become a professional photographer in few easy steps

become a professional photographer – genreal guide definition of a professional photographer In order to become a professional photographer first you need to ask what is a preofessional. The best […]

become a professional photographer – genreal guide

definition of a professional photographer

In order to become a professional photographer first you need to ask what is a preofessional. The best answer to this question is that a professional photographer is someone who is creating an income by taking pictures. Just to be very clear is that quality would be expected to be at a certain level, not only of the images but also as a service overall. Unfortunatley that is not always the case and there are plenty of people with cameras in their hands pretending and promoting themselves as professionals.

To the completeing untrained eye, that can work sometimes.There also a lot of people employing them, who do not understand anything about photography or the profession of being a photographer and they fall victim to a low price without any consideration to the quality. Unfortunately there is a wide range of people these days who fall into the above described category.

Since the transition from film to digital photography, the market was flooded with wannabies. The  equipment became accessible and afforadable and the profession of photography was changed forever.

Professional photography does not mean only fancy equipment, but an organised and sustainable quality service. In order to know how to become a professional photographer you need to folow our step by step guide

become a professional photographer

Become a professional photographer guide

First of all I would like to debate the myth you need to have a degree of any photography of any kind. I am the perfect example that anyone can become a professional photographer without a degree, just by following the steps below. I have done and I have built up a succesfull sustainable busines from absolute zero.I will show you examples of these steps exactly the way I started. It is not the best recipe but there is a good guide what to do the get you started to become a professional photographer.


1. Decide your goal. What do you want to achieve as a professional photographer

A clear answer this question will keep you on the right track.Write down a business plan to include a statment of intent or goal, how to achieve your goal, estimated time and cost. Try to be very specific. I will prepare an example how to write a photography business plan in the business section of the website

My goals was to bring a third income by working weekends only – goal not only achieved but overtaken

2.Decide what type of professional photographer do you want to be.

Freelance photographer, fashion photographer, wedding photographer, newborn, baby or children photographer, landscape photographer, food photographer. Research other people works and make sure what you want.

My personal goal was to become a general professional photographer, to have income by photographing weddings, portraits, families, newborn and babies. As a personal note is that chosing one niche may proove more effective sometimes – I will explain why in the photography business coaching section

2. Research the  photography equipment you need.

Do not start to spend to much money, however making the right equipment investment will save you a lot of money on long term.

I have started with Canon 5D Mark II and one Canon 24-70mm F2.8 L series lens, and one Canon 70-300 F4 lens, one Flash Canon 580 EX II. I have purchased all these items separately in a short period of time

3. Learn and practice photography

You need to learn all photography skills untill you reach the quality level you consider suitable to start promoting yourself as a professional photographer. Learn all camera settings untill you are in full control of your equipment. Please visit lessons 1-13 as a starting point. Practice a lot and do not hesitate to use your camera a lot.

It took my less than one month to try everything that camera can give me and I was ready to go. I am not saying I have learnt everthing possible to become a professional photographer, but more knowledge comes with experience. Once you reach a level of confidence that your camera will give you whwt you want and not the other way, you are good to go.

4. Purchase all photography equipment you consider necessary.

Do your research extensively and what camera to buy, what camera accessories, computers, softwares etc

I have purchased an iMAc and Adobe Lightroom software. Adobe lightroom is the main tool to manage all your photographs in bulk and obtain oustanding post processed results just one click away. All professional photographers are using Light room as the main editing tool. Adobe photoshop is not necessary unless you wish to perform special techniques

5. Start your photography portfolio by offering few free sessions as a starting professional photographer.

I will show you tips how to start getting clients from scratch

6. Start promoting and marketing your photography business and promote yourself as a professional photographer from day 1

If you say you are a professional photographer, people will believe you and treat you accordingly. Never forget that!

7. Establish your photography business processes, pricing, branding

do your research on your workflow, what should happen form the moment you book a client to the moment you deliver the final product, photos, prints, slideshows etc. Document this workflow and keep improving it to maximize profit for the amount of effort

8 . Sell your photography services to clients, sign contract and deliver

Make sure you act in a professional manner, have a contract prepared, and do not forget that paper work will save you form troubles, misunderstandings and possible client abuse. It is also a way to cover yourself

9. Follow up and increase your photography business client list

record the contact details to EVERYONE you come in contact with. Never loose any emails, or phone numbers. In time you will build yourself a good client list that will improve your photography business

10. Keep accurate records of your photography business, review and analyse performance for future reference. Improve all the time

Keeping good records will help you at tax time, and improve your business by analysing your performance, what you do wrong what you do right, what is worth doing more than other. Never forget that a good professional photographer needs to be a good business man.


If you have any comments about the above article on how to become a professional photographer, feel free to leave any comments, queries or questions and we will be happy to answer

About Christian Tudor

professional photographer, main editor at Academy of Photography and