Perhaps the most important question you can ask at this point is, “What kind of photographer am I?” There are thousands of amateur photographers (picture takers?) who have a passion for using their camera to capture images.
But very few of them actually become professional photographers. In this case, “professional” means you take someone’s picture, or you get an image of beautiful scenery, etc. and someone pays you for it.
Making the transition from enthusiastic amateur to paid photographer is a bit more involved than many people believe. In fact, if you don’t have photos that are outstanding enough to separate you from everyone else, chances are you’re going to struggle in this field.
One thing you can do immediately, to get you started in the right direction, is visit New Portrait Biz.
The following statement is true for any business, but it’s applied to photography in this case: You should follow the “starting a photography business checklist.” When you do, you benefit from the hard work of others who have not only been through the process but also have become established professional photographers.
Not only will a complete program for new businesses help you answer the original question about what kind of photographer you are, but you will also find out what kind of equipment you will need.
Some individuals are surprised that they don’t need to invest thousands of dollars in cameras, lighting and studio space. In fact, this is something that may come later, as your business grows. When you follow a proven checklist, you also learn about startup costs.
Many people who are new to professional photography make the mistake of spending so much on studio space, staging materials etc. they suffer financially and eventually go out of business.
Do your own research on how to get started. Visit New Portrait Biz to find out how you can become a paid photographer for a lot less than you may think. When you follow a set program you are much less likely to make the mistakes that have closed the doors of other small businesses.
You may want to give serious thought to using a mobile studio, with background images and smaller items that give you more flexibility.
Have a Plan
Every new venture needs a business plan. This should be detailed and focused on specific goals. You could, of course, try to write a plan for yourself. Or you could make use of the efforts of those who are already successful photographers. In either case, a business plan must be at the top of your starting a photography business checklist.
Other “must have” items on your list should be: finding customers, building a portfolio, and establishing a brand. You may be able to take care of one or two of these by taking a lot of pictures of similar subjects. This will fill your portfolio and will give you a “brand” because people will see what kind of pictures you’re taking.
But this is not really branding or building a portfolio. If you are struggling with these two ideas, you may be wise to visit New Portrait Biz to see what they offer.
They may be able to help you choose the type of photography you specialize in and they can show you how to develop a brand or style by actually doing the photography in a certain way.
What about finding customers? Every business should have a list of essential steps, and marketing to the right sector of the population is one of the most important.
You can do a lot of old-fashioned leg work, visiting businesses and talking to individuals, then hope some of them are interested enough to pay you for pictures. Or, you can work with someone who has already established a reputation for quality photography and has put together a program that will get your started.
As you follow a proven program, you will also avoid spending a lot of time and money on new computer hardware and software. Why? Because the professional knows you don’t have to have the “latest and greatest” to get a start in this business.
Your checklist should certainly include a reliable computer with Photoshop, but you don’t need to mortgage your house to work in this field.
If you want to give the “right” answer to the question posed at the beginning, you should restate the question. “What kind of photographer am I?” The correct answer should be, “A successful one.” You can do this if you follow a proven plan that has already worked for many others. It isn’t necessary to do everything from scratch, so to speak.
It would be a good bet to state that sometime in your life you have had an older person say something like, “Watch and learn.” Even if you haven’t heard this before, this is great advice when you are starting in the photography business.
Find a good mentor and follow this person’s advice for the art of photography and for the business of photography. You will be very glad you did.