Friday, June 14, 2013

How to become a photographer

So you have decided that you want to become a photographer. 
Now what? How do you get to a place where 
you can do what you love and get paid to do it?
Everyone has a different path
and I learned a lot while finding mine. 
I didn't go to school for this and hit some
bumps here and there but I am finally
doing what I love full-time and earning a living doing it.
Here are some tips that I learned along the way...

First, decide what kind of photography you 
want to do. From sports to weddings to babies
to families to food.. the list goes on and on, 
but don't close yourself off and don't be 
afraid to try something new! 
Although I never dreamed I would be taking pictures of people, 
it turns out this is what is most enjoyable for me - 
but I didn't find this out until I tried everything else!

Shoot like crazy or go to school or both. 
I worked full-time and I'm a mother so schooling
was difficult. Instead, I shot every single 
thing I could get in front of the camera... 
the kids, the dog, the moon, the grass in the backyard - 
in the shade, in the sun, low angle, high angle
you name it, I tried it! But I didn't wait
until I had the kind of expensive equipment that I have now.
I started with a cheap little point and shoot - use your
phone if you have to, but practice, practice, practice!
If it is your desire to earn income from 
digital photography, you will eventually need to have
a decent SLR camera with at least a couple of lenses
that shoot in different ranges - the kind of equipment you
will need will depend on what you will be shooting. 
The sooner you can learn how to use your
camera the sooner you can get to work. 

Learn to edit. 
You don't have to know all the latest and greatest
editing tricks but simple techniques like cropping
and adjusting contrast or knowing how to 
remove a blemish can go a long way. 
There are free programs available like Picasa, 
or you can use cheap software programs like
Paint Shop Pro () - I started here
and worked my way up to Lightroom and Photoshop.
There are free tutorials all over the internet - 
it's as easy as searching YouTube.

Build a portfolio.
Start with what you have - family, friends, 
free events or volunteer your services if you have to. 
Share your work and get feedback. Don't be afraid to post
your work on social media sites.. once you start
getting inquiries and invites to shoot from others, 
you are close to being able to start charging for your time & effort. 

Once you have a solid body of work
and enough skill to use your camera in different settings
and circumstances, the work will come, especially
if you are marketing yourself.
You must be visible to others in your 
field of interest if you want work. 
Platforms like Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook
make it free and easy to put yourself out there.

Remember, if you're not failing at something
you're not doing anything! If you want to become
a photographer, you just have to go and DO it. 
It may take time, it took me about 3 years 
before I could quit my day job - but I'm here,
I did it and so can you :) 

1 comment:

  1. I love the poetic formatting of this.


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