Photography helps in sharing ideas and emotions by bringing simplicity in this complex modern world. It is the art of capturing light with the help of a camera (or a digital sensor) to create an image. Professional photography is often referred to as the visual way of storytelling that helps to make a brand more attractive and recognisable. Read this article to get detailed information on how to establish your career as a professional photographer.
Step 1: Purchasing appropriate equipment – investing in a piece of good equipment is the first step to obtaining professionalism in photography. Getting the right tools depends on your photographic specialisation and the equipment required to start your business.
If you want to improve your photography skills, you should get yourself a prime lens. A prime lens has a fixed focal length and allows you to check the composition of the shots to make necessary adjustments. Purchasing high-quality photo-editing software is necessary if you want to become an independent photographer.
Step 2: Knowing your camera – buying a high-quality camera is not enough to take high-quality photos, you also need to learn how to use your camera. You should be aware of every setting, error message and quirk of your camera as well as how to change lenses efficiently. You can refer to the camera’s manual to learn about the features and functions of your equipment. To become proficient at photography, you should utilise your time and space to:
- Practice extensively;
- Experiment with the effects of light and shadow;
- Try out different settings available in your camera.
Step 3: Developing your skills in photography – to develop your photography skills, you need to combine your knowledge, focus, efforts and passion for photography. You can learn more about photography:
- From books and experimentations;
- By taking up an online course in photography;
- By undergoing training from a professional;
- By attending seminars and workshops on photography.
An important aspect of becoming an established photographer is to be confident about the skills that you have developed. This will give your clients the impression that you are capable of matching their expectations and delivering the work accordingly.
Step 4: Building your portfolio – a basic portfolio should consist of photographs from different shoots. A well-prepared portfolio can be utilised to highlight the range of skills that you possess and get hired by clients. You can showcase your work to agencies, for them to carefully analyse the position that you can assume in their organisation. A portfolio acts as the face of your work, therefore, you should take quality time to prepare an excellent portfolio that you can present to clients. As the main purpose of a portfolio is to attract clients, it is suggested that a candidate shows their best photography samples to obtain a good opportunity.
Step 5: Setting-up a photography website – starting a professional photography website is a great addition to your portfolio, as it helps you spread the word about your photography worldwide. This is a great way to start your career as an entrepreneur or a freelancer because it allows you to:
- Communicate with clients;
- Schedule sessions;
- Manage your orders;
- Deliver the completed work.
You can promote your work further by creating a photography blog and updating your clients about your latest work through social media, emails and galleries. In order to stand out from the other well-established photo blogs, you need to focus on a particular niche. Try choosing a topic that not only excites your audience but interests you as well. If you want your blog to be viewed by a larger audience, you need to capitalise on your strengths (composition, writing style or technical skills) to demonstrate your unique ideas.
Step 5: Leveraging an editing software – to become a successful photographer, you should edit and enhance your photos before delivering them to your clients. Editing can make photos look better than their original version and are also useful in hiding or removing defects. Basic editing involves the following special-effects:
- Background adjustment;
- Colour balancing;
- Fixing insufficient light;
- Enhancing skin tones.
You should steer clear from over-styling photos with these special effects. More so, because it casts a shadow on your photography skills and fails to impress clients. Experience and practice can make you better at editing photos, making your pictures look more natural. Additionally, with the help of editing, you can add depth and dimension to a shot and even intensify certain areas of a picture.
Step 6: Working as an intern – if you are just starting out as a photographer, interning at an organisation can give you an overview of the photography business. Apprenticing with a professional photographer will help you develop as a photographer and provide you with the guidance of a mentor. During the training, you will also learn how to send estimates and invoices, manage your expenses and approach clients who suit your profile.
Step 7: Creating a work schedule – the structure of your work schedule should be organised depending on the number of clients you are dealing with and their expectations. Before you start preparing your schedule, you must consider the approximate time required to:
- Complete the photoshoot;
- Finish editing the pictures;
- Deliver the album to your client.
Once you have started receiving a steady flow of clients, it is important to have a detailed schedule to manage each day’s tasks. You can attach plug-ins to your website which will display your availability to the clients and allow you to take up appointments accordingly.
If you possess creative skills and want to become a professional photographer, you can take up one of the photography courses in London. However, to get the best training you should opt for the best HND in photography course. London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA) offers an HNC/D photography course that provides you with a wide range of photographic skills enabling you to enter the photography industry.
This article was written by Deblina Dam and edited by Anisa C.