over time you'll learn how to create photographic masterpieces at the touch of a finger.