Photography can be an intimidating profession, especially when you’re just starting out. Visions of the starving artist can make a lot of beginner photographers anxious about entering the field as their main career, but photography can be pretty lucrative if you know what you’re doing.
Many professional photographers make six figure incomes solely off their photos. To photography newbies, that can seem completely unattainable - but with the help of these tips we’ve gathered you can start building your portfolio, and turn your love of photography into a sustainable future.
One of the first steps towards establishing your photography career and getting higher paying gigs is to gain exposure. This might seem like an obvious tip, but it is a crucial step, especially if you’re completely new to the industry.
Like with any creative field, you can gain exposure by volunteering, entering contests, or looking for assistant gigs. Some contests and assistant gigs can still get you a decent payout, but even if you’re not always paid (ex. volunteer jobs), the exposure can help you build your ever important portfolio. Once you have a decent portfolio with some good shots to exemplify your style and skill, you will be able to charge higher rates for your services based on your experience.
Develop a niche
When you’re just starting out in the field, it can seem beneficial to try your hands at as many different styles and niches as possible. And this is a beneficial practice, especially if you’re not exactly sure where you’re interests fall yet. However, once you have a little more experience on your hands and have a base knowledge of the different photography niches out there, you can start creating your own.
Specializing in a specific niche will help create credibility and build your reputation. Good credibility and a strong reputation for quality work heavily factor into the amount of clients who choose your business and the amount they are willing to pay. If you want more clients and higher paying gigs, you will need to be able to separate yourself and the best skilled and experienced for the job which means creating a strong niche.
Build a strong social media presence
Social media is an excellent tool for both beginners and more experienced photographers. If you want to nab those high paying gigs or be able to charge more for your services, social media is a useful tool to build experience and make a prominent name as a photographer. To start, a social media presence can be as simple as a well-curated Instagram account that showcases your best shots and help you get recognized through a growing number of followers. Don’t be afraid to reach out and take inspiration from other pros, too - follow them, use hashtags, and post regularly to increase your chances of getting found!
Start a blog or video channel
If you already have some experience in the photography field, a good way get to those higher paying gigs is by starting a blog or video channel, even a platform that’s as simple as BlogSpot or WordPress to share your fresh, themed shots and the adventure behind them!
This will help you get higher paying gigs in two ways: one, it will help further develop your exposure and, two, it will help you gain credibility. If you can establish an online presence that presents you as an informed, skilled, and experienced photographer, more people will be inclined to ask for your service.
Look professional with the right gear
As someone who is already looking to enter the photography, you have probably already exhausted your research on the basics of the gear you will need. Beyond the immediate essentials like a good camera, lens variety, and accessories, you will want to make sure your gear is protected and still has a professional appearance with a solid case. A professional look contributes to your credibility and assures clients you know what you’re doing.
There are a variety of hard case brands, such as Nanuk, that produce a strong line of high quality cases that will keep your expensive equipment safe. Nanuk’s cases all offer high grade protection for your gear, but also incorporate a sleek design with choices of professional colours like a crisp graphite and classic black.
Don’t be afraid to try out these tips! Whip out your trusty camera and gear, get ready to build a portfolio of photos that will land you lucrative gigs in no time, and a lifetime of capturing the world from the view in your lens.