When you are just starting out, finding photo work can sometimes feel like a daunting task. This is especially true if you are doing so without having completed a degree, which is invaluable for building a professional network. The first steps will often involve some quick side work but there are entry-level options available to help build your portfolio, resume, and network.
Many photographers start off by shooting parties and weddings. If you especially love doing these events, then you should create a website and advertise yourself as an event photographer. Be sure to get the word around to your friends and family that you’re available to photograph these events.
Other events you may want to be available for include sporting events, corporate events such as company picnics, private parties, birthday parties, children’s parties, on-location portraits, and also take up real estate photography.
Consider Having a Studio Space
Although having a studio is a fairly large expense, if you are a freelance photographer, you may be able to get more business by having a studio. You may have an opportunity to rent an office space or even convert an area of your home into a studio. This might bring you additional work such as senior portraits, family portraits, newborn and infant photography and maternity portraits. If you are in entry level photography and you want portraits to be a main part or a significant part of your business, you should consider creating a studio space. This will bring you additional business that you couldn’t otherwise get and allow you to do portraits even during the winter months when most people don’t want outdoor portraits taken. Some photographers find that indoor studio portraits can account for around half of their business, so creating or renting a studio space for yourself could pay off for you too.
Working for a Studio
There are also entry level photography jobs at portrait studios that do professional grade portraits for families and schools amongst other things. These jobs typically pay a lower dollar-per-hour rate for entry level photography positions, but they offer secure and consistent income that can be easily supplemented with freelance work. These jobs are highly competitive, however, so you will have to work hard to land one. Other advantages of this sort of job are that you can get experience and training that will help you should you decide to open up your own studio in the future. Also, most photography studios do offer lots of opportunity for moving up and gaining managerial positions.
Photographers are some of the most free-spirited professionals in the world, and working freelance is often not only a gateway job, but also a consistent part of a photographer’s income. When you are just starting out, the key is to build up a network, even just starting by telling friends and family that you are available to work can do wonders. Once you have built up a portfolio you are happy with, you can start trying to get showcased in galleries, maybe work for a magazine or even go into photojournalism. Your photography career is really what you make of it, so get started!
Are you ready to pursue your photography career? Get information on programs in your area and online using our photography degree finder at the top of this page. ↑
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