Often times, when you have a hobby, it can be hard to envision how you’d make an entire career out of it. There can be a lot of logistics involved in doing this, and it can also be scary to leave a full-time job in order to pursue something you consider a hobby. Here are 5 tips for turning a photography hobby into a career.
Before you jump into making a career out of photography, determine what you actually want to specialize in. For example, do you want to focus on weddings, family sessions, branding, or corporate events? There are numerous types of photography niches, and some photographers select a couple to do as well.
Try a few out to see if there is a specific type of event that you are passionate about. It’s crucial to take time in the beginning to select your specialty, because once you begin building your brand and following, it can be more challenging to switch later.
Once you’ve determined the type of photography you want to focus on, you need to create a website. Your website is going to be the cornerstone of your business. This is where potential clients can go to learn about you, your services, and see samples of your work.
Even though many potential clients will look for you on social media, these social platforms should not replace you building a website. While social media is great, remember that you do not actually own the content you share on that platform. Use social media as an additional way for people to learn more about you, but don’t let it be the main way clients can book a session through you.
Here are some key pages to include on your website:
- About Page
- Image Gallery
- Pricing Page
- Contact Information
In order for clients to book you, they are going to want to see some actual work you’ve produced. While it’s helpful to have a handful of images on your website, clients will often-times want to see entire galleries of completed work to see what an entire session with you looks like.
Consider using an online gallery to showcase your images to potential clients. This is a simple way to display entire photoshoots in an elegant and professional way. As you begin to book more shoots, you can also add the completed session to your gallery platform to keep all of your finalized shoots in one location.
Regardless of the industry you are in, networking is key. One of the best ways to grow your business is by connecting with others and building relationships. For photographers, think about the other types of vendors your ideal client might be using, and see if you can build relationships with those vendors.
For example, if you want to be a wedding photographer, find wedding coordinators in your area that you can connect with. Reach out to them and invite them to coffee so you can get to know one another. As you talk, find ways that you can both work together to build a strong relationship and help each other grow.
Once you’ve photographed a client, try tapping into their network to also grow your business. Ask your client to write a review for you, and encourage them to share the images you took with their family and friends.
It might sound obvious, but it is worth mentioning – you need to prepare to work hard. Starting a business from scratch is not easy. It takes a lot of time, trial and error, and effort to create a thriving business. When you first start out, you will likely need to put in long hours in order to build momentum and make a profit.
Turning your photography passion into a career can be an exciting job-shift. Use these 5 tips to help prepare you in making the switch!