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how to become a Photographer

How to Become a Photographer

A photographer makes their living by taking photos of people, places, objects, and events. If you're creative, interested in art and photography, and would like a career that involves these skills, then you might like to become a photographer.

There are many different types of photographers. Some may specialize in landscapes, while others may specialize in portraits. Some might cater to events like weddings, take photos of celebrities, sports, or simply take artistic photographs that they sell.

Photography is a growing market, and the rise of the internet has made it easier for amateur photographers to get their break in the professional world.

Education Requirements to Become a Photographer

While you don't need to complete a specific degree to become a photographer, you do need photographic skills, as well as knowledge of equipment and technique. There are several ways you can go about earning this. You might like to spend time reading books and websites, or complete a course at a community college. You could go to a specialist photography or fine arts school.

One of the best ways to improve your photography skills is to practice. Get out there and take photos of whatever you see. If you're at high school or college, join the school paper as a photographer. Volunteer your time to sporting teams and clubs to be their photographer.

If you're interested in art photography, join a local art group and exhibit your photos. You never know who might see them. The internet has opened up a lot of opportunity for promising photographers. You can sell photos you take as stock images through many websites, as long as they are quality pictures.

The goal is to build up a strong portfolio of photography that will get you work. It's a good idea to have this available both in print form, or on a website. This will be the key to getting work.

Photographer Job Description

A photographer takes photos, selects lenses and cameras, chooses lighting, selects settings and backdrops, directs models, and arranges objects. They later develop photos, although more and more are relying purely on digital photography then development at the lab.

Computers have become a large part of photography, have some good photo editing skills has become an integral part of the photographers role.

Many professional photographers stress the important of self-promotion. Even if you are not self-employed and are working for a magazine or newspaper, you are ultimately your own brand. Keeping a strong portfolio, website, and industry reputation means that you will always have work in this competitive industry.

Here are some of the tasks a photographer might be responsible for:

  • Taking photos

  • Choosing the right camera

  • Choosing the right lens

  • Developing photos

  • Editing photos on a computer

  • Directing Models

  • Choosing lighting

  • Choosing settings and backdrops

  • Self-promotion and marketing

Photographer Salary and Career Path

While some photographers are self-employed, others work on contracts, and a small amount have a full-time job with a newspaper or similar. In recent years many media outlets have pressured their journalists to learn photography and take photos themselves, especially freelancers.

Most photographers will be employed on a contract basis and paid per job. This means when you become a photographer you must be prepared for very busy periods, as well as quiet ones. Learning stock photography or becoming a landscape or artistic photographer are good ways to fill the gaps between jobs and still make an income.

Most photographers will get a start by working for a local newspaper or magazine. Some will begin with freelance work right away. Many go on to specialize in a particular type of photography, for instance weddings, or family portraits.

The median wage of a photographer is $30,000 a year. The top 10% in the industry earn in excess of $60,000 a year.

Later in their careers, many photographers branch out into different areas. This might include:

If you love art and want to spend your career expressing your creativity, then you might like to become a photographer. Although this industry can be competitive, if you have a passion for what you do, and are willing to invest time and effort into doing it well, then you will be able to become successful.

*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics
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