Photography is a hobby that many people enjoy. Capturing images that can be shared with others is something that has been going on since the first photograph was snapped. If you enjoy taking pictures, and would like to make a few bucks doing so, you may be interested in these money-making tips for photographers.
Specialization Is the Name of the Game
Like it or not, we live in an era of specialization. In nearly every facet of our economy, you need special training and a narrow focus to make money. That’s true in photography as well. There are quite a few different types of photography-related fields you can enter if you want to make a living from your hobby. Some people prefer working with other people, so they choose to be portrait photographers. A portrait photographer takes shots of families, weddings, graduating students, and special events, such as family reunions or bar mitzvahs. Other people enjoy nature photography, so they spend their time stalking butterflies and wildebeests. Some photographers specialize in taking pictures for newspapers and magazines, which is called photojournalism. Still other photographers prefer working with inanimate objects, so they specialize in product photography.
Get the Right Equipment
The quality of imaging equipment is improving by leaps and bounds, while the price declines. That’s a good thing for aspiring photographers, because it’s extremely important to have the right equipment for the specialty you’ve chosen. As an example, you won’t get very far as a wildlife or sports photographer if all you have is a wide-angle lens. In order to get a frame-filling shot of a trophy deer or a player crossing the goal line, you’d have to be standing right next to the action, which is unlikely to happen with any sort of regularity. Wildlife and sports shooters need to have a quality telephoto lens. Conversely, a portrait photographer won’t be successful if all they have is a long telephoto lens--they need lenses more in the 35mm to 120mm range. Product photographers need specialized lighting equipment, as do portrait photographers, while wildlife, sports, and nature photographers generally shoot in existing light conditions. Someone shooting photos for newspapers and magazines probably uses a number of different lenses, because their jobs take them to a variety of places, under a wide range of shooting conditions.
Know Your Equipment
Simply having the right equipment is no guarantee of success. You need to know how to use it. When you get a new piece of equipment, you should read the manual that comes with it, and familiarize yourself with what each button or dial does when it’s pushed or turned. The best time to find out how the equipment works is as soon as you get it, and not when you’re out on a job. In most cases, a photographer will need to act quickly in order to get the shot, especially if they’re shooting sports, wildlife, or a news-related event. Portrait and product photographers can control the situation somewhat, but knowing the equipment they’re using is just as important to them. They don’t want to spend their time making people pose again or taking multiple shots while they’re trying to figure out how their new camera works.
Read a Lot
In order to be a successful professional photographer, you need to be as knowledgeable as possible about your specialty. You should read as much as you can about the subject. Subscribe to photography magazines, especially the trade magazines, which have more in depth information than consumer magazines. You should also read as many how-to photography books as you can, especially when you’re just starting out in the business. In photography, as in many other areas of endeavor, there is no such thing as too much information.
Don’t Overprice Your Services
As a professional photographer, you intend to make money, so you must charge for your services. Unfortunately, the same circumstances that make it easy for you to buy very good equipment at reasonable prices works against you, because other people, who may not want to be a professional photographer, have access to the same equipment. More and more people are buying the type of equipment that until recently only pros carried. Digital SLR’s are affordable, and even though most people won’t spend the money for expensive lenses, the quality of consumer lenses is impressive, and affordable. This means that a lot of people are taking their own pictures instead of hiring a professional, and that means that if you hope to make money as a photographer you not only to be better at it than other people, but you must be affordable, as well. Try and keep your prices low, especially if you’re just starting out. As you develop a reputation as a competent, reliable photographer, you can raise your prices a bit.
Guest post from Sam Landon. Sam writes for CarInsurance.org.
I'm Louida from Atlanta, Georgia and I'm a mother of two daughters, blogger, and full time working mom at a Business Consulting Firm.
I love helping others learn how to start working from home on the internet free to supplement their current income.
I also blog at Productreviewmom.com
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