Advances in technology have made our lives better in a myriad of ways. We now have things like artificial hearts to help people with bad tickers, replay machines to help sports make close calls, and digital cameras to help people take their own family photos. Gone are the days when you’d buy a disposable camera, take pictures, drop it off at the one-hour photo, and come back after lunch to collect your pictures. Today we see them instantly, and because of that we have a whole new crop of photography businesses. While technology has made it easier to be a photographer, it’s also made the competition fierce. If you’re thinking of becoming a professional photographer, here are three things to keep in mind.
I’m sure you run into it every day: you log onto your Facebook, and see family photos a friend has posted with her and her family in matching colored shirts, leaning up against an old barn holding hands. That’s cute, but it’s not very unique. If a customer requests such a thing, by all means do it, but that’s an idea anyone can come up with. If you want to stand out from the crowd and have people take notice, be creative. Be different. Be the photographer everyone wants because they want something completely unique.
I have a friend who quit her day job to become a photographer full-time and she has so much business that she has to turn people away. The main reason is because of her creativity. Her photos aren’t like other photographer’s photos, they’re unique and simple at the same time. For example, she had a recently engaged couple kissing where they first met. People love her because she’s different, and because she caters to her customer.
People don’t want to pay for something they could do themselves. Buying a $100 camera from Wal-Mart is probably not going to do the trick for you, but you also don’t want to go broke buying equipment – and believe me you absolutely can. Take a look on eBay and Amazon to see if there are any used professional cameras for sale. Remember, this business is pretty cut throat, so people are starting and stopping all of the time. Read reviews on Amazon, shop around on eBay and Craigslist, and take your time. Having a camera that takes great looking photos can be the difference between a career and a hobby.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
It’s the dream of a lot of people to set up appointments for photo shoots and take pictures of babies, and puppies, and pregnant bellies all day, but be practical about it. It’s a hard industry to get into and make a living, and it takes a while to build up a client base. Do it on the evenings and weekends to start. Built up your client base until you cannot possibly fit any more appointments into your free time. Then and only then consider quitting your day job. Start a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest account and add and follow people. Run contests for free sessions for whoever shares your page with the most people, or refers someone. Building up your client base until it’s bursting at the seams before even thinking about quitting your day job, and even then consider it very, very carefully.