Photography in the modern sense is getting easier and easier to accomplish. There are apps and filters that are user-friendly which are making those who once struggled to take a picture without half their thumb covering the shot suddenly finding an eye for natural light and capturing moments spontaneously. The thing about taking great photography shots is that they are addicting and users suddenly find themselves framing a potential picture at most moments in their everyday lives. As one becomes more and more delved into the world of photography it’s natural to wonder…“could I do this for a living?”
Word of Advice – Start Small
It goes without saying that there’s a big difference between taking pictures of your kids at a birthday party and having the responsibility of a once-in-a-lifetime, impossible-to-duplicate event like capturing somebody’s wedding photos. It’s possible to make money in photography but that will come down the line. On the contrary, if you are a failure in one of your first jobs, which also happens to be a big event like a wedding your name is almost tarnished immediately. Start small with free gigs such as birthdays, family reunion planning, or with inanimate objects like buildings and scenes to get used to the ins and outs of the craft.
Constantly Improve Your Skills
One of the reasons why it’s important to start small when trying to make money with photography is because you’ll get better each time you break out the camera. Like a basketball player, the more you shoot the more confident you become and you can improve the versatility of your shots. For a photographer this means knowing how to react to light and dark, how to frame a pic, how to gain a group’s attention, and even how to set up your equipment.
Don’t Forget About the Business Aspect
Ask any construction contractor about what he loves about his job and the likely answer is hammering a nail – not building Excel spreadsheets. While your true passion may be pointing and clicking, in order to make money with photography you need to be adept at the business side as well. This involves invoicing, tax write-offs, potential payroll, acquiring insurance, marketing, submitting bids, and other details that will take up much of your time that would have normally been spent behind the lens.
Do It Because You Love It and Things Will Fall Into Place
So maybe your only gig has been for a couple family reunion websites and not a bridal expo like you had hoped, the important thing is to put your heart and passion into it. Making money in photography involves building your brand and word of mouth which may take months or may take years. As long as your top priorities are improving your skills and appreciating the love of photography (instead of getting rich) the odds are you’ll be more successful than you think.
Michael Peggs is the founder of content marketing agency and SEO agencyMarccx Media, where they specialize in SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.