A Guide to Starting a Career in Photography

Posted March 19, 2024 by in Career
Woman taking photo with DSLR camera

Photography is all about creating value from your skills that a business can benefit from. The best photographers have some quality-defining traits that others don’t. For instance, the job of a food photographer is to make food look fresh and attractive. 

Food photographers spend a lot of time to make food look appealing. This is mainly because these food photography pictures are used by businesses to attract customers from billboards and other visual advertising mediums.

Another important quality of a good photographer is the ability to tell a story through a photograph. For this purpose, the human element inside your photos is vital. The human element means that a human is the main subject of your photograph. The main story or motive of your photograph is connected through the human element.

Therefore, a successful photographer in any category must address this requirement. We have prepared a guide for you that will tell you the necessary things required to boost your career in the field of photography. Let’s hop in!

Identifying Your Category in Photography

If you see some of the best photographers, they don’t necessarily provide services in all categories of photography. At most, a good photographer should cover 3 categories. To understand this, a wildlife photographer has no business being at a wedding event. 

Therefore, these photographers also build their portfolios accordingly. If you randomly post a wedding photography picture on your Instagram in the middle of a lot of wildlife pictures, then your audience will get confused and it will affect your following too. 

Start With What You Have 

This is something that a lot of beginner photographers are worried about. They get confused and worried by seeing high-quality pictures of a well-known photographer. These are photographers with professional full-frame cameras. 

Always make it a rule to only spend on improving your gear when a particular business earns you well. Conclusively, if you are interested in photography as a profession, then you must have some sort of gear already. 

We recommend you keep using and utilizing your current gear to the fullest of its potential. This can be a smartphone with a good camera. 

You can use the rule of thirds and make a better composition of your shots. Shoot from unique angles you haven’t used before. Only spend your first bucks on buying a camera when you land your first photography job successfully. 

Understand the Art of Photography 

It is essential to understand different elements of photography that make you different from a normal person who takes photos. Let’s discuss some of these:


It is all about how much light you let in the sensor. The aperture is the opening in the lens through which light is being let inside the sensor of your camera. There are certain scenarios here. 

Firstly the higher the aperture the more light it can let inside and vice versa. This also means that the plane of focus will be very small and only a small portion of your subject will be in focus. A higher aperture also translates to more background blur.

Shutter Speed 

This is the amount of time the shutter in front of your sensor remains open. The higher the time frame, the more light can be let in. For shots that require blur; like waterfall shots, long long-exposure night photos a slower shutter speed is used. For shots like capturing a fast car; a higher shutter speed is used.


In simpler terms, understand ISO as an artificial lighting you can use to balance an underexposed shot. This can also be termed as the low light performance of your camera. 

Generally, full-frame sensor cameras have a better ISO, meaning you can increase it further until you start seeing noise in your shots. 

Establish Connections 

Photography is all about connecting with people having interests as same as you. Therefore, if you want a fairly easier journey in landing your first, you must establish genuine connections with the related people. 

For instance, if you live in New York, a good way to find people who do the same kind of photography as you will be to search hashtags on social platforms. You can use these hashtags on the work you post online. 

Once these people find your work, ask them to have a photography walk with you. Photography walks are events where people interested in a similar niche take photos together. 

Do Email Marketing 

Once you are at an intermediate level, it is important to start looking at different creative ways from which you can earn in photography. For instance, you can sell your presets. Presets are different colour-graded profiles for specific software. 

Adobe Lightroom is mostly used by photographers to color grade their photos. You can add a good photographic quote along with your signature at the end. You can even add email signature quotes at the end of each cold email from your favorite photographer and make an impact on the audience. If you feel you’re a professional, you can also sell your photography courses teaching your fans how to get a specific look like yours in their photos. 

Build a Website 

Social media platforms can sometimes become subject to hacking. Therefore, there is a risk of losing all of your portfolio. Secondly, a portfolio based on social media doesn’t seem like a professional way to showcase your photos. 

We suggest you build a website that addresses the various photography services you provide. You can interlink your social media handles there to direct the visitors to your social media. 

The website also provides the client with a sense of trust in terms of your credibility.

Woman with grey sweater taking a photo

Just like any job, becoming a good photographer takes time and dedication. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results overnight. A good photographer spends more time with their camera and the results gradually improve.

Remember, success comes from a combination of passion, hard work, and a dedication to learning. 

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