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8 steps to beginning your photography career

Are you fascinated by capturing the world around you or love recording special memories? Then Photography is an exciting and artistic pathway that could offer you the chance to do just that. Pointing a camera and pressing the shutter is easy enough, but how do you take your photos to the next level? Getting them to match your vision feels like the hard part, not to mention wondering how to begin to turn your photography into an actual business. 

Here’s how: by beginning! 

As Mark Twain famously said: “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” Every photographer began from the beginning. So here are the 8 steps you need to do just that; the pathway to creating breathtaking shots and turning your passion into the thriving career of your dreams!

1. Start! (with what you have)

It can be intimidating to think of yourself as a photographer. It can be easy to feel like an imposter when starting something new. We can put our dreams off with excuses about not having the right equipment, especially with something as technical as photography.

But here’s the truth – photography is about you – what you see, what you find, what you feel about the world. It doesn’t matter how you capture it, whether it’s with a fancy camera, a polaroid or your iPhone!

Before splurging on a camera you might find overly complex or confusing, start with whatever you have to hand and begin exploring. Pick up your phone and look around the room you are in. What catches your eye? Whatever you create will be uniquely yours and each photo you take will help you grow.

And if you needed some reassurance that your mobile is all it takes – check out these iPhone photos!

iPhone photography- landscape with footprints

Source: Richard Walker

Shot on iPhone- young girl in the mountains

Source: MyModernMet

2. Always Have Your Camera To Hand

Life takes us to unexpected places sometimes, which is why as a photographer you should always have a camera of some kind on you. You never know when something might snap your interest or happen before your lens. Some of the best shots happen purely by coincidence, especially when it comes to wildlife photography. So never miss an opportunity!

Wildlife photography- deer in tall grass

Source: Forbes

3. Take Note

Lots of top professional photographers keep a notebook. In case you forget your camera, you can jot down scenes that interest you. Or brainstorm ideas of shots you’d like to take, and shots you admire. So that you can come back to them in the future for inspiration – or have a go at setting yourself a challenge to replicate them.

4. Think Like A Photographer

Photography is all about perspective. When you are looking at the world, start to think about how your eyes are led across a landscape, how space is separated, how can you show thoughts or feelings in what you capture. When taking photos start to think about playing with the following:

  • What does this scene/subject make me feel?
  • Are there any colours that stand out?
  • What is the subject thinking about?
  • How would they like to be portrayed?
  • What happens if I change my elevation? (e.g. get closer to the ground)
  • What happens if I change the angle? (e.g. try straight up or skewed from the side)
  • What happens if I change the distance? e (e.g. get closer or go farther away)

5. Learn The Basics

Now you’ve had some practice and got yourself thinking like a photographer, it’s time to learn the basic fundamentals. Taking your photos from ‘good’ to ‘great’ is what can secure the clients you want. A great way to learn the basics is by doing photography courses. These can teach you the technical skills you need to start to elevate your work.

Our online courses in photography will take you from beginner all the way to professional! You’ll master the fundamentals of digital photography – including lighting, aperture, shutter speed, composition and colour.

But that’s not all you need. Every photographer should get to grips with post-processing. Like great makeup, great processing brings out all the best features of your work and takes it to that next level. Don’t overlook this important skill – if you do, you’ll eventually reach a point where all your shots feel like they’re missing something! Our courses will cover all the postproduction, Photoshop and Lightroom skills necessary to get the best out of your work and hone your vision.

6. Level Up

With your skills improving, it’s the perfect time to get more serious about your equipment. The best camera for your emerging career is one that enables you to swap lenses quickly, is easy to use and can grow with you as you develop. A great place to start is a DSLR.

But these can be expensive investments. That’s why our payment plans include a DSLR camera when you sign up, so you can grow your skills and learn along the way. With our industry-leading course, developed over 15 years, you’ll leave with the skills to take on the most challenging shots.

7. Become The Boss

As well as creative flare, you’re going to need business skills to create a thriving photography career. You’ll need a strong portfolio to draw in customers. Using social media can be a highly effective route to capturing clients’ attention!

Once you have the bookings, it’s also important to know what to charge. As a rule of thumb, a photography salary per hour can range from $18 – $250 (or higher) depending on your experience and the nature of the shoot.

That’s why we built our Photography Business Course. You’ll learn how to put together a professional portfolio, negotiate your costs with clients and present your sales pitch. We also include social media marketing training – so that potential customers can find you online and be wowed!

8. Never Stop Shooting

Photography is a continuous learning process, all photographers, even well-established ones, seek out new ways to challenge themselves. Whether it’s learning new business skills or embarking on a new speciality, like capturing wildlife. Always strive to keep fine-tuning your skills.

Photography courses online are a great way to keep doing just that. With flexible learning, you can work at a pace that suits you, whilst learning in a supportive environment that prepares you for a thriving career ahead.

Specialising in a niche is a great way to start building a reputation and find clients. Whether it’s the wildlife that draws you back time and again, personal portraits that inspire your artistic style, or pristine professional photography that will carve out your career – we have courses to suit your needs.

There’s always another step to take towards your photography dreams. So start now. We can’t wait to see what you create!