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How to Become a Photographer

Photography is a skill and an art that many of us practice, from the daily selfie to fantastic shots of the world around us.

A visual form of documenting life as it happens, it is no wonder that people take the step to becoming a full-time photographer. Developing a unique style and harnessing the enjoyment of taking photographs of your favourite subjects, it is possible to carve out a career as a full-time professional photographer. But how?

Different paths

Firstly, it is important to recognise that people come to photography via different pathways. Unlike other career choices, it is not always a case of going to college, completing a course and then setting up a photography studio.

In fact, established photographers say that the beauty and strength of photography comes from the fact that people come from all different backgrounds, paths and avenues.
That said, there are some key elements that a photographer needs, whether they are carving a photographic career on the plain of Africa catching glimpses of wild animals or catching the beauty of the catwalk.

Generally speaking, photographers will need to be;
Confident in the shots they take and the work and style they develop
Experiment and invest in their skills – this may mean completing a photography course or simply trying something different
Passionate about their art and their skill
Skilled in certain aspects such as lighting, how to work with people or animals, as well as have a keen interest in the subjects and situations that appeal to them most
Flexible – many of today established photographers started their careers in different aspects of photography before moving into the arena they are now known for

Photography that pays

The world of professional photography has changed so much since the advent of smartphones and digital cameras.

But there is still a call for commercial photography. If you read the background story of some of today’s professional photographers, you will find that they started their careers in very different places.

From taking corporate photographs to editorial images, or even selling their images via stock photo websites.

But learning from professional photographers, the advice seems to be to balance the commercial photography work you would do with the more creative photographic work you would like to do.

In effect, photography is an artistic skill and you need to develop this passion, just as you need to pay the bills.

Developing your photography as a business

Many photographers are self-employed and that means running a business. So as well as developing your photographic skills, you need to develop a sound business framework too, paying bills on time and keeping accounts.

Theoretical and practical training are important but so too is your passion for capturing a second in time and all its haunting beauty.

From portraiture to commercial photography, to news sites and corporate photography, there are many avenues along which you can develop your photography skill.

So, where will you start?

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