So you want to be a photographer. Well, you have a long road ahead of you. Photography is one of the most competitive fields in the world. It doesn’t matter where you live or what language you speak. Anyone with a camera can be a photographer, which makes competition fierce. So if photography is something you have your heart set on doing, then there are a few things you’ll need to know. This list is not exhaustive, but it will give you a start.
The first thing you absolutely must do is decide which field of photography you want to get into. There is fashion photography, sports photography, glamor photography, studio photography, outdoor photography, children’s photography and the list goes on and on. The market for each of these and many other types is wide open. And with those markets wide open also comes a lot of competition. Deciding which field you want to enter should not be based on the path of least resistance. There is no such thing. Follow the path that you are most passionate about.
The next thing you have to do is get all the equipment you are going to need. This will vary depending on the type of field you want to enter. For example, if you plan to become a photographer specializing in stock car racing, you will need a lot of equipment to take photos at high speed. The good news is that you won’t have to spend a lot of money on lighting since these photos will be taken outdoors. Conversely, if you plan to shoot fashion models, lighting will be critical to your photos and your spending on lighting equipment will be quite high.
The next thing you will need to do is advertise. You’ll have to print business cards, take out magazine and newspaper ads, and more or less get the word out that you exist. If you hope to break into the field taking photos for a magazine like Playboy, you will first have to get a private job photographing models to submit these photos to the magazine. However, before you do that, you’ll need to write to the magazine to get permission to submit photos. Most publications do not accept unsolicited material.
If you plan to open a studio for taking photos of children, then you will need to rent a building. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but it should be in a visible part of town with lots of other businesses. Visibility is half the battle won.
Finally, you will have to take a lot of photos, especially if you want to build a reputation for yourself. You’ll want to put together a portfolio of your work so you can take it with you. Again, this is going to depend on the field you want to get into, whether it’s freelancing for a magazine, setting up your own shop, or working for someone else, which is usually a good way to get into it.
The world of photography is wide open. There are plenty of options for every aspiring photographer. So pick a game plan and stick to it. With patience and perseverance, you will eventually get to where you want to be.