Are you an aspiring photographer working on a job you’re not passionate about? Becoming a pro photographer and leaving behind a corporate job is a dream for many. The job satisfaction, unlimited income potential, no boss or supervisor, flexible working hours, endless possibilities…, what’s not to like?
However, this gig ain’t for the faint of heart.
Freelance photography can be a difficult career to enter because it poses many challenges. First, photography is an art. It takes special skills to capture the beauty of a scene and perform the necessary post-processing work.
Secondly, all the tools and equipment you need are pretty expensive. That said, it’s possible to ace it if you have the passion and determination to succeed. These tips will prepare you to become a professional photographer.
1. Find a Niche
What’s your niche?
It’s easy to be tempted to take every photography opportunity that comes your way. But that will give you a reputation that is, well, meh.
Choose a photography niche that you are passionate about, then master it. Ensure that you deliver stellar work that demonstrates your expertise in that niche. Typical niches to choose include, but not limited to:
- Wedding photography
- Real estate photography
- Wildlife photography
- Concert photography
Finding a niche is critical because it will help you stand out in a crowd. Once you’ve established authority in a particular niche, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition.
2. Protect Yourself
As a freelance photographer, you’ve to learn to protect yourself while doing what you love. One way of protecting yourself is by drafting a photography contract that will lay the scope of your work, including pricing, copyright info, etc.
A photography contract can make the difference between profits and massive losses. It can also simplify your work and make your clients see you as a professional photographer.
But how do you create a photography contract?
Well, you could hire a professional to do it for you. Or use a ready-made contract sample, like Bonsai’s photography contract template.
The good thing about using a contract is that it helps you define your responsibilities and your boundaries. If you don’t let the client know the limit of your services, you could end up doing work that client isn’t going to pay for.
3. Set Up Your Website
Your website is going to be your most important ally. It’s where most people will look to judge whether to hire you as a freelance photographer or not.
So, make it stunning and informative. Spend quality time selecting the best images to portray on your website. Don’t display every photo in your portfolio. You’re only as good as your worst photos, so less is actually more.
But your website is more than just a portfolio; You can use it to communicate with clients, manage orders, schedule photoshoots, and deliver completed work. In addition to a stellar website, make sure you have a strong online presence in all the major social networks.
4. Spend More Time in Post
The freelance photography market is competitive.
That said, you’ll need stellar photography skills for your work to stand out. But photography skills are not enough; you’ll also need impeccable editing skills to make your photos shine.
Take quality time creating photos that will wow your clients.
Post-processing work may take time, but it’s all worth it. Remember, if your photos don’t stand out, you won’t stand out. And if you don’t stand out, you won’t stand a chance of getting jobs and beating the competition.
5. Keep Learning
This is a golden rule that applies to every skill you hope to learn in this life.
Always yearn to learn more and improve your skills. If you think you’re the master and that you know everything about photography, you’ll never grow.
That said, continuing education is critical. Attend photography workshops, study online courses, or learn from other pro photographers. There is no shame in exchanging ideas. Besides, it can help you stay on top of photography trends.
We hope these tips will help to prepare you for your freelance photography career. Feel free to comment and share.