Join Skip Cohen for an in-depth discussion in this video What made you decide to be a professional photographer?, part of Running a Photography Business: The Basics.
- Let's talk about what made you decide to be a professional photographer. What happened in your life that made you think, wow, I want to be a photographer? Let's talk about this image in the slide. Here's another example of a photographer who you should look up and needs to be on your radar. It's Matthew Jordan Smith, he's primarily a fashion and beauty photographer. I'm going to talk a little bit more about him later. This is an image of a set up for Thanksgiving with actress Angela Bassett, and her husband, actor, Courtney Vance.
The whole point is you were sitting at the table and your grandmother said you should be a photographer. Now, after all, it's so easy to be a photographer. Everybody knows you just need great gear, you've already got support from a family member, after all, your grandmother, your mother, your family members only tell you the truth that you're obviously talented. You've got an eye for this business. Put all that together, and you woke up the next morning and was poof, wow, I'll get a good camera, I'll do some business cards, I'll come up with a logo, that's it, I'm in business.
Now the challenge with all of that, if that's why you want to be a professional photographer, and that's what's giving you the motivation to go into this, the reality is it could well be the dumbest idea you've ever had. The reason for that is, that being a photographer takes passion. You cannot create images that tug at people's heartstrings if your own heart isn't in it. Without that passion, that's 75% of getting the job done to be a success.
Now the other 25% are just as important. But in terms of what you need to be a success as a photographer, it's that passion for capturing images, it's that passion for working with people.
- Defining your niche
- Understanding your target audience and specialty
- Getting practice
- Understanding the industry and building your network
- The elements of your brand
- Gear: lease vs. buy
- Tracking your costs