Becoming a professional photographer isn’t as simple as owning a high-end camera, a cumbersome telephoto lens or even having complete photography studio equipment at your disposal.
If you’re looking to make the transition or are simply unsure about your current status, here are a couple of things to guide you.
1. You have a burning passion for the craft. This almost goes without saying. Photographers who are passionate about taking pictures automatically want to become better at what they do. If you find yourself setting up shots in your head all the time and your Christmas list always includes a brand new camera gear or lens, then chances are you have what it takes to become serious with this profession.
2. You can find your way around your gear with your eyes closed. One crucial step to advancing to the pros is knowing your camera inside out. Be familiar with its technical settings as well as how to use these to make a photo aesthetically pleasing. It’s also necessary to know how to use studio lighting kits, various lenses and other equipment to enhance the quality of the images you take. Keep in mind that a professional hardly ever takes a lucky shot; they often rely on experience and technical know-how to manipulate the camera to achieve what they want.
3. You understand that there’s more to becoming a professional than just taking a picture. Becoming a professional means you are ready to work harder and to do what it takes to expand your knowledge about the craft. Taking pictures, especially when starting out, will take up very little of your time. Instead, most of your time will go to editing duties, organising and finding clients, handling your budget, marketing and so much more.
4. You are willing to admit your limitations (and work on overcoming them!) You won’t transform into an expert overnight. When transitioning into becoming a pro, you’ll be able to freely admit your limitations. For instance, if you’re not very good at wedding photography or don’t like doing it because of the big crowds; you should have no trouble admitting these. At the same time, you also need to actively work to overcome them. Maybe by taking wedding photos of friends, not as an official photographer but merely for fun, you can practice and improve the comfort level and skills you lack.
5. You have a solid portfolio to show to potential clients. When you’re ready to ask for payment for your services, it’s expected that you can provide a certain level of quality in your work and that you can reproduce this quality in every image you snap. Showing clients a great portfolio is sometimes enough to convince them whether to hire you or not.
6. You have a stable business plan in place. One aspect that separates the pros from the amateurs or hobbyists is that they treat photography as a business. The transition takes time but when you’re ready to move, you will realise that it’s necessary to come up with a solid business plan. You can’t just book clients, you need to woo them and convince them you have the skills they need.
7. You know your specialties and what kind of photographer you want to be. Before diving into the professional world of photography, it’s important to find your niche. Do you prefer to take female portraits? Maybe you like taking photos of animals instead? Knowing what type of photographer you want to be is crucial so you can streamline your goals and market yourself accordingly.
It All Begins with a Quick Snap
Transitioning into a professional photographer does take time. But as long as you are willing to strive for it and are passionate enough to improve your skills, you will find yourself labelled as a pro soon enough.
Professional photographers have to start somewhere. If you need help starting, SUNSTUDIOS can help you. We offer affordable camera hire and rental if you want to take your photography hobby seriously and transform yourself into a professional. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with the equipment and find it’s what you need, we even give you the option to purchase it!
You can find almost every type of still camera (and even motion) equipment you need for a shoot or project. In fact, if you’re around Melbourne or Sydney area, you can even book our studios for the event.
We want to create a hub where amateurs can take the first step towards achieving their goal and where professionals can turn to for professional lighting and camera equipment they need for their work.
Ready to take the first step? Contact us today in either our Melbourne or Sydney studio. We’re always ready and willing to help out.
Earlier this year photographer and civil engineer Gabriel Jia fulfilled a childhood dream to visit the Lalibela Rock-Hewn Churches in Ethiopia. His debut solo exhibition, The Hidden Pilgrimage, shares his enchantment with an ancient place.