How to be a photographer? Well, today almost everyone is a photographer thanks to smartphones. Any time we see something we want to remember forever, we whip out our phones and snap away. We can then share them with friends, delete them immediately, or save them until we figure out what to do with them.
Some people want to do more than that with photography. If you are wondering how to become a professional photographer, here are some helpful tips to get you on your way. Just remember, anything worth having is going to take some time. Don’t get discouraged! Photography is a great career that allows you to work on your own terms. It’s easy to get started by taking these steps into account.
Simply googling how to be a photographer is a great start. Before you plunge too deep into this new venture, it helps to know what kind of photographer you want to be. Do you want to be a freelance photographer? Do you want to take pictures for a magazine? Do you want to photograph people, cars, weddings? Are you just looking to get your feet in the door somewhere as a photographer? Each of these paths require different equipment, time allowances, and investment.
Of course, you can always do more than one of these, and you can switch midstream, but it is always helpful in any business to have a general idea of the direction you would like to go.
Winging it is never a good idea if you want people to take you seriously. When you want to learn how to be a photographer, make sure you learn the ropes. You don’t have to start out as an expert, but at least be familiar with common terms.
There are great online photography courses that will help you get started. One of my favorites is this one. It will teach you about the basics of your camera, lenses, cropping, shutter speed, and more.
You can also get good photography training by working in an apprentice-type role under a professional photographer. You will get valuable real world experience working on shoots, in the studio, and on the computer. It won’t pay much at first, but you wont’ have to go at it alone.
Good Photography Equipment
If you want to take good pictures, you need to have good equipment. The camera is the first place to start. There are so many cameras out there that it can be overwhelming to just walk into a store and start looking around.
Before you ask for help from the person at the store that is trying to sell you something, dig around on your own to get a better idea of the camera that will fit your needs. Here is a good read on how to choose a digital camera. Once you narrow down your needs, you will be more informed when you go to buy your own.
Your photography equipment needs don’t end with the camera, however. You will want to think about investing in a good computer and software so that you can do the back end work as efficiently as possible.
Depending on the area of photography you want to enter, you may also need to invest in some lighting, but to get started, a good camera and good software will get you started.
Get Lots of Practice
The best way to learn how to be a photographer is the simply get out there and do it. There is no substitute for practice and experience. Take every opportunity available to shoot. Do your friends need family pictures? Take their photos for a discounted price, or even free, just so you can get the experience.
Everywhere you go, take your camera, and snap pictures of everything you see, both big and small. Tinker with your camera’s settings. Knowledge is power, and the more you know about your camera, lighting, and poses, the better equipped you’ll be when someone is willing to hire you.
You can be the best photographer in the world, but if no one knows who you are then you’ll make nothing. So get out there and make yourself known. Create a brand, even if that brand is yourself. Make people think that they will be missing out if they don’t hire you.
Make good use of social media so that people can easily find you. Start a website and learn to master SEO. Hand out business cards, and talk to as many people as possible.
Don’t forget that the best way to promote yourself is to do great work and be great to work with.
Hang In There
All new business ventures require patience and perseverance, and photography is no different. It takes time to build a client base, and it takes money to get better equipment. But photography is a fun and rewarding hobby that can become an actual career.
When you are trying to figure out how to be a photographer, be focused and take pictures whenever and wherever you can.