Become a Photographer
By Eric Hammer
Those wishing to become a photographer will need stellar skills,
both with a camera and with business skills. It's not that photography
jobs are scarce-- there are plenty of such jobs available. The
problem is that photography is a competitive market where a lot
of people want to do it. Therefore, it requires you to be able
to show not only that you understand how to wield a camera but
also that you understand how to market yourself effectively.
One in two photographers in the United States is self employed,
a much higher percentage than for almost any other profession.
The reason is simple - many photographers work for individuals
at weddings, bar/bat mitzvah celebrations and other life cycle
events. Therefore, it only makes sense that they would work independently.
However, that independence also means that it takes more than
skill with a camera to do the job. You also need to know how
to market yourself effectively if you wish to become a photographer,
at least one who works regularly. You'll also often have to partner
with a videographer to arrange for a package deal since many
people purchasing such services today prefer to get both as a
package rather than contracting separately for the two services.
How Much Can You Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary
for a photographer in 2008 was $35,460. Of course, top photographers
can easily command low to mid six figure salaries while others
often need to find other work in order to supplement their income.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Even though many photographers do work in the field of life
cycle events as freelancers, that's not the only kind of photography
you can do. There are a number of other jobs in the field including
news photographers and fashion photographers. A number of photographers
are also self employed by arranging to do model shoots for children
or adults hoping to break into the world of professional modeling.
It also helps for photographers to understand more than just
how to use a camera effectively. Increasingly, there is demand
for chroma key work and professional Photoshop editing of photos.
If you want to become a photographer today, you would do well
to become certified as a Photoshop professional.
Qualifications / Requirements
While there are no formal requirements whatsoever to become
a professional photographer, most photographers do need to take
the time to learn how to handle a professional camera and how
to do more than the consumer style point and shoot with such
devices. This often means going to school though you can learn
on your own if you are willing to experiment and learn a lot
about your chosen profession through reading on the Internet
and reading books.
Start by taking pictures. Even if all you have at your disposal
is a point and shoot camera, train your eye to see what a picture
would look like. Understand the difference between a snapshot
and a photograph (a snapshot is unplanned whereas a photograph
is a planned shot). Take the time to learn about f stops and
shutter speeds and why they affect what you will see in your
Check out these helpful resources to learn more about how
to become a photographer:
Digital Photography School: How to become a confident
photographer - This is a school for learning how to be a
photographer and it includes a wealth of information on the subject.
Magazine - A magazine devoted to digital photography, which
most people who wish to become a photographer study today (film
is rapidly becoming an antiquated field with no real value).