We are always surprised to see amazing photos. How did he shoot this? Various organizations, associations or media companies organize photography contests and award the winners with contracts or handsome prize money. It’s obvious that we get attracted to this and think of picking up photography as our profession.
Let me warn you. It’s easy to say than do. Only professional photographers are aware of the challenges they have overcome to be rewarded such way. Anybody can become a professional photographer and could earn his living. It doesn’t require a college degree. You just need to know a few things and practice a lot. You never know: someday may be identified and recognized for your skills. Let’s discuss how we could bring out the photographer in us.
1. Know your device, the camera
A camera is the most important device for photography. You may be rich enough to spend lots of money to go for the most advanced high-end camera available in the market. I would not advise that. Start as a beginner. Choose any low end camera or a handycam. This will help you prepare your foundation before investing in expensive stuff. Review your clicks and try to improve them with the low-end camera. Read camera reviews, review products online and understand how it works. You might need to add some extra hardware to your camera like flash and lenses. Know them before you buy.
2. Learn camera settings
You may not be handy with the camera. So just play with it. But carefully. Change the settings and click. Review thoroughly the differences among the various photos you have clicked with various camera setting combinations. Similarly, experiment with lenses. Use various lens combinations and study your photos. Know which combination fits best in which situation. Learn to know the lens use in bright day light, low light and in night mode.
3. Practice, practice and practice
Click your camera daily as many times as you can. You need not go to a picnic, zoo, a bird sanctuary or a game. Just capture the things from your surroundings in the daily life. Your mom cooking, your sister doing make-up, your father reading newspaper or kids playing in the backyard. You will eventually learn when to press the “button” to get the best shot.
4. Make your portfolio
Now that you know your shooting gear, have experimented with camera settings and lenses and have practiced photography, let’s get ready to step into the professional world. We will need to make a portfolio. Collect the best of the photos you have clicked. You got to have more than 20 pictures in your portfolio capturing various scenes to send that “WOW” feeling to the viewer. Your portfolio could include the beauty and disaster of nature, various human moods, funny expressions from kids etc.
5. Exploit your niche
There must be something that sends adrenaline in your body. Something that super excites you. That is what you are attracted most to. Make it your niche for photography. Shoot photos of things or incidents that you die for. When you shoot with your heart you will capture the best view.
6. Setup your business
Before you actually start business you need to set it up. Learn about the governing laws of your country. This may include taxes, licenses required if any, insurances for you and your photography stuff, understanding business contracts etc. You should consult some legal advisor to assist you with this. You could also join some online community or follow some photographer in your country. That will help a lot.
7. Money Matters
Let’s move to the next important step. Managing the money. We need to know the prevailing rates for photographers in the market. You know yourself best. So carefully work on your rate. Make it competitive and stick with it. Charging very high rates will lead you out of business even before getting established. Reduced rates, though you think would attract clients, may send a message about poor quality. Read client contracts carefully and notice if there is any financial penalty or liability put in it. If you find it difficult, negotiate with the client.
You need to sell your skills. Share your photos on social media platforms, online photo galleries. Attend photography events in your place, leave a business card with people you meet. Gift some a photo of his/hers. Word would spread and you would see your cash graph rising.
Dax Vyas is associated with ADayOfBliss, which is a venture by Wolfgang Freithof Studio, and one of the leading wedding photography company in New York, USA. When it comes to destination wedding photography services, ADayOfBliss is the natural choice for several happy couples. Connect with Dax on Facebook, Twitter and G+ for more details.