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How To Become A Professional Photographer

It’s no secret that photography is expensive. With professional lenses and bodies costing thousands of pounds each, it’s no surprise so many photographers would like to know how to make money with photography.

Plus, if you can do something you love as a profession then you’re on the way to a happy life. But understanding how to become a professional photographer and do it successfully takes grit and determination.

Photography is increasingly popular, and that means more and more people are wanting to become full-time photographers. With so many individuals offering their services commercially, the market is undoubtedly becoming saturated. This is one of the biggest barriers you’ll face–standing out from the pack and being unique in your profession is a massive challenge.

How To Become A Professional Photographer

There’s no point sugar-coating it: many people won’t manage to turn full-time. However, there is definitely scope for working, even if just initially, as a part-time photographer alongside your day job. This article may be a bit of a reality check, but it should also inspire those who relish a challenge and have the real drive and persistence required to turn full-time.

I’ve been lucky enough to work as a full-time photographer for a number of years now. I used a fairly major competition win at the age of 14 to launch my career and started building my business in my teens. Taking advantage of an injection of publicity like this will help you lift your head above the crowds and get noticed. Without any thought about how you are going to market yourself, it can be like shouting aloud in a vacuum and hoping someone can hear you.

The Reality Of The Industry

Whatever genre of photography you’re trying to break into, it’s going to be competitive. As a nature photographer, there are a lot of hobbyists that wish to make it as a professional. There is also decreasing demand for premium photographs. The expectation of free, or very cheap, photos are becoming more commonplace now thanks to the willingness of amateur photographers to give their photos away for free in return for briefly seeing their name in lights.

Perhaps you’re looking to be an event photographer or a wedding photographer. You’re going to face a very similar problem. There are swathes of people trying to undercut each other, bringing down photography pricing for everyone.

You’ve probably heard about, or even experienced, the expression of shock on many clients’ faces when they are quoted thousands of dollars to photograph a wedding. This is often followed with something like “my friend said he’d do it for $200”.