Dreaming of Becoming a Professional Photographer?

Becoming a professional photographer is not easy, however, it is very doable. Whether you are a hobbyist or more into photography than your average person, undoubtedly becoming a professional photographer has crossed your mind. I know when I started in the field photography it certainly crossed mine.

I know at first its just a hobby and you want to learn the ins and outs of the craft. However, there comes a point in time where you start to wonder what it takes to make money at this thing. After all, we do spend most of our hard earned dollars on all this fancy equipment.

how to become a professional photographer

Photo by Bruce Mars

There are many things you must know and do in order to become a professional photographer.

Before you can start thinking about that, you need to make sure that you have one key factor down. That is that you know your way around a camera inside and out. Once you have that dialed in, then you can focus on the rest.

Our Friends at Cooph put together this video where they break it all down. I have to agree with all of these steps. You need to zoom in and focus on your path.

Here are the 7 steps Becoming a Professional Photographer

1. Find Your Specialty.  You must shoot and shoot a lot in order to find your specialty. This for some can take months and for some, it will take years. If you shoot all the time and shoot everything, this will narrow down your focus quicker and you will find your specialty sooner. You will also start developing your photographic style faster than the average person.

2. Get the Right Tools. Once you decide on your specialty (or the specialty finds you) you need to get yourself the right tools for that particular niche. You can research what you need and purchase the right gear for the job.  We recommend B&H Photo and Amazon for best prices.

3. Build a Portfolio. This is a very important step as this will be the face of your work. Take your time and make sure you have an excellent portfolio to show to the world.  Think about the clients you want to attract and only show your best work.

How to become a professional photographer in 7 steps

Photo by Pok Rie

4. Find the Right Clients.  Identify who you want to work with and who would be a good fit and start there. Remember you need to make sure you can deliver. Start small and aim big.

5.  Understand the Business.  Make sure you have a way to send estimates and invoices and keep track of all your expenses. Always have a model release form, there are plenty of apps that do this.  There are lots of companies that offer this type of software. I use and recommend 17 hats that’s how I run my photography business.

6. Refine Your workflow. Time is money. Have a system down for every move you make. From arriving at the shoot to the editing process. With experience and practice, this will become natural, however, its good to go into it thinking this way.

7. Promote Your Work.  Use social media, email, and galleries to spread the word. A photography blog is a great way to get found on google and keep your work fresh and up to date.

There you have it 7 steps to becoming a professional photographer. Read up on how to start your photography business and how to start a photography blog.

Conclusion: Becoming a professional photographer is no easy task, however with a bit of knowledge, focus, hard work and a lot of passion, you will become a professional photographer in no time at all.