How To Become A Professional Photographer


Making the big bucks in photography is tough, but it isn’t an unrealistic dream.

As long as you’re prepared to put in the long hours, the diverse locations and the arduous shoots, if you have the passion and the determination you can make it and become a professional in the photography field.

Here are a few top tips that will get you well on the road to being the next David Bailey.

Get A Degree

Not only will it be a great thing to add to your CV and show you can apply yourself well, but you will also make some lifelong connections that will help you on the long journey you have ahead. Along with this you can gain good advice and criticism of your work, enabling you to improve and continue on the right track.


Get The Best Equipment Possible

Equipment can be pricey, but in the long run it will be extremely beneficial to you and your flourishing career. The most important thing you need to understand is that your biggest investment should be in your lens, not the body – you can upgrade that later if you need to.

Alongside the lens and the body, other equipment is necessary to get started – a tripod for example. It is an absolute must if you are planning on creating macro photography and is an indispensable piece of equipment. To compliment this I would definitely advise you invest in a sturdy bag to house all of your equipment, giving it more protection against the inevitable knocks and bangs it will suffer along the way.

Enter Competitions

Not only can you win some amazing prizes and get some fantastic equipment for a very small entry fee, but it is also a great way to get your work out there. Your work will be seen by not only the judges but the wider public, as the entrants photographs are usually published either online or in a magazine.

Practice Makes Perfect

Take pictures, take more, and then, you guessed it, take some more. Practice truly does make perfect in this industry, meaning the more images you take and the more genres and scenarios you explore the better you’ll get. You should always have your camera handy, enabling you to take photos everywhere and anywhere.

Get Involved In An Exhibition

Exhibitions are a great way to get your photographs out there, gaining not only exposure but experience too. If you are just starting out, a group exhibition may be the way forward rather than trying to embark on the journey on your own. They are hard work, and without some experience can be executed very poorly, so make sure you get some pointers from a good curator or someone that has exhibited before.

Work Experience

Gaining photography work experience is essential, especially if you are looking to work in a studio environment or somewhere that you will come into contact with a lot of different clients. This type of work experience is hard to come by but you just have to persevere, making sure you get in touch with as many people in your specific field as possible. Someone, somewhere will give you that much needed break.

All the hard work will pay off in the end.  If you’ve done your research you’ll know that only the best of the best become pro, so you need to make sure you are always one step ahead of the competition.

Have you got any useful suggestion for becoming a professional photographer? Share in the comments.

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Phillipa Drake is at University studying Photography. After graduating she wants to become a content writer, and currently writes for the GKBC Writer Academy.