How to Become a Professional Photographer Infographic

Many people dream of turning their passion for photography into a full-time career. It can be a challenging journey for many, with no defined career path. To help you out, I’ve created a rough road map to becoming a photographer, which should hopefully speed up your progress along the way.

There are many paths to becoming a photographer; this illustration is only meant as a rough guide providing a few tips you may not have considered:

how to become a professional photographer infographic

Professional Photography Roadmap (Via Robert Sail. Click image to see full size.)

In some ways, it’s easier than ever to become a photographer with technological improvements in cameras and cheap, high-quality website templates.

However, growing and sustaining your business in an ever crowded market is tough. You will need to gain a solid understanding of business and photography to thrive.

Are You Up for a Challenge?

So if you’re still up for the challenge, let me walk you through the process. The first thing you need to decide, is what genre of photography you want to specialize in. If you specialize and truly master your craft, you’ll be able to charge a much higher fee.

Master the Basics

Now it’s time to master the basics, gaining a solid understanding of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, composition, depth of field, and white balance. Once you have these skills under your belt, it’s time to develop any specialized skills required in your field like, posing, studio lighting, or continuous lighting.

Going back to school, attending a respected photography workshop, or taking an online course can help speed up this process.

There’s a theory within the arts that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, so the more work you put in equates to better results sooner.

Develop Your Portfolio and Keep Practicing

Once you’ve developed your portfolio and skillset, I would recommend second shooting or getting mentored by an experienced photographer, which can be a great way to further develop your skills and gain a better understanding of the business side of photography.

Even landing a work experience job can be tough; often jobs will not be advertised and you will have to speculatively email companies. I recommend keeping a spreadsheet, logging the businesses that you have reached out to, and sending follow-up emails if you don’t hear back from them. Even if it’s only to request feedback.

You’ll create a much better impression to potential employers if you have a website featuring your portfolio instead of using a Flickr or Facebook page. If you’re tech-savvy, WordPress can be a great option with a premium theme. Alternatively, there are several easy website solutions designed for photographers.

Going Self-Employed

In today’s market, there are very few full-time, well-paid photography jobs available. In most sectors the only way to earn a decent living is to become a small business owner.

Learning about business and marketing will be critical if you want your business to succeed in the long run. The market is tough and you will earn a living solely based on the quality of your work and how well you can market yourself.

Live as a Small Business Owner

It’s not all doom and gloom, though as there is plenty of money in the industry and many advantages to being your own boss. Now it’s just a case of marketing your business through SEO, networking, and paid advertising channels. Keep your clients happy and develop your skills further—take it as far as you want to go.

About the Author:
Rob Sail kindly provided this infographic on how to become a photographer, he is a wedding photographer based in Nottingham, England. Photography, friends and family are his main passions in life.

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