1. Command over technical aspects – camera handling-various modes and options,basics of exposure,shooting manually-mode as well as focusing.
2. Understanding light-effects of different kinds & directions of light on subject.
3. Aesthetics basically composition. There are rules to follow and rules to break.
For all the above mentioned points formal education in photography is advised.
4. Identifying a genre of photography for specialisation. Only criteria for shortlisting is your interest & passion. Upgrade your equipment & acquire more knowledge in chosen area.
5. Build a portfolio over a period of time related to the shortlisted genre. A critical feedback from a professional photographer is must.
6. Assist an experienced photographer to understand the professional side of photography-handling clients,working as a team etc.
7. Final step is uploading the portfolio on Web. Keep it small and simple.A direct link is advised for sharing with potential clients.
Your confidence during the meeting with clients will matter the most for getting assignments and confidence is directly related to your knowledge and equipment.
Key to be a successful photographer:
Work ethics & timely delivery of good quality output consistently.
Respect your profession. Do not work for free in the guise of exposure or future business assurance. You have invested in equipment ,acquiring knowledge & skill.If you do not value your work,how do you expect others to do it.
Afterthoughts in response to suggestions and queries:
1.This is the first step towards Professional Photography. Sales/Marketing/Networking etc also help in expanding client base if supported by good quality output is delivered well before deadline.
2. A question in response to this post : What if a photographer has many area of interests and may not be able to eliminate the choices at a particular stage in their career or say passion for photography..
Is it fine to go with the flow and give more time for narrowing the area interests to move further for specialisation.Please suggest.
My suggestion: A very valid question. It is a dilemma for a creative person to chose a particular area. But again remember the famous saying ‘Jack of all trades,master of none” . Think from a client’s viewpoint.. If you are pitching for wedding photography assignment your portfolio related to wild life photography will not be of any interest to the client. What you can do in this case is you categorise your interests and try to relate them to revenue earning model. Fashion photography is likely to generate more revenue than a street portrait. Build your portfolio accordingly,may be more than one portfolio . In my case travel photography was my main interest but I realised it was not giving me enough revenue to sustain, so along with travel photography I concentrated on lifestyle photography which included Interiors,Food,People & Product. If you see my website http://ravidhingra.in , it mentions these other than some editorial work I did. For my travel photography & other interests I have my blog.If A client wants to see my work,it is there on my website. The reason I am still able to pursue my passion because there is a backing for it and at times I have made money from travel photography also. So my bread and butter from areas of specialisation and jam & tea from my passion. 😊😊
And yes,like any other profession/business,there is stiff competition. The profession may seem glamorous from outside but there is lot of hard work involved.
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