This is going out to any new photographer out there. The photography world is a dog eat dog, competitive field my friends. They will literally eat you up and spit you out alive and then double that! For anyone just getting into it, it’s a whirlwind of information and a bizarre Alice In Wonderland experience. I’ll explain my reasoning.
There are actually different levels one attains on this photographic journey. One is getting your new camera. You get excited and start snapping away. Folks start to see your “snapping” and then want you to take pictures of them and their kids and then the ego slllllowly builds up and before you know it, you’ll start to add special “effects@ with your new editing gear, buy some presets and actions. You’ll order business cards, open up a facebook page and website and voila you are a professional, but guess what you’re so wrong!
I understand we all start somewhere and yes, I am not perfect by any means (but at least my work is in focus and people don’t look like Oompa Loompas, you know with orange over-saturated skin). You need to learn your principals before you ever start to charge or call yourself a professional.
With principals, I mean by your rule of thirds, composition, the exposure triangle, light and being able to read it. Plus, there are so many other factors and expenses that come into play. Editing software, good quality lenses, registering your business, obtaining insurance, paying taxes, calibrating your monitor, SD Cards, filters, props, expodisc, learning how to edit and to do it properly… All these items add up. It soon becomes very overwhelming to a beginner.
It’s amazing that folks think they can take a picture and because they think they have great equipment and they are professionals, but have no clue about most of what I speak of above.
Yes! We all start somewhere and I’m not knocking anyone down because they want to pursue their passion… But… If you don’t know what I am talking about, when I listed all the items above… YOU SHOULD NOT BE IN BUSINESS. You should be gaining and learning these skills and at least understanding your basics as mentioned above. When you learn them, yes… By all means open a business…
But guess what? There are hundreds of others of professionals opening their doors every single day and you better have a plan… A business strategy and marketing plan (and guess what, you can’t rely on facebook for your marketing anymore as they changed their algorithms when it pertains to businesses.)
You will soon find out that sometimes your work and what you produce doesn’t matter and that 90% of this field requires a business plan to last. This is an extremely saturated field. What are you going to do to separate yourself? What’s your plan? Because you sure do need one if you are going to last. This is not an easy field and one must develop thick skin to keep going forward.
You just really need to want this, if you decide this is the path for you. It requires getting your hands dirty with no acknowledgement sometimes or praise. It means hitting the pavement and sometimes knocking on doors to get your name out there. Business cards and a website are just not going to cut it, in this field.
You may get very busy and keep getting busy when you first start out, but eventually you end up hitting a road block. From there and what you do from there, will determine your future success. There will be many times when you’ll just want to throw in the towel and give up in these moments.
What you need to do is sit down and develop a plan and strategy, follow it through and you just may have a chance as a successful photographer. Getting started is not an easy feat and I wish you the most luck in your endeavor.
Happy Shooting, my friends!