If you consider yourself a serious photographer, then you might be looking into making it a career that can sustain your lifestyle or even just make a little extra cash. Of course, working on improving your photography skills is going to play a big role in helping you reach a professional level in your craft. But being a professional photographer requires more than just photography.
Invest in starting the business
Your skills aren’t the only things that are going to help you create the professional quality photos that you’re going to get paid for. You’re also going to need the equipment, both hardware and software, that can help you take the best photos. This means your camera, your lens, any staging equipment like tripods and lighting, as well as high-quality photo editing software, with Adobe Photoshop being the most popular and well-known out there. There are cheaper alternatives but if you’re new to photo editing software, Photoshop has the largest community and greatest variety of tutorials.
Make a plan for how you’re going to make money
Photographers can offer their services to all manner of customers, photographing all manner of subjects. However, it’s a good idea to plan how exactly you’re going to make your money, which can include developing a niche that you can target. Look at what’s available in your area and what areas you can fill the gaps in, be it wedding photography, commercial photography for local businesses, or otherwise. You might also find your specialisation in certain techniques or technology, such as offering drone photography.
Protect your business
When you get it up and running, your business is going to be a key money-maker for you. As such, you need to protect your ability to make money, which means putting down some financial protections. The single best way to do that is with insurance, and there are teams like Aaduki Photography Insurance who offer coverage specific to your needs. Backups for your business assets, including your data as well as replacement equipment that you can access quickly can also ensure that you can stay up and running even if you lose your existing assets to theft or damage.
Making a name for yourself
There are a lot of freelance photographers willing to take on any job they can find and you need to set yourself apart from them, both in terms of making yourself more visible and being able to command higher prices. The best way to do that is to build your own photography website, including an online portfolio, establishing yourself as a professional with standards that go well beyond the norm. Marketing your business through social media and paid advertisements can help you not only find new clients but also craft a better impression of your business.
If you want to make it as a professional, then you need to run things like a business, not like a photographer trying to make some cash. This means creating a business, making a plan, protecting that business, and getting the word out there.