Becoming a professional photographer may be your dream job. You may have already started taking pictures of anything and everything, filling your portfolio with amazing images to show off to potential clients. But how do you know when you’ve finally reached that professional status?
Here’s how. We’ve also included a few tips to improve your photography because no photographer is perfect – there is always room for improvement!
You’ve mastered the manual settings on your DSLR
When you head into the world of professional photography, you’ll need to have mastered the manual settings on your camera. If you’re looking to go into event photography or any photography that takes place outdoors, you’ll have to be prepared for changes in lighting and weather. Knowing your manual settings like the back of your hand will prepare you for any circumstances and also help you get a bit more creative with your photography.
You’ve got all the essential kit
You don’t have to have every lens, strap, case, tripod or flash on the market, just pinpoint the essentials and make sure you have some backups, just in case.
We recommend a handful of versatile lenses, from wide-angle to macro, as well as one of our amazing LensPacks to pair with them!
Our LensPacks can make changing your lenses super quick and easy, so you don’t have to mess about changing lenses whilst on the job. If you’re looking for a sturdy way to keep all of your kit in top condition, then our Dave 500 camera case is also a must-have.
You’ve built up your portfolio
In order to attract business, you need to be able to give examples of your previous work. These days, online portfolios are a professional photographer’s best friend. You can send a link to potential clients, so they can get a better feel of what you offer and how you can work with them.
Make sure you have a portfolio that perfectly shows off your style and skills. Your portfolio should be able to sell your work without you having to say a word.
You’re starting to take on freelance work for someone other than friends and family
Many freelancers will start by doing work for their friends and family, then word spreads and they start to get work a little further from home.
If you’ve started to get a few inquiries from referrals, and you’re lining up some jobs that aren’t directly linked to your friends, then you can happily claim to be a professional, working photographer.
Photography tips for all skill levels
Because we’d hate to see you leave empty-handed, here are 5 tips to improve your photography. They’re useful for photographers of all capabilities.
- Use the rule of thirds – The essence of a lot of photography is about perspective, and using the rule of thirds will help put things into perspective when you’re shooting. Imagine four lines lying horizontally and two vertical lines. Place the subject of the photo in the middle and your photo will be balanced.
- Don’t rely on auto mode – Your camera’s automatic controls are great for beginners and they’ll help you get a better idea of how to shoot, but after a while, it’s good to experiment. Get to grips with exposure, shutter speed and your ISO rating and have fun with it. You’ll learn more!
- Know which lenses to go for – If you’re shooting landscapes, use a wide-angle lens to create a panoramic view. It’s also helpful to capture someone in the foreground for emphasis and to contextualise the whole image.
- Don’t use flash indoors where possible – Using flash indoors will create a harsh and unnatural look. It will also be blurry, too.
- Read around before splashing the cash on gear – Learn the ins and outs of photography before investing in expensive gear (‘all the gear, no idea’ springs to mind). You can learn lots initially, buy a cheap beginners model, and hone your skills from there. You can thank us later.
How do you become a professional photographer
Becoming a professional photographer depends on which avenue of photography you want to go down. Many pros work on a freelance basis, finding their own work through referrals from previous jobs and pitching for bigger work.
You can also work as a photographer in a photography services company, which provides more steady work. However, you lose some of the freedom often found with freelancing. As a freelancer, you’ll also have more creative control over your images.
If you’re looking to take on photography professionally, the best way to get started is by grabbing your camera and getting out into the world. Offer to do work for free in order to build your portfolio and gain essential contacts and experience.
Get in touch
If you would like to get in touch regarding any of our camera cases, then you can speak to a member of our team here. In the meantime, you can learn more about photography with our insightful blog section.