If you love photography and have everything that you need to become a professional photographer and make money off your passion, you may need to take note of some things before you become one.
As a professional photographer, especially a portrait photographer, you will get paid to take photos. However, it is not just about taking pictures. Before you decide to take the leap and become a professional, there are some questions that you would need to ask yourself and answer truthfully.
1) Are you good enough to become a professional photographer yet?
While you may have been taking photos for a long time and probably getting lots of compliments from people, you may still not have what it takes to become a professional just yet.
How do you check your capabilities? Take, for instance, if the majority of the pictures you take are actually not very good and then you have to edit them later on, you would need more work before you should become a professional.
Also, if you are in constant awe of professional photographers’ work and you feel that you cannot do something as great, then you should work more on yourself before you decide to become a professional photographer.\
In essence, you should know and be able to apply everything there is to know about photography. What this means is that you should know all about angles, light, depth of field etc. and how they influence the beauty of a photo.
2) Do you have enough experience to become a professional photographer?
To become a professional in any field, you will require some experience. The same goes for photography. As a professional photographer, every photo session that you do should produce good photos. Photographers work under different conditions, and you may not always be able to work under ideal conditions.
For instance, you may be required to photograph a group of children. Children can be very loud, and it will take some patience and skill to get good photos. You will, therefore, need some experience to be able to carry out your job perfectly even though you’re working with children.
Having enough experience before you decide to begin making money from your passion is a must. It will save you from the embarrassment of not having a photo turn out great after you must have been paid.
3) Are you ready to work hard?
Lots of people think that it is all fun to be a photographer and that no hard work is required. You must get rid of this mindset if you wish to become a professional photographer.
This job demands a lot of work, whether it is to get clients or even to keep them. Besides, there are lots of competitions in the field, and if you do not step up your game, you will find yourself on the losing end.
Also, you have to know that owning your own business comes with a lot of responsibilities. If anything goes wrong, you will have to shoulder all the problems and find solutions to them by yourself.
4) Can you deal with the business aspect of professional photography?
Running a photography business is not as easy as straight-forward as it seems. You will have to deal with business licenses, taxes, phone calls, emailing, equipment upkeep, contracts and some other things.
Doing all these is very vital to the success of your business, and they require some time and effort. If the thought of having to deal with any of these aspects of photography is scary or seems daunting to you, then you might want to reconsider becoming a professional photographer.
You would also have to make decisions about the fees that you will charge and how you’re going to run your business overall. It is necessary to be firm as people would want to sway your decisions. Therefore, you will have to make sure that you adhere to your policies.
It doesn’t matter how good you are taking photos. If you are lagging in the business aspect, your business is going to suffer.
5) Do you have what it takes to relate and deal with difficult and demanding people?
Even if you are very friendly with people, there are still some individuals who would test your patience from time to time.
Such people might feel that since they are paying you, you should be at their beck and call and do their every bidding. At times, you will find out that no matter how much you try your best, you cannot just please some people.
You should be ready to deal with criticism from these kinds of people. While you will meet pleasant and friendly people who will love your work and appreciate you, you should be ready to encounter difficult people too.
If you want to be a professional photographer, you should be ready to have a lot of patience and answer every question that your clients ask you.
6) Are you ready to face the fact that you might lose your passion for photography?
Most times, when people turn their passion into a job, they’ll find that they get tired of it real fast. Although this does not happen to everybody, you should face the fact that it might happen to you.
You may find yourself taking photos only because you need the money and may lose interest in doing it as a passion the way you used to do.
Take home message
A lot of people think that it is an easy job to be a professional photographer. However, this is far from the case. It is okay to turn your passion for taking photographs into a source of income. But then, before you decide to do that, you should do the proper research and ensure that this is what you want to do.
As with every job, photography has its ups and downs, and you should be ready to face them head-on. If you are not prepared to do this, then you might want to rethink becoming a professional photographer.
Once you have the experience you require, you can take criticisms, deal with difficult people, and you are ready to work hard, then you can consider making money from your work.