A new year brings new intentions and for some that means a workplace re-think. If you’ve been dreaming of turning from hobbyist to pro, picking up your camera full time, here’s Portrait Photographer Holly Wren’s top 5 things you need to know:
Failure is inevitable in Photography
Don’t expect every frame or every shoot to be a success. Failing is part of the process and it’s essential to learning. After each shoot, look at those images that didn’t work and ask yourself “why”? Dissect the image, and consider what you need to change next time. It’s easy to get the shot you want when conditions are perfect, but when you’re a pro there are times you can’t control the conditions so you’ll need to have a bank of answers to your “what if” questions and the only way to learn and build these up is to practice. So, embrace the failed shoots and missed shots, because those failures will teach you way more than the successes.
Research is essential
Research will be key to your success in the world of professional photography because, if your wanting to photograph full time, it’s essential you know your market. Who your clients are, what they’re paying, why they buy, when they buy and how they think. And the good news is, in our very connected world you can find out almost anything. Start by looking at your competitors, speaking to friends and family that have purchased this type of photography in the past and compile a folder of information on prices and services offered. That way you can work out where you sit in the market, and attack appropriately!
Planning lessens risk
That old adage, ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’ is spot on with photography. Planning is essential in both taking images and organising your business. After all, if this is going to be your job, you’ll need income, which means profit. So start thinking like a business, and planning for success. That means looking at financial forecasts, understanding your costs, monitoring expenses, setting targets and investing in marketing & social media . A business plan is a great way to help you organise all those thoughts. You can get free templates online, and although it will take time, it’s a worthwhile investment.
Equipment is essential
Bad workman may blame their tools, but good workmen know that picking the right kit can make the difference between doing a job well and doing it exceptionally. If you’re starting out and you’re thinking like a business, you will want to spend money on getting the right kit, not all the kit. So, do your research and work out which body and lens combinations will be essential to your armoury – then invest. Having access to the right tools is essential and can really step up your quality of work.
Results take time
The saying “It takes 10 years to become an overnight success” is true. A lot of hard work and time goes into being a success at anything, and photography is no exception. So even if you don’t have the financial security to quit your job today you can start working on your business part-time, building up the hours of practice and preparation that will serve you in the long run. Then, when the time comes to make the leap, you’ll have the portfolio, research and planning to hit the ground running.