One of the best things about photography is that you can make a career out of it. And a good one at that if you just know the right things and have a keen eye for detail. There are a lot of great opportunities to grow in it as both hobbyist and professional.
With all the niches out there today, you can simply experiment and pick one or two that you’d like to be an expert in. You can choose to do street photography and upload your content on a community website or you could do stock photography and get paid for each time your photo gets downloaded and used on stock photo sites.
There’s good money in photography if you only take it a bit more seriously.
Is photography as a career right for me?
Contrary to what most people think, photography is hard work. It might seem like a glamorous and exciting job to have, especially when you see how photographers are portrayed in movies and TV shows.
Exciting? Yes, definitely.
Glamorous? It will depend on the direction you choose as a professional photographer.
To know if photography is the right career choice for you, you need to ask yourself some questions and answer them honestly. Here are a few of those questions:
Do you enjoy it?
As a beginner, one thing that you will quickly identify is if you’re enjoying what you’re doing. We understand that some folks try their hand at certain things to see which one keeps them interested and gives them a sense of fulfillment.
Photography is no exception. If you feel a certain joy and freedom behind the lens, then doing it full-time won’t feel like work at all.
Are you actually good at it?
Now if you get a sense of joy with taking photos, the next question is are you naturally gifted for it? Know that finding joy in one thing doesn’t automatically mean that you’re fit for it.
We know a lot of people who enjoy singing a lot but their vocal cords aren’t exactly built for that type of stuff. Similarly, a professional photographer needs some serious skills and know-how to make it in the business.
Rule of thumb to remember: people are willing to pay top dollar for top-notch talent.
Does it suit your lifestyle and your personality?
As mentioned earlier, photography has several different niches you can choose from. However, these niches might apply to people with a certain personality or lifestyle. For instance, photojournalism or wildlife photography. These two niches require a lot of traveling and will sometimes put your own life at risk.
Now while not all niches are as extreme as these two, you need to consider if it fits your lifestyle or if you’re willing to make certain adjustments.
Do you have any specific professional end products in mind?
Now let’s say you already have the answers to the previous questions. You’re passionate about what you do. You’re armed with both the talent and the skills to make it as a professional. Your lifestyle and personality are perfect matches for the niche you choose. What about your end product? Do you have any specific end products in mind for your photos?
Your end product will also somehow be determined by your niche. For instance, if you want to showcase your photos as artwork, you need to build a strong portfolio, both print and digital. If you want to be in photojournalism and documentation, do you know where to submit your photos for them to be published?
It’s important to think about what your end products will be because that’s how you’re going to make money in photography.
How do I attract attention to my work?
Well, your end product is the most effective way to catch people’s attention and put you under their radar. It will depend on how talented and skilled you are and how you present your work.
If you’re just starting out, you might feel like the competition is fierce, and it really is, we’re not gonna lie. But there are some ingenious ways that you can stand out and make people take notice of you.
The easiest way to do this is to take advantage of technology. Start a blog or create a social media account where you can showcase your latest works. Think of a fresh approach to photography that will set you apart from everyone else. Be consistent with your posts and slowly but steadily build a following. You may not be an overnight sensation but continue to build steadily and faithfully. Don’t get tempted into taking short cuts. Keep in mind, slow is fast.
Photography isn’t as easy as it looks. It’s never just about pointing your camera at things and pressing a button to capture images. It takes a lot of talent, hard work, discipline, and strategizing to successfully make it in the industry
If you believe you’ve got what it takes to succeed as a professional, don’t go into it unprepared. Give careful thought to your ways as you pursue the career of your dreams.