Do you want to become a photographer online? If YES, here is a detailed guide and requirement on how to become a professional photographer for beginners.
When children are asked to state what they want to become when they grow older, most of them talk about professions that are highly esteemed, acknowledged or accepted by society and it’s rather unexplained standards.
Children often opt to pursue careers as a doctor, engineer, lawyer, scientist, astronaut, teacher and other professionals who have strong and appealing gimmicks in the eyes of others. Talking about becoming any one of these people makes children feel useful, heroic and appreciated.
Table of Content
Why We Prepared this Professional Photography Course?
Given the high rate of failure for new startups and the competitiveness in the photography industry, given the high number of amateur photographers who are looking to make a living from their passion for photography; we decided to write this guide to fully equip you for the challenges and requirements needed to become a professional photographer.
Who We Wrote this Professional Photography Course for?
This guide was strictly written for those looking to carve a niche for themselves in the photography industry. This guide is for those who want to know what it takes to become a professional photographer online with little or no money.
So whether you intend becoming a professional photographer in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa or anywhere in the world; whether you are a student, employee looking for a part time career, you will find this guide useful.
Is Photography a Career for Everyone?
The truth is that photography is not for everyone. Perhaps the most obnoxious misconception that people have about photographers is that their line of profession does not require a high level of skill and knowledge. This is perhaps the most absurd logic put forward by those who lack appreciation for the art of photography and the careers of photographers.
No matter what people tell you, you need to understand that not anybody can pick up a camera and become a professional photographer. It is true that any average Joe can buy a DSLR and take a picture.
The fact that there is a boom in an industry does not mean that everyone who starts a business in the industry will experience instant success. As a matter of fact, it is not a good idea to follow the bandwagon effect if you want to start a business as an entrepreneur.
No matter the kind of business that you intend starting, one of the best things decisions you can take before venturing out to commit your money and time into the business is to do a self appraisal to be sure it is the right business for you to start.
Of course, some people feel that it is pretty easier and less technical to start a photography business. But the truth is that, until you are involved in the business of photography, you won’t appreciate the efforts of photographer when it comes to taking good pictures.
If you feel you have the skills required to become a photographer and you are making plans to start your own photography business, it will not be out of place for you to truly access yourself to know if starting a photography business is the right business for you to start. There are certain soft skills and attributes that will indicate if you are truly cut out for the photography business.
Now let us quickly consider some questions that you must ask yourself in order to know if starting photography business is the right business for you to start;
a. Do You Have Natural Flair for Taking Pictures
The first thing that will indicate if starting a photography business is the right business for you is that you must at least have a flair for taking pictures- whether you are paid for it or not. If taking pictures is not part of your hobby, then you need to dig deep to know whether starting a photography business is the right business for you to start.
b. Do You Have the Soft Skills Needed to Become a Successful Photographer?
Aside from the fact that you need to have affinity for taking pictures, you would also need some soft skills if indeed you want to do pretty well in the photography industry.
Some of the soft skills that will be handy if you want to launch your own photography business are interpersonal skills, customer service skills, loads of patience, attention to details, creativity and good time management skills amongst others. So, ensure that you conduct a self appraisal to know the skills you have and the ones you should acquire before starting your photography business.
c. What Does Your Personality Test Say About Your Career?
Another thing that will indicate if starting a photography business is the right business for you; is to take a personality test and allow a career consultant help you analyze the result. The truth is that you stand the chance of getting it right with the business to start by just taking a personality test.
d. Who are The Competitors you are Likely To Face in Your Location
You might have the flair for photography and also the soft skills that will help you succeed as a photographer; but one question that you should ask yourself in order to be certain that starting a photography business is the right business for you is to access your chances of succeeding in the location you intend starting your business.
The truth is that, if the competitions amongst photographer in the location where you intend starting your own photography business is on the high side, then you need to reconsider your decisions. As a matter of fact, you might have to relocate your business to another location if you don’t want the business to be suffocated by bigger and well established competitors.
e. What are Your Family Members and Friends Saying about Your Desire of Becoming a Photographer?
The perception of your family members and close friends as regards the business you intend starting is also a factor you should consider when you want to make a decision on the business to start.
Although you might not take the advice of your family members and close friends hook, line and sinker, but it is very important to think about their advice / counsel before making your decision. So if your family members and friends feel that you are not cut out for photography business, then you should critically consider your decision s o as to avoid making mistake.
f. Is Photography Business a Profitable Venture in Your City or State?
Another thing that will guide you to make a decision whether starting a photography business is the right business for you to start or not is to look around you to see if photography business is a profitable venture in your city or state.
The truth is that people go into business not just for the fun of it but because they want to make money so if you know you are not going to make money from photography business in your city or state, then you need to reconsider your decision whether start the business is the right business for you to start or not.
It is important to state that in some instances, a business might not seem to be the right business for you to start, but if you know you have the required skills and you are determined, you will surely make success out of the business. There you have it; the questions you should ask yourself if you want to know whether starting a photography business is right for you.
How Much Do Photographer Make Monthly / Annually?
Although, the amount photographers make monthly or annually in the countries listed above is dependent on loads of factors, yet some photographers who have attained the celebrity status earn far higher than the average photographer in the industry. But for the purpose of this course, here is a detailed analysis of what photographer earn in the United States, Australia, Canada and United Kingdom.
A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Professional Photographer Online
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1) Why Select Photography as a Profession?
- Chapter 2) Photography Basics 101 – It All Begins with a Camera
- Chapter 3) Taking Online Digital Photography Courses
- Chapter 4) Enrolling in a Digital Photography School Online
- Chapter 5) Acquiring the Necessary Photography Accessories
- Chapter 6) Learning the Art of Editing Photos
- Chapter 7) Solving the Most Common Photography Problems
- Chapter 8) Learning To Shoot People Like a Pro
- Chapter 9) Learning to Shoot Nature Like a Pro
- Chapter 10) Learning to Take Travel & City Life Shots
- Chapter 11) Learning the Art of Digital Photography Imaging
- Chapter 12) Avoiding The Most Common Photography Mistakes
- Chapter 13) Selecting Your Photography Niche
- Chapter 14) Building Your Social Network as a photographer
- Chapter 15) Marketing Yourself as a Photographer
- BONUS-: A Sample Photography Business Plan Template
5 Reasons Why You Should Become a Professional Photographer?
Putting aside the negativity, if you are an aspiring photographer, then there are plenty of reasons for you to go ahead with chasing your dreams. If you think of the number of avenues from where you can draw inspiration to become a photographer, you will probably never stop counting.
The love for the camera and capturing the beautiful moments of life and nature are simply a modicum of the reason why people choose to become professional photographers. There is a lot more to this job, than simply being the one to click the shutter. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons.
1) You Will Join a Community of Blooming Talent
People who get paid to do what they love are certainly the most talented bunch of individuals in the world, and photographers are no exceptions to this rule. When you embark on your journey towards professional photography, you will find yourself in the middle of a community of insanely and incredibly gifted people. The photographers and photo editors you will meet will be a source of great inspiration for you to reaffirm your faith in your job and strive to improve your ability as a photographer of the future.
Innovation, flawlessness, perfection, mastery and excellence are just some of the attributes from these people that will take your world by storm. If you think that the norms and conventions of society do not make your job of being a photographer easy, then living, travelling and working with your fellow photographers surely will.
Soon enough, you will become one of the eclectic characters in the community and you will realize that your true calling was always in the field of professional photography. Besides being extraordinary geniuses, the photographers you meet will be one of the kindest and most fun people that you will ever come across in your life.
2) You Will Share Your Vision
So you always had a gut feeling that you looked at the world in a way that is different from everybody else? Do you think that your perception is more in depth and detailed than that of others? Do you think that you can see things and observe their beauty while others simply overlook or ignore them?
Then choosing to be a photographer was the most correct decision you have ever made in your life. Let’s say it the way it is. Some people are more with a gifted sense of vision. Their perspective is far more enthralling than that of other people.
If you believe that you possess this innate ability to look at the world differently, then you should by all means share your precious vision with everybody else through your works of photography. By taking up the life and the career of a photographer, you will be allowing other people, from strangers to your loved ones, to get a glimpse into your world and have a slice of your mind.
Being a great photographer is hardly any different from being a great novelist. Similar to how the renowned authors express their polished, unconventional and moving opinions on life, society and people, you too can showcase your unique perception of the world and everything that makes it beautiful.
3) You Will Keep Reinventing Yourself
One of the perks of professional photography that you may not enjoy in other fields of profession is that you will have the opportunity to constantly challenge and reinvent yourself as a professional and a hobbyist. The art of photography is almost always in a state of evolution. As a modern day photographer, you need to stay updated with the developments in the field of photography and camera technology. When you are faced with new challenges every now and then, you will find it much easier to stay motivated and focused on your work.
The key to succeeding in any profession is to stay hungry and determined throughout the long years in your career. With photography, feeding off of this hunger (no pun intended) becomes much easier since you will continually come across new and innovative methods of taking the perfect snap.
Compare this to the job of an accountant or that of a banker. The developments in their field are not nearly as rapid as those in photography, and therefore it is quite easy for them to slip into monotony and boredom while fulfilling the obligations of their respective professions.
The photographer you are today will nowhere near similar to the photographer that you will become in the years to come. It’s similar to a roller coaster ride. You never know what the next turn holds for you.
4) Making a Difference in the World
You must be familiar with the statement that a picture can speak a thousand words. That is the exact reason why photographs have the potential to stir the emotions of people and compel them to have a change of heart. A photograph can make you smile, laugh, frown and even cry. Therefore, it goes without saying that photographers have the ability to influence the thoughts, the opinions, the beliefs and certainly the emotions of people. Think of natural disasters.
Photographers literally risk their lives to take shocking images of disaster scenes that allow people to become aware of the suffering of other human beings. A simple photograph of a starving child in a remote, desolate village of a poor town or city can force outsiders to send their help and donations to the poverty stricken villagers.
If it’s not helping people, then photographers can play a pivotal role in bringing the anti social elements and the black sheep of the community to justice. How many times have we heard of incidents where the photograph taken by a journalist allowed the law enforcement agencies to convict and prosecute an elusive criminal?
5) You Will Be What You Want to Be
If you see yourself as an old man of 70, teaching your grandchildren how to hold the camera and showing them all your accolades as a photographer, then photography is definitely the profession that will reap rewards for you in your life. At the end of the day, it’s all about isolating yourself from the negativity of society and being what you really want to be.
5 Facts You Must Know About Photography as a Career
a. Biased Perception of Photography
What’s really interesting is that a lot of these children will probably grow up to develop a sincere passion for photography. This is the reason why we get to see numerous teenagers experimenting with cameras and exploring the inner photographer in themselves.
Most people consider this to be no more than a hobby, which is quite sad to be honest. Why is it that the act of travelling to serene locations in the neighbourhood and taking breathtaking shots is labelled as a hobby while the act of building a small motorized application at home is seen as a sign of becoming a future mechanical engineer?
b. Photographers Are Important
There is a degree of unfairness and discrimination with which society perceives photography and photographers. It is an art and a skill that is highly underrated and unappreciated. Most people fail to realize that pursuing photography as a profession should be considered no less honourable than pursuing engineering or entrepreneurship.
Sure, photographers do not come dressed in $10,000 corporate suits and certainly don’t attend high profile boardroom conferences, but that takes little away from the fact that their contribution to any economy, society and community is as equally important if not more as the corporate hotshots that we see around.
c. A World without Photography
The distorted image that society has of photography is based on a myriad of misconceptions that people have about photography, which is quite surprising given the fact that photography has been at the heart of human culture for a century and a half now. Modern history is rendered useless in the absence of photography. The mainstream media that we know today would have never been in existence if it had not been for the invention of photography.
As a matter of fact, the social media activities that the people of the 21st century are engrossed in, would have little to no meaning if photography and photographers did not exist. Technological advancement in human civilization would hardly have been possible if photographers were not there to take the all important shots. Forget about the world in general, think about your own life.
Some of the most beautiful and precious moments in your life could have never been revisited if there were no cameras around. Sure, you could have had paintings as an alternative but the accuracy and the liveliness in a photograph can never be matched by a painting regardless of whether its Picasso carrying the brush or Leonardo Da Vinci.
d. Photography is Not a Last Resort
Coming back to the misconceptions, what do people really think about photographers and their jobs? For one, a huge chunk of the world’s population, if not the lion’s share, believe that photography is a profession that is reserved for those who have very little to offer to the so called more important sectors of the economy such as banking, business, engineering, research and healthcare.
In other words, people make the faulty assumption that students who drop out of school due to their failure to succeed in the more conventional areas of study adopt photography as a last resort to earn a living for themselves.
As ridiculous as this misconception may sound, this is the popular perception towards photographers. If you ask any photographer who is making a decent living out of his or her craft, they will tell you that photography was their first choice and they would not replace their profession with the other more socially accepted jobs even in lieu of a greater annual or monthly income. Such is the depth and the intensity of passion that photographers have towards their jobs.
e. Photographers are Not Financially Deprived
The misconceptions do not just stop there. A lot of people, who live in denial, find it extremely difficult to believe that photographers can actually earn a healthy amount of money and live a life as comfortable as that of an engineer, doctor, businessman or banker.
From their perspective, photography does not yield sufficient financial dividends and those who earn a living out of photography find it nearly impossible to live a life of luxury and pomp. Once again, this is not true.
Regardless of the profession, a person is bound to succeed in his or her field as long as there is commitment, motivation and the pursuit of excellence. In the case of photography, the moneymaking opportunities are as abundant as that of any other lucrative profession.
There is a constant demand for photographers in the service market. People need photographers to cover a wide range of events starting from weddings to world cups to presidential campaigns. The possibilities are quite literally endless. It’s all about whether you have the mettle and the ambition to survive the competition from other photographers and make a name for yourself in the industry.
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