1. Learn how to use your camera, fully. This might sound silly but there is a clear difference between operating a camera in auto vs full manual. Spend time learning about focus points, composition, lighting and all the important setting that will make your photography stand out and look very professional.
2. Don’t be afraid to spend $$ on valuable education. At the very start of my journey, I was obsessed with watching YouTube tutorials about photography, but it wasn’t until I forked out the coin that I noticed improvements in my work. In my personal opinion, nothing will fast track you more than having one on one mentoring, getting stuck into an online course or attending workshops. These methods can help you with anything from posing, tech skills, the business side of photography and much more. I can recommend creative live and linda.com for online courses and skill-building. You can always reach out to your favourite photographers and see if they offer one on one sessions too. Just think, you could spend 10k on a university degree that you might never use or $1000 getting private tuition or on an online course to get you where you want to be quicker. For example, it took me one year of learning how to use a camera before I started getting paid for it.
3. Practice makes perfect. You heard me, get out there and shoot, shoot, shoot. Pester your friends and family to model for you, this will also help you figure out what type of clients you would like to work with be it couples, kids, families, etc. Maybe your natural affinity with kids will have you stoked to work with families or hiking through the woods with an adventure couple is more your thing, you never really know until you start. Whatever your jam the more you practice the more you will be able to home in on what really lights your soul and gets all those creative juices flowing. Chances are you will be naturally drawn to a specific subject; my advice is to stick to it and run with that. Don’t try and be a jack of all trades, this may confuse potential clients and you are more likely to excel at one subject if you are doing it often.
4. Business 101… think of a name and get yourself on social media. Instagram and Facebook are strong platforms to start with. Don’t overthink this, trust me I even paid someone to brainstorm business names for me and that was an epic fail, it was far too cheesy for my liking. It is totally fine to roll with your name, you don’t have to have a totally different identity for your business, after all, you are your brand so own it!
5. Fake it till you make it, that’s right I said it. Now that you have nailed your niche and have plenty of practice shoots under your belt it is time to start posting them on social media. Post about these people being your clients, that they came to your location and you shot their little love bubble and here are the beautiful results, get my gist? No one in the world needs to know it is your brother and his beautiful GF, you will soon get over the guilt when the inquiries start flooding in. Try and be active on social media every day and do not be shy about interacting with other photographers or creatives. Instagram is an amazing place to make like-minded friends and it’s always handy to have friends to chat to and ask for advice.
6. The biggest thing of all is just go for it. Don’t be afraid to get out there and wave your creative flag high. You will never, ever know until you try, and you will never grow unless you are learning. The most important thing to remember is to have fun with it all. Photography has been a life-changing career move for me and is the best job in the world. I promise with time and dedication turning your passion into a career will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.