Career in photography

4 Things to Consider Before Starting a Career in Photography

This guest post is by Helen Clark

Do not be fooled, photography can be a very time-consuming and resource hogging career. Not many people are cut out for it and a few try it as a serious career option. Nowadays, most people own a camera, and if they do not own one, they believe that their smartphone can be considered as a worthy substitute.

The problem is that many people believe that they are photographers just because they own a camera. Photography is not something you can just start with the hope that you are going to make amazing progress in a short period of time. It takes so much more than just a casual approach to become a photographer.

Why Do You Want To Be A Photographer?

Before pursuing your career in photography, you need to ask yourself this question, why are you interested in photography? Is it because you fell in love with your shiny new camera, or is it because you love the idea of capturing an image that you will later show to your grandkids.

Or, is it because you believe that you have the potential somewhere in you, and you can earn some money off it? Or, perhaps you have seen how glamorous a photographer’s life can be and you want a piece of that?

Things to Consider Before Starting a Career in Photography

You need to be aware that photography can be hard work. There are several types of photography careers and there are many associated tasks you need to take care of. These include meeting clients, arranging the set, getting the contracts ready, making the images, post-production, delivering, collecting money, answering to client’s questions and the list does not stop here.

So, if you are only drawn in by the money and glamor, you will quickly realize that you are in deep waters, with no knowledge whatsoever, and the only way to survive is to truly love photography.

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A good DSLR can set you back for something in between $600-$800 and good lenses will cost you even more. Added to the much-needed accessories, all this can cost you even up to around $2000 to $3000. Amateur stuff will not cost you that much, but you still need to set aside $1500 to purchase a decent camera and a lens. You should do what most people start from, a Point & Shoot.

Today’s Point & Shoots allow you to control the exposure and shoot in RAW, which are the two most important things. This kind of camera allows you to understand the basics of composition and exposure, so that you can practice before switching to a more professional camera.


Starting a Career in Photography

Photography is a very time-consuming career, so you will need to invest a lot of your time and energy to understand its broad aspects and the finer nuances. Expect to spend countless hours outside your comfort zone, in nature, amongst complete strangers, making and reviewing images and practicing your skills. If all of this sounds too demanding for both your nerves and your time, perhaps you need to start considering another career.

Realistic Goals

In many cases, the source of your inspirations can be the reason for you to become frustrated with your work. As a beginner, it is likely that you will be drawn to the work of other photographers; you will check books, magazines, online portfolios, not to copy their style, but for inspiration. After some time, you might pick up a magazine and ask yourself why your photos are not that good.

You will begin to compare yourself with professionals who have put half of their life into their work. This is something you need to avoid because your skills and quality of work are nowhere near theirs. So, rather than getting frustrated, spend time practicing and set small goals (and a deadline as to when to achieve each of them).

You need to remember that photography is a career like every other, and you cannot simply hope that you are going to create amazing images by picking a camera once in a while. You need to be persistent, practice and make time to do it often. If you are good enough, work opportunities will come, because all you need to do is be persistent.

Helen Clark

Helen Clark

Princeton, NJ, United States.
Helen Clark

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