How to Start a Photography Career

How to Start a Photography Career
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A Career in Photography

Digital photography, photo editing software, and social networking really democratized the photographic format that people used to have to go

to professionals for. Though this is largely positive for the general creative public, is does present issues for those who are starting a career in photography. It is not easiest enough to just have a nice camera today, and instead you have to really understand the principles of photography, how to photograph different types of events and subjects, have a professional photographic portfolio, and know how to do complex photo editing and post-production workflows. Here is some career information for photographers and some tips for those who want a career in photography.

Create a Portfolio

Fine Arts,

The portfiolio is going to be huge because it shows perspective clients what kind of work you are capable of. This is going to be the crux of career information for photographers at all levels, from wedding photographers to high end

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advertising and fashion photographers. When you start out you are going to need to have a series of photos for just about every area you intend on going into. For example, if you want to do product photography for pharmaceutical companies then you should literlly shoot some of that kind of photography on your own. This is easier to do than in digital video since you can do most of it on your own with photographic equipment you already have.

Get a variety of these photos together, make sure that they are photo edited according to your creative preference, and make sure you maintain access to them at all times. Your portfolio should not just look at different styles of photography and different subjects, but also different types of formats, cameras, and technical considerations to show that you can handel different situations in your photography career.


Just as with film school for filmmakers, some people do not consider a photography program in college a great idea even if they want to become a commercial photographer. This is not the case in most situations, especially since consistent employment and credentials absolutely require you to have a college degree. In general, a photography degree is going to work in the same way an art degree does for other forms of art. What this means is that it is going to teach you everything technical you need to know, the history and aesthetic base for photography, and really give you years of practice and critique from which to build your method and technique. More than this, it is usually going to be the best place to get career information for photography, which is not something that is readily available. You do not necessarily have to get a photography specific degree, but make sure it has a photography focus like a journalism degree with a focus on photojournalism or an art degree with a focus on fine art photography.

Availability Through the Internet

Facebook Logo,

Today, the main thing that you have to do to progress your photography career is to make your work available and make your precense known.

Tumblr Logo,

This used to mean having your own office, but since the tools for taking proper photos and doing photo editing are accessible in your home there is not always a financial reason to rent out space for this. Instead, creating a web based presence is going to be the best way to let people know about you. You can post high resolution images from your portfolio, discuss your background, and give contact information. You will also want to jump into social network tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr so that you can create a following, share news and new work, and generally keep people connected to you. You can create a completely virtual space that is professional and adequate without spending much money at all.

Photo Editing and Computer Skills

Adobe Photoshop Box,

For many people looking for career information in photography they are finding that much of what they need to know about photography is in terms of photo editing, and everything that deals with computers. Adobe Photoshop and other Adobe Creative Suite programs are essential to people who have a photography career, mainly because what is expected today is altered photos at all levels. Many people with a career in photography will also find that in jobs they are applying for it is not good enough to just be a photographer, but that they may also need to do things like web development and graphic design.

Source: Author’s own experience.

This post is part of the series: Professional Photography

Here are articles concerning professional photography.

  1. Professional Photography Ideas
  2. How to Send Pictures to a Photo Gallery
  3. Professional Stock Photography: How to Create Wildlife Stock Photography
  4. Career Information for Photographers