Professional Photographer: Turn Your Hobby into a Career

Professional Photographer: Turn Your Hobby Into a Career

Turn your passion for capturing the world through a lens into a business. Learn how to make the transition to a career as a professional photographer.

If you are passionate and want to do something exclusive, and you’d like to consider photography as something more than just a creative outlet, then you may be on your way to discovering a new career path as a professional photographer.

Establishing Yourself as a Photographer

People don’t buy only your art, they also buy your credentials. In a sense, they’re buying what you represent.

Often those things you represent will be of intrinsic value to your customers. Such as with whom you’ve worked in the past, where you’ve been published, how long you’ve been a photographer, and where you have traveled in your professional career.

If you think you’re ready to transition to a professional career, recognize that it can take time to establish your reputation. However, the time you’ve spent as a hobbyist is simply a natural progression in your education as a professional photographer.

Educate Yourself

Get up to speed with the latest technologies, techniques and experimental work taking place in your field. Expose yourself to areas of photography which you may not have considered interesting. This education and broadening of your horizons opens you up to explorations of yourself which can funnel through you and into your work in ways you may not have imagined.

Your Portfolio

You will need to ensure your photography portfolio stands above the rest by paying special attention to detail. Look at the book itself, the paper it’s printed on, the font, descriptions, your borders, your themes, picture sizes, colors, layout, and so on.

A portfolio that leans towards the look of a scrap book presentation won’t exude professionalism. Continue to improve upon your portfolio and use your eye for contrast and balance to paint a masterful representation of your work.

Consider an Internship

Working with other professionals as an intern has several advantages. Not only will you learn the tricks of the trade, but you will also gain credentials through association with masters, and that builds reputation. You should try to intern under the most respected photographers you can find.


Narrow your professional expertise to one or two main fields. For example, you may want to work with in fashion and design, or you may be interested in photojournalism. Perhaps scientific or sports photography is where you find the most enjoyment. Whatever your interest is, make sure you find the best people in that particular industry and study them. Model your success after theirs.

These general tips will get you started in the right direction. You can start your career without a huge outlay of cash on equipment. Find good, high quality used equipment or even rent what you need depending on the project. Keep in mind that your customer or client receives the fruits of your efforts, so be sure you have a clear understanding of what they want beforehand, and you’re on your way to building a thriving photography business.


Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small business and home-based work issues. He is the founder of HomeBizTools and the publisher of Straight Talk, a syndicated column that offers a unique perspective on today’s business issues.

Share This
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Contact us