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A career in Photography

The development in digital media technology has given rise to countless digital media platforms which are very accessible and with it has increased peoples interest in the art of photography, the technological developments we made in the last decade made high quality cameras very accessible and the rise of social media platform has increased the demand for quality photography now more than ever and more people want to get professional level photos of themselves which they can showcase in their Instagram or Facebook. Even in the commercial sector with increase in digital marketing the demand for photography has increased dramatically.
The increase in demand and ease in accessibility to equipment needed for professional photography has opened up great opportunities to those photography enthusiasts to build a career in photography.

For most of the people photography starts as a hobby, people may start click pictures of sky or beautiful landscapes or their friend maybe with their phone and develop interest in it but to make a career out of the hobby and make money out of it one must look into certain aspects and today we are going to talk about the things or steps a photography enthusiast must follow to turn this hobby into a career.
Even though there is plenty of scope in photography but to make money one must be professional in approach and work and for this. 1st and fore one must make some initial investment and these initial investments include things like a professional camera, editing software, a website etc, learn the art, showcase your art and then sell the art here I am going discuss some steps which will help you turn the hobby into career.

Take a course/class: Before starting anything professionally we need to learn it and when someone decides to do photography professionally he must know the art inside out, doing photography professionally is not just capturing moments, a lot of aspects like lighting composition etc has to take care of to deliver the work your clients demands, in the end he is paying for it.  So, I recommend before making photography as a profession one must take a academic course and learn all the technical and aesthetic components of photography. There are many online courses available if someone finds its difficult to go to school to an institute.
Camera and equipment:  After you learn about all the technical aspect of photography it’s time to get the gear to make career in photography. First and foremost, thing is access to professional camera and now a days there are plenty of options, at the beginning of your career you don’t need to buy a super expensive camera or lens but mid-range DSLR will do. Now adays there are many mirrorless systems which comes at a affordable price and delivers very high quality images. Along with the camera you should get yourself a tripod and some basic lighting equipment which will enable you to various types of photography like portrait product or landscape.

Editing software: If you are going to do photography professionally you need to edit your photos before delivering it to your clients so investing in editing software is essential, the best editing software like lightroom comes on a monthly subscription basis which is not much and one can easily start with a free versions.
A nice quality portfolio is very important if you want to do photography professionally. Without a portfolio you can not going to get any gig or job, this is basis on which you are going to get any photography job, you can use you friends and family to build your portfolio as initially we are unsure about the posing or light or composition and by using the people in your network the job becomes a bit easier as we are more comfortable working with people you know, make your portfolio based on the kind of work you want to do.

Website: After we make our portfolio its important to get this portfolio online on a professional platform and by professional platform I don’t mean uploading it to Facebook or Instagram even though these are both great places to showcase some of your work and get some engagement with some audience but at the end of the day its not going to showcase you as a professional photographer but what you want to do is to display your portfolio in a website, which makes you look more legitimate and professional and people trust you much more. I highly recommend that you keep two separate portfolios one for the easier stuff like family portraits events etc and another for something that gives you the reach like product photography, landscape for print etc things on which its difficult to get work but it pays a lot.
Send out proposals: After our portfolio is ready its important that we send out proposals to our potential clients for example you want to work for car company like jeep, find someone who has jeep click some photos with the car in  location you see fit and send a mail to jeep showcasing you idea and work you might find rejection but its important that keep trying and once we get one gig things automatically will start moving.

Finding a niche: Chris Hau a successful photographer in an interview said how he had built his company by working for government when he saw that not very high quality work is done in the government sector, he started producing good quality content for government campaigns and advs and slowly started getting reorganization in that sector, and plenty of work from that sector started flowing and he used that opportunity to start his company and slowly expanded his company to other sectors too but still today his 50% client are from government sectors so that’s how Chris found his niche same if we look photographer like Brandon Woelfel who made his career with neon photography, night photography with neon lights is where Brandon found his niche. So, I recommend that you too find your niche and start working on as much as possible.
In the end photography is vision and professional photography is a vision that carters to need of your clients but it provides a lot of flexibility too, you can work for corporations, governments, magazines or even freelance if you want more flexibility and if all those beautiful things interests you I say photography is a career you can choose.

-Hanif Mohammad
Amity University


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