So, you have decided to turn your photographic skill into a business. It’s a big step, but it may not be easy to start and earn your first money as a professional photographer. In this video, Jeff Rojas shares some valuable tips to help you get started. He gives you three ways to market yourself and make your first $1,000 as a photographer.
The truth is never easy to swallow. Take for example to answer for the oh-so-popular question, what camera should I buy? Most will suffix this questions with something like “I heard that the new Canon 5dmk4 is awesome” or “I am considering starting with the Sony A7III” to add some background. This is a weird thing to ask, considering that gear does not make your photography better. Sure, some gear makes some types of photography possible, but it rarely makes it better. The right answer to this question will probably save you quite a lot of money, but also force you to take responsibility for your final photos.
In this short video, Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge explains why the best investment in gear is never buying new gear. (ok, there is a point when that latest model does make sense, but it is usually far, far down the road).
The race to the bottom never seems to end. The latest is a new service claiming to produce marketing photography for as little as $19. Yes, that’s right, photography that normally costs thousands for only nineteen bucks. The service is called Catalog and they’ve raised $1.5 million to kick the business off.
They’re not the only company starting up with a similar model, either. Photographer Daniel Norton discusses these types of services in this video, and how they’re really not a great thing for either the customer nor the photographers who might shoot for them.
I am in many networks and circles comprised of professional and aspiring professional photographers. There are a lot of questions that get asked on a regular basis, but one of the ones I hear the most is “Should I specialize?” Should they focus on one genre or a couple of related genres, rather than being the Jack/Jill-of-all-trades?
When we first start out in photography, most of us will take pictures of pretty much anyone. We have no idea what our artistic voice and vision will be. We explore and experiment in nearly any field we can, finding our styles and preferences. Eventually, we figure out what we like and don’t like to photograph.
Photography used to be my main hobby. I did nature, street, travel and other “solo” photography styles. I posted stuff on Flickr and it was good. A few of my photos ended up on Explore, some local news websites used my pictures in articles, I even had a guest article on PetaPixel. I really enjoyed the balance of shooting and exposure. This was 2009-2014.
Being a full-time professional photographer requires plenty of different skills and a lot of your time and devotion. A fear of failure and “playing it safe” is what prevents many people from starting or developing a successful photography business. In this video, Roberto Blake discusses this fear and gives you some techniques that can help you not just overcome your fear, but make the best out of failure even when it happens.
It’s standard practice for commercial photography clients to ask photographers their ‘day rate’. Most estimates that photographers provide start with a day rate before going on to production costs and expenses.
Now I used to think I could simply take it for granted that anyone involved in the industry would be able to appreciate this isn’t exactly what a photographer or for that matter any independent creative professional working on a short term project earns for every single day of the year.
I’ve realised that the world of photography is in so much flux that this isn’t a safe assumption and now I much prefer to provide a rate for each job. My reasons can be best illustrated with an example.
If you want to turn your love for photography into a business, there’s a lot to take into consideration. To make things easier for you, Peter McKinnon has created a great video about the things he wishes he’d known sooner. If you’re about to turn pro, this will spare you some mistakes many photographers make at the beginning of their career.
Inevitably a time comes around in when a budding photographer decides to start “taking this seriously”, “discouraging image theft”, and my personal favorite, “gaining exposure”. And they do this of course, with a watermark.
Now mind you before I get to the nitty-gritty of why this is Bullock’s, I’ll cover the surface level problem with this. First, 9/10 watermarks made by a beginner look horrendous. Too big, too small, too opaque, too transparent, or gaudy. Not to mention most beginners haven’t settled into a legitimate business name by the time they start watermarking images. So ten years later they can look back at their Facebook images with that wonderful, neon pink, floral designed “elegant memorable captures Dixie memory precious flowers” and recall with pride, their humble beginnings.