8 TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED AS A PHOTOGRAPHER
Getting started as a photographer can be really hard. You know you love taking pictures and you have a camera and you've been practicing but then what? My entire goal here is to help you to stop feeling so new so I put together 8 tips on getting started as a photographer:
1. NAME YOUR BUSINESS
Many photographers choose to use their own name for their business but there are also a lot of photographers who operate under a studio name. There is no right or wrong choice to make here, the important thing is that you pick a name you love and can fully stand behind. If you change your mind later, don't worry about it! Nothing is set in stone.
2. GET A WEBSITE
There are many many many (MANY) sites that will help you build your website, so be prepared to do some research! Wordpress has been the go-to site for many and Squarespace is working on claiming their share of the market. I personally use Squarespace because it's easier for me to understand than Wordpress but I know that Wordpress is capable of a lot more than my Squarespace site. It all depends on what you need. If you're in the position to, I strongly recommend hiring a graphic designer to put your website together for you. If you can't afford it right now, start a savings account for it and in the mean time, build your own!
3. CLAIM YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES
Even if you're not ready to get on all of the social media sites you can go ahead and create accounts to claim your handle on the ones you think you'll use. I recommend going with the 2 or 3 you love the most instead of trying to be on everything. Social media can get overwhelming so trying to keep it simple with just a few will really help!
4. OFFER SOME SHOOTS
Practice, practice, practice, practice! Get on out there and shoot! Grab friends, family, coworkers, anyone you can find. Just keep shooting and keep getting better and keep putting your work out there. It will pay off, I promise.
5. SET YOUR PRICES
When you start thinking about setting your prices you should start by thinking about what you need photography to do for you. Do you need to just make a few extra bucks or do you need it to pay all of your bills? If you're just out having fun you won't need the same pricing structure as you would if you're planning to make photography your full-time job.
6. MEET OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS
This is great to do both on and offline. Knowing other photographers is great because then you'll have people around who know exactly what you're going through and dealing with. They will be able to celebrate with you and encourage you in the ways that you need it. These friends will be invaluable so do whatever it takes to get yourself out there and meet them!
7. BE A SECOND SHOOTER
You know those other photographers you just met for step #7? See if you can second shoot for them sometime. Be helpful. Carry their bags. Bring them water. Do whatever you need to do to help them out and while you're doing that, practice your craft! Shoot your heart out and ask for feedback on how you can get better.
8. START TAKING CLIENTS
You've covered the basics, now get out there and get to work!