With that in mind, here are just a few tips to turn your passion-filled snapshots into a profession.
Get a photography degree
Earning a photography degree is the ideal way to ensure that you’ll understand your art and its function in far more detail. It’s certainly one of the best ways to make connections in the photography business, build up a folio and give yourself the time to figure out everything you need to get ahead in the photography industry.
That’s not even mentioning that you’ll have first-hand contact with tutors who are professionals in their field, allowing you to gleam all you can from their photography-fuelled minds.
Understand your equipment down to the minutest detail
There’s a great story about the infamous film director Alfred Hitchcock that show just what a master of his form he was. After ordering a specific lighting arrangement on set, saying where the camera should be placed, what lens should be used and how it should be focused, he was asked by his director of photography if he’d like to look through the lens to see how the shot looked.
Upon being asked this, he explained that he already knew how the shot looked in his head, so why would he want to look through the lens to see what he already knew? The man understood his equipment in such great detail that he could shoot an entire film in his head, with every specific figured out down to a tee.
While it’s not necessary for you to have quite such a prodigious relationship with your equipment as Mr Hitchcock, it is essential to know every facet of photography if you want to be taken seriously in your field. Figure out your DSLRs from your Dianas and you’ll be far more likely to get paid for the art you love.
Be prepared to start at the bottom
In any creative field, it’s unrealistic to expect to be paid from the offset for your snapshots. Instead, you’ll have to build up an effective folio that will show your range, professionalism and skill with a camera before any big business comes calling.
The real trick is to find a job wherever you can, doing favors for friends, taking amateur snapshots for websites and smaller magazines, and generally paying your dues before the cash comes rolling in.
(Photo by mikebaird via Flickr)