Your interest in photography probably began as a hobby using your camera and gear from Beachcamera.com as it does with most people. Howver, if it has now become a passion, you may be looking into going pro. Don’t know where to start? We have some tips to becoming a professional photographer to get you on the right track.
Find your focus
What kind of photographer are you? Do you shoot travel, portraits, weddings, music, fashion, events? You don’t have to choose only one, but decide what makes you the happiest and play to your strengths.
Get a website
Having an effective website is critical when going pro. You need to clearly communicate who you are and what value you offer quickly and concisely. If you aren’t tech savvy, go with a Squarespace site, pick a clean and simple theme and start building. Make sure it’s easy to navigate and only post your best work. Connect your blog to the website. Sharing stories and tips will help your visitors get to know you, like you and start to find reasons to hire you. If you’re worried about people finding you on the web, writing useful posts will also help you rank well on Google and other search engines, as others may be searching for topics you write about.
If you already have work to display, you’re good to go. If not, you’ll need to approach 5-6 potential clients and offer your services for a heavily discounted price or even for free, to build your portfolio. This is also an opportunity to get feedback from clients on your process of working with them and how to improve it.
Build your social network
Try to post on your social media channels consistently – one photo a day on each network. Consistency is very important, so if you don’t have a great portfolio it may be a good time to go out and shoot more. Becoming a recommended user on EyeEm or highlighted on other platforms can literally give you millions of views on just one photo, which can lead to interviews, articles, photo licensing, and other work.
Get your first clients
In the beginning you just need to get the ball rolling. Make sure everyone knows you’re offering professional services and get your first regular clients. Contact everyone on your contact list and in your social media circles. You can even offer a referral fee for friends and family. Go to local shops and offer to take and display their photos on your website and hyperlink to their business’s website or Yelp link. What business doesn’t like free marketing? You can also use some freelance online services like Freelancer.com and Guru.com. Go on sites like Eventbrite and find out what local events are going on in your area. Email the organizer of the event to see if they need a photographer.
Just like you’ve learned how to capture an image properly with your camera from Beachcamera.com, you can learn how to run your business properly as well. This guide doesn’t cover every single aspect of building your business, but these are the essentials to get you started.