How To Learn Professional Photography

How To Learn Professional Photography

How To Learn Professional Photography

Photography is a great hobby. It can be a lot of fun and can help you capture memories that will last a lifetime. But what if you want to take your photography skills to the next level and make it into a profession?

Photography can be more than just a passion; it can also be your reality. This full guide on how to become a professional photographer will set you up for your new career. It covers everything you may wish to know to get yourself ready for the ever-changing world off-camera while making money for your hobby.

The advent of digital photography has made photography both more popular as an art form and as a career choice. While a relatively basic object – a camera and an image-capturing device – is required of most more advanced photographers, the basic ‘how to become a photographer’ questions involve simple things like getting a camera, learning photography, practicing, and finding success.

However, though it seems simple, it is not that easy. Photography is an extremely competitive field. You need talent, Skills, Marketing acumen, and discipline to make a career out of it. It can be a lot of hard work, competition for work, and balancing what it is worth to the customer and their photo business, and what you can afford to pay yourself.

Once you’ve figured out what motivates you, and decided on a career path as a photographer, it’s time to look into the big question of ‘how to be a professional photographer.

If you would like to be prepared for undertaking a professional photography journey, this comprehensive guide will include everything you would need to reach your goal.

Today, it is essential that your creative work responds to and enhances the client’s problem. Be prepared to be opinionated, creative, and problem-solving. For example, be prepared to help initially vague briefs into precise representations that stir curiosity, intrigue, and inspire the prospect and get their attention.

Therefore if you have decided that a photography career is for you, you might have decided that you’ll be prepared for the hard work that lies ahead. You will need to take action to encourage success. This will involve the following steps.

1. Find Your Motivation

When learning any new skills, you need to ask yourself a set of questions that will help you determine if you should continue learning or move on.

  • What is it that you like about photography?
  • Why do you want to learn photography skills?
  • What do you want to do with your photography skills?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is your vision?
  • What is the end goal that you want to achieve with your photography?

All these questions will set you on the right path and help you decide whether what you are doing is right for you.

2. Decide On A Vision

When you are looking to become a professional photographer, you need to have a clear vision of what you want to do with your photography. If you are not sure what you want to do, you may want to consider taking a course that will help you to define your photography. Once you have done this, you can start to build a portfolio that showcases your work to potential clients.

Related Article: How to retain your clients

3. Get The Knowledge

Once you have decided that you want to be a professional photographer, you should consider getting the knowledge that will help you to be successful.

There are two ways to go about this:

1) Learn through books

2) Learn through practice and experience

Learning from books is a great way to get started but you will need to be patient. It is a slow process but it helps to have a passion for photography and be willing to invest the time practical experience is also great to help you better understand photography better.

4. Get Some Photography Experience

In many careers, work experience is the best means of understanding what working in a particular occupation is really like, so keep your eyes and minds open to upcoming opportunities to learn more about photography and the field. Be game to ask questions, seek out interviews and learn photography practices.

If you are struggling to secure work experience or someone to give you tips, you can promote yourself through photography competitions or exhibitions. However, be selective, and only choose those that will add value to your CV.

You can consider portfolio review sessions as you will introduce your work to industry specialists and commissioners. They are often a starting point for long-term relationships with clients. Additionally, attending conferences and events will allow one to meet photographers and influential people from the industry. Information you learn from these people will be extremely valuable in the future. Exchange business cards by hand while taking those that others offer, but tempt them with a backup piece for your tablet.

Finally, you can start your own blog or website to showcase your work. This can demonstrate your ability to use photography software and your portfolio while providing instant access to it. The community of online photographers will be an excellent resource for networking and finding opportunities to publish your work.

How To Learn Professional Photography

5. Take Online Photography Course

“The world of photography education is enormous,” and for those looking to explore the discipline, it is essential to take a continuation degree or specialization. Online courses are also available, and they are a great way to learn and master new skills right from the comfort of your home.

6. Get A Licence

If you want to be a professional photographer, you will need to get your own professional photography license. This will give you the freedom to do whatever you want with your photos. However, there are some restrictions on the use of your photographs, so it is important to understand them.

7. Find A Photography Job

As a professional photographer specializing in a particular field, including portraits, landscapes, weddings, and product shoots, you might be more interested in other genres but you can combine your interest in photography and journalism to become a press photographer. Or you can combine your interest in TV to become a TV cameraman. In other to do this, you will have to find a full-time job with a company or an agency so as to enhance your skills even more.

8. Find A Photography Mentor

“How to become a good photographer?” is one of many questions you would find an answer to through knowledge, both online and offline. Research, both online and offline is crucial. Go to photography talks, shows, and seminars. There are a lot of communities online and offline, which helps you get many answers directly from them, and learn a lot. There are a number of online photography communities, some structured and some not-so-structured. Some of the answers that you might seek will come from structured education, and some answers will come only with experience and time. You need a mentor who you can always look up to especially when you meet a stumbling block and need help with your questions and problems.

9. Become A Freelance Photographer

This is most preferable by those photographers who wish to be independent and not work for anyone. This is how a growing number of photographers are doing their own work-shooting, which is something you’ll need to consider if you start a client workflow. Find out what’s involved in working freelance before you get started and you have your papers ready to fill out.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

It all comes together now, and you are now learning that over and over again you need to continually hone it by also practicing various types of photography. Ask yourself how well you have mastered your cameras, and do that for each and every one of your equipment.

Throughout life, you should continue to shoot pictures every single day. It is only through shooting every day that you will professionally improve, and set aside the rest of your time to be creative. Create a work schedule to manage your projects. Use Pinterest to create boards that pertain to projects and plans in various forms. You can even snap people for free, don’t be afraid it’s a loss because you are actually gaining more than you can imagine if you truly have the ambition to become an expert at what you do.


Learning photography is one thing but becoming a professional at it is another thing entirely. To do that, you will have to take the right steps. This will include learning, experience, and knowledge. You will also have to determine what you want out of your photography career. Once you have built a portfolio and found out how to market yourself, you can begin to find work.

It can be hard, but it is not impossible to become a professional photographer. Having a passion for photography is a good starting point, and with the right skills, and marketable skills, you can be a successful photographer. For more articles like this subscribe to our mailing list or contact us for further assistance on how to enroll for the professional course of your dream.

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