6 Things About Being a Pro Photographer You Only Learn Through Experience

Taken From: HERE

Photography is a career where you never stop learning, no matter how many years you’ve been in the business. And, whilst you can learn a lot of things before you start out as a pro and set up your business, there are some things that you only learn through experience.

1. Technology isn’t static

When I first started out as a photographer, we were still shooting on film cameras so when digital became the norm there was a huge technology shift. To begin with, digital cameras weren’t always that great but nowadays; camera manufacturers seem to bring new models out every week.

Technology moves on all the time and there comes a point where you have to accept that you simply can’t afford to keep up with it (unless you’ve recently won the lottery!). Besides which, with experience you’ll realise that it doesn’t matter if you have the latest tech – it’s the skill behind the camera that counts for the most.

2. It’s not just about the photos

Something you’ll only learn through experience is that, to be a successful pro, you don’t only need to be a great photographer. You also need to have a good business head on you. Running a photography business means you have to find new clients, market yourself, keep on top of your website and social media, retouch images and keep up to date with your admin and taxes – to name but a few.

One of the things I always remind those thinking of becoming photographers is that they’ll spend a very small part of their days actually shooting!

3. Working to your own hours

Yes, being freelance does allow you to set your own hours to a certain extent. But the more experience you gain, the more you’ll notice that clients don’t always stick to regular 9-5 hours! Weddings almost always take place on a weekend, as do most family portrait sessions.

And if you shoot events, expect to be shooting late into the evening. What you learn as you get further into your photography career is that your hours have to be flexible in order to accommodate your clients’ needs.

4. Only a very few photographers get rich

Photography is a tough business to be in and there’s a lot of competition. But most of us get into the industry because we love it and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. To make photography a successful business you need to work hard and do all the things we mentioned above. But even then, only a very few photographers will become rich – the rest of us can make a decent living as long as we put the hours in.

5. Networking is crucial

Whether it’s building a network of other photographers to discuss ideas with, or call on if you need help, to meeting people in business who can help you find work, networking is vital for growing your business. When you start out, it can be easy to become insular and just focus internally. But with experience comes the knowledge that no photographer is an island!

6. Clients won’t always want your ‘creative’ vision

Photography is art, and all art is subjective. All your clients will have different ideas on what they like and don’t like. When we first start out in photography we all want to shoot in our own style and it can be a struggle to realise that not all our clients will want the same thing we do. But with time and experience, you’ll learn that adapting your style to your client’s needs is no bad thing – it allows us to keep growing and learning as photographers and to carry on evolving.



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