The popularity of photography has never waned. We love images more and more all the time. We still care about the quality of a photograph, its colours, its content. But a lot of people are under the impression that actually getting paid for it is something that just doesn’t happen anymore. Back when photography was much more novel, perhaps then people were getting paid big bucks for it. Or, you know, could at least make a living from it.
It’s true that the market for photography has expanded with alarming rapidity. This has often meant that, while demand for photographers has gone up, the rates once could hope to achieve have gone down. After all, the market for it has become extremely saturated, if you think about it. With so many smartphones round with high-res photography functions? We’re pretty much all photographers these days!
But photographers, contracted or freelance, can still do great business these days. If you’re interested in starting, read this first.
Be a photographer
You should be a photographer already. Being paid for it isn’t a prerequisite for being a photographer; only taking photos is a prerequisite. Learn to love photography as a hobby, as well as a pursuit that can reveal more about the world to you. Always be taking pictures. Always experiment with new angles. Don’t be afraid to take whatever photos in public you feel would inspire you. (Unless, you know, what you want to do would be breaking the law. Don’t do that.) And make sure you’re building up a portfolio of your best work. Putting this stuff online is one of the best things you could do. Instagram and blogging platforms are a photographer’s best friends!
Treat it as a side job – for now
The fact is that photographers aren’t always highly paid. And when they are, they don’t always have enough clients to live off photography alone. It’s really something you should be doing if you’re passionate about it. However, I’m also going to tell you that you should treat it with the seriousness you would a full-time job. You need to be earnest about what you’re doing here even before you’re “in the industry”.
Don’t be afraid to learn more
It’s often said that simply doing is the best way to learn. There’s certainly some truth to that. But that doesn’t mean you should shy away from more formal methods of learning more. If you know any other photographers, talk to them and see what you can learn. You could also look into taking part in a photography course. This sort of stuff will help you get to grips with the hardware, the software, and the unique techniques people use.
Know the myths – and don’t fall for them
The art and business of photography have been romanticized and criticized heavily over the decades. Sometimes, this has been out of proportion. It’s given way to a lot of popular misconceptions about photography. It’s important that you review you understanding about photography. Challenge your conceptions about it. A good way of doing this is to research the most common myths about a career in photography. This helps you better prepare for the road ahead.