You are passionate about photography and you have the minimum equipment necessary to take photos, these two conditions have made you think about starting to work as a photographer. Very good, but you should know that it is not enough just with it and that it is necessary to have other basic tools to make the world known to your talent and make money with one of the most competitive professions we can find. Do you need help getting started? Keep reading we give you some basic tips so you can find out how to start working as a photographer.
Steps to follow:
1. The first step to start working as a photographer is, of course, to have the necessary professional team. It is clear that not everyone can afford luxuries like a suitcase of lights to illuminate a session, but at least you should have the basics at a professional level:
- A good SLR camera
- Memory cards
- Black and white backgrounds
- A photo editing program and a powerful computer that allows you to work properly
This is the most basic, but of course you must then acquire the equipment you need according to your specialization, for example, the interior and exterior light cases, the different lenses, reflectors, etc. Depending on the type of work you can also determine the needs.
2. You must know something: if you expect to earn money as a photographer you must invest in your professional training. If you have done it and you have studies or courses that accredit you and that also allow you to have certain professional knowledge, very well! If not, the recommendation is to do it, because you can learn many things that you did not know and, more importantly, meet people involved in this environment that can help you later.
3. You may be the most talented of all, but if you want to start working as a photographer it is essential to make your work known. You must have at least one portfolio, but not at home where no one can see it, but in a place that anyone can reach. Having a website is the best way for others to verify your work, serving as an excellent cover letter.
You do not need a professional for this task, you just need to acquire your own domain and host and use any of the many alternatives available to design your own website, including free WordPress templates, for example.
4. In addition to a web page where you can upload your work, having active social networks that help you get to know yourself will be essential. A professional Facebook page can be of great help, but also don”t leave aside social networks that have been thought and created specifically for the image: Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest, all of them are an excellent way to promote your work and Get much further.
5. To start working as a photographer you should know that contacts are essential. Not only from the point of view of meeting people who can hire your services or recommend you, but also to have on hand a list of places, studios and professionals that can help you in case you have a photo session that you cannot handle by yourself.
If you don”t have a studio, knowing some in your city at a good price and having your phone and email is basic. In the same way it is convenient to identify equipment rental companies, people who can serve as assistants and all kinds of suppliers that you may need when it is time to head an important photo session.
6. You do not want a customer to request a quote and you have no idea how much to charge. This problem that freelance workers commonly face is solved in a simple way: create a reference price list by hours of work and type of project and adjust it when necessary. Knowing the prices established by the union or other professionals with your same experience will be very useful to establish your initial costs.
Also do not forget that you are starting and that offering a competitive price for your work can help you find new clients.
7. To dedicate yourself to a profession implies that you must be very clear about the legal aspect in terms of collection and billing. In countries such as Spain it is necessary to register as a freelancer to bill and collect regular work done and that exceed the profit share of 3,000 euros per year. In other countries you only need to make a bill with the legal specifications and then declare the VAT of the work done. Each nation has its normal and it is important to know them.
Being aware of the legislation of the country where you want to start working as a photographer is essential, in this way you will begin to exercise with good footing and without legal problems.
8. Last but not least: always, always, and always! Advertise your work, because you never know who will be listening. Making known what you do and not afraid to offer your work when necessary is very important, because there is nothing more powerful than word of mouth to start in a truly competitive professional environment.
Cheer up! With effort, good ideas and dedication it is possible to start working as a photographer and achieve success.
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