Can you turn your photography hobby into a profession? The fact is that professional
photography is in high demand. It’s an exciting time for hobbyists, but before you take
the plunge into the professional world, have a look at a few professional photography
tips to help kick start your career.
One of the most important elements of any profession is building an impressive
portfolio. In this case, it’s going to be your number one tool for finding clients. Create a
portfolio and keep it updated as you continue your career. You must update it every
week. Your portfolio is what makes your first impression, so make it a good one.
The next requirement is a website to display your best shots. You’ll also want to create
an Instagram and a Facebook page to do the same. These will be an extension of your
Of course, no portfolio is going to make a great impression unless it is built from high-
quality photos, so consider hiring a company like Smart Photo Editors to transform
your amazing photos into masterpieces.
Some additional requirements include:
An artistic eye
Great communication skills
The ability to meet deadlines
Technical skills required to operate a camera expertly
Professional photography tips to transform your hobby into a profession
Here are seven amazing tips that will make your transition from a hobbyist into
professional as easy as possible.
#1: Find a Niche
The best photographers specialize in a specific area, so defining your niche should be the
first step. While it’s certainly okay to reach across niches from time-to-time, specializing
in one will make it easier to find work that you enjoy. Here are some examples of
Real Estate/Property Photography
#2: Build your portfolio
As stated above, you need to invest in a domain name and then build a website to
showcase your best work. Keep this updated every week. If you’re not skilled in website
design, then either outsource it or use WordPress. Your website will be the foundation
for your entire business.
Once that’s done, fire up an Instagram account. Showcase your best work here as well,
and make sure you keep posting consistently. In most cases, once per day is enough.
#3: Setting prices
Setting Prices is a tricky one as there is no set market value on photography. However,
professionals understand that quality photographers are going to cost more, and they
don’t mind paying more for the best work. Make sure these prices are clearly outlined on
Research other professional photographers in your area to see their prices. In most
cases, you’ll want to match their prices at least when starting. Over time as you build an
impressive portfolio, you can slightly raise process if needed.
#4: Start Marketing your Business Immediately
Putting up a website and calling it quits is not marketing. You need to actively market
your photography business.
Build a media kit that you can send to clients upon request. It should include:
A price chart
Share on social media to let your followers know that you are a professional
photographer looking for clients.
#5: Consider freelancing as an initial stream of leads
Getting your first job is always the hardest, so you need to find ways to generate leads.
Most professional photographers start as freelancers since it provides an easy way to
bring in new clients. Then those clients will start generating more leads. Not only will
freelancing help you build a list of clients, but it also helps you hone your pitching skills.
Learning how to communicate with potential clients is a valuable skill. But it’s one that
is best learned from experience.
#6: Start building testimonials
Another reason why it’s so valuable to freelance initially is that it helps you build
credibility. When people are deciding to hire someone, they take a close look at their
testimonials. Sometimes you might have to openly ask for testimonials though since
entrepreneurs are usually busy and can easily forget. But in most cases, they are happy
to leave a kind word for a job well done.
Write the testimonials on your website and share them with your social media followers.
#7: Figuring Out the Numbers
The ability to transform a hobby into a profession requires careful planning. You have to
make sure you’re generating enough money to reinvest in your business while also
paying yourself. Don’t forget about taxes either.
Avoid These Photography Mistakes
Stop centering everything in your images. Most hobbyists place an imaginary line through the center of their photograph and always place everything according to that line. Sometimes this is required, but in certain situations, it can confuse the viewer.
Never distract from the main subject of the image. It can be tempting to add a fancy frame or include brilliant flowers in the image. However, if it takes focus away from your subject, then it should not be included.
Don’t let the frame cut away part of your image. Get the entire subject of the photo within the frame. If they can’t be properly fitted, then decide what non-essential part can be cropped.
Having a fancy camera does not magically make you a good photographer. The skillset of the person wielding the camera is far more valuable than the camera itself.
You’re in This for the Long Haul
The thumb rule is that it takes upwards of 10 years for a business to become self-
sustaining. Starting a professional photography business is no exception. You must go
into this with the mindset that it’s going to be a long, difficult journey. These
professional photography tips will help you get started, but it’s up to you to achieve