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How to become a professional photographer from scratch on your own

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If you are determined to become a photographer, then the best solution would be to enroll in a photo school. During classes in a specially prepared studio, theoretical aspects of shooting are covered, the necessary equipment is examined in detail, and the necessary practice is also conducted. But with a lack of time or the absence of such an institution in the place of residence will have to act differently.


  1. Carefully read the information on the principles, types and techniques of photography. There are a large number of sites on the Internet that allow you to get used to a new business relatively quickly.
  2. Buy the simplest digital device with the ability to manually adjust features such as flash, ISO selection and white balance. Optical zoom and macro mode are preferred.
  3. Take pictures of everything. Having decided on which type of filming is closer to you, find the work of a famous master of a similar genre and use them as a reference for comparison.
  4. Learn to work in photo-processing programs. Try editing your photos.
  5. Regularly take part in Internet photography contests, objectively analyze criticism and draw conclusions. As a rule, at this stage, the first satisfactory results appear, and the desire to become a photographer grows into a need.
  6. Get a camera with manual aperture adjustment and good optics. For advice on choosing it is worth contacting an independent specialist, whom you will definitely get to know by this time.
  7. Continue shooting using the new camera and buying equipment as needed.
  8. Post the best shots on the web. In addition to sites devoted to photography, you can do this, for example, on your blog.
  9. Invite all potential customers to familiarize themselves with the portfolio. Someone will be interested in your work.

Remember that the exclusivity of photography is primarily affected not by the cost of the shooting equipment, but by the artist’s experience, which does not have a monetary equivalent.

Education

Now many universities can offer higher education as a photographer. But today this training, taking into account the labor market, does not always meet modern requirements. Finding a good photo school or courses is not easy. Managers should provide the opportunity to use real professional equipment, a laboratory and a studio. Teaching in different subjects (photographic equipment, color science, lighting) should be conducted by different teachers, narrow specialists. As a rule, private studios are better equipped technically, but weaker in teaching staff.

Self improvement

Photographer is a profession that requires constant growth. After all, technological progress does not stand still. It is necessary to constantly monitor the latest news of the photo industry and be sure to apply them in your practice. By all means, you should read a lot of everything that you find in photographic literature, some books should be re-read more than once. Only in this way, constantly improving yourself, can you become a good specialist in your field.

Training

Whatever you do, always train your gaze. Always look for interesting stories and perspectives. Become observant, notice what you have not noticed before. Let nothing remarkable slip away from your gaze (face, object, landscape, still life, etc.). As soon as you see something unusual, capture it, "take a picture" with your eyes, if there is no camera at hand. Subjects for frames may be needed in the future. So you will learn to distinguish something original from the set of ordinary plots.

The more you photograph, the more experience you have, and the higher your qualifications become. Of the hundred shots left, leave ten, but they should be the most worthy and high-quality. Patience and work will certainly produce results.

Having bought a good camera (with a mirror lens), you can safely offer your services for money. Act, do not stand still. Believe in your strength, because everyone was once a beginner.

To summarize. As you can see, becoming a true master of photography is not so simple. If you do not have the financial capabilities for this, the necessary education or time does not allow, do not despair. Make a photo your hobby, your favorite pastime. The main thing is to be able to find something unusual and capture it in time. Good luck to you.

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Education

Now many universities can offer higher education as a photographer. But today this training, taking into account the labor market, does not always meet modern requirements. Finding a good photo school or courses is not easy. Managers should provide the opportunity to use real professional equipment, a laboratory and a studio. Teaching in different subjects (photographic equipment, color science, lighting) should be conducted by different teachers, narrow specialists. As a rule, private studios are better equipped technically, but weaker in teaching staff.

Self improvement

Photographer is a profession that requires constant growth. After all, technological progress does not stand still. It is necessary to constantly monitor the latest news of the photo industry and be sure to apply them in your practice. By all means, you should read a lot of everything that you find in photographic literature, some books should be re-read more than once. Only in this way, constantly improving yourself, can you become a good specialist in your field.

Training

Whatever you do, always train your gaze. Always look for interesting stories and perspectives. Become observant, notice what you have not noticed before. Let nothing remarkable slip away from your gaze (face, object, landscape, still life, etc.). As soon as you see something unusual, capture it, "take a picture" with your eyes, if there is no camera at hand. Subjects for frames may be needed in the future. So you will learn to distinguish something original from the set of ordinary plots.

The more you photograph, the more experience you have, and the higher your qualifications become. Of the hundred shots left, leave ten, but they should be the most worthy and high-quality. Patience and work will certainly produce results.

Having bought a good camera (with a mirror lens), you can safely offer your services for money. Act, do not stand still. Believe in your strength, because everyone was once a beginner.

To summarize. As you can see, becoming a true master of photography is not so simple. If you do not have the financial capabilities for this, the necessary education or time does not allow, do not despair. Make a photo your hobby, your favorite pastime. The main thing is to be able to find something unusual and capture it in time. Good luck to you.

Tip 7: 10 tips for aspiring portrait photographers

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Canons need to know

Despite the fact that 90% of the success of any business is based on practice, it is important to know the theoretical part. This rule applies to photography. Without theory, making cool and interesting portrait shots will be difficult. It is necessary to study all the features of the camera, read information about the shooting rules, take into account the maximum details and nuances. It’s not necessary to immediately run and sign up for photo courses, sometimes it’s enough to devote a little time to self-study. However, any study of the theoretical foundations should always be combined with the practical part.

Breaking the rules is the key to success

When it turned out to work out the main criteria for portraiture as well as possible, you can proceed to the next step. Classical photography is usually based on generally accepted standards, but violation of individual rules allows us to stand out from the mass of similarly working photographers. Do not crop the portrait as you like, trying to retreat from the canon. However, you can try to shoot from unexpected and atypical angles.

Put the camera down, look at the world around you

The ability to notice the features and details of the surrounding world is just what allows you to make photos fascinating and unusual. It is worth walking more often even in familiar places, trying to find some new details in the surroundings that people don’t pay attention to in everyday life. It is important to monitor the activities of other portrait photographers, borrow from them any ideas and redraw them in their own way. Noting various details, from lighting at a certain time of the day to a combination of clothes on people around, you can not only breathe new life into your photos, but also recharge your inspiration.

Always remember the idea

Photography is not something that can be done completely thoughtlessly. Any creativity presupposes an idea at its core. When creating portrait photo projects it’s not difficult to understand the idea. However, in individual images, it cannot always be clearly read. Even if an outside observer does not fully understand the meaning and logic, the photographer, when taking a picture, should always keep in mind the thought, image, feeling for which the photograph is created. Something should always be invested in artistic portrait photos, then they will sparkle in a new way.

Do not lose contact with the model

The success of a photo shoot depends not only on the photographer. Much falls on the shoulders of the model itself. During shooting, you should never lose touch between yourself and the person you want to photograph. You need to make contact with the model, talk, show her pictures in the process of work, discuss some points. Creating a friendly atmosphere and a positive attitude is where any photo shoot should begin.

Don't be afraid to experiment

Typical camera angles, standard poses, uninteresting lighting, and the average background are very boring. This limits the flight of imagination, creates a framework. At first, when the passion for photography and portraiture are at an amateur level, you do not need to retreat from such boundaries. But gradually, developing and striving to make your pictures interesting, you need to look for new angles and lighting options, select unusual poses for the model. Do not ignore life hacks from photographs, which are now very much on the Internet. Some of them can really be useful.

There should be nothing superfluous in the portrait

Everything that will be present on the photograph should play a role, carry meaning, complement the image being created and the general atmosphere of the photograph. The abundance of objects, other objects in portrait photography can play a minus. A person’s gaze will simply rush about from the picture, unable to single out the main thing. From the side of the photo with an abundance of details that distract attention from the main thing - the model, it will seem lurid and tasteless. Before you press the shutter button, you need to ask yourself if you really need that distant tree in the background or if there is a need to capture candles burning in the foreground in the frame. Minimalism and restraint of a picture can play into the hands of a novice portrait photographer.

Geometry and frames are relevant not only for natural and architectural surveys

Geometric shapes, guiding lines, unintentionally created frames add special charm to photographs, they mesmerize and hold attention for longer. When shooting a person in an urban environment, you need to follow the lampposts, architecture around, power lines, etc. If the shooting takes place somewhere in nature, then you can use the branches of trees and bushes, leaves on the branches as framing elements in the photo.

Look for your style

Famous and successful portrait photographers have their own style. Some stand out with what models they work with, others draw attention to their pictures with post-processing. You need to try to come up with some kind of your own chips, however, they can arise by themselves as you gain practical experience in photography. The style may appear as in the process of shooting, be noticeable on "raw" frames, or may be demonstrated after processing the photo.

Black and white classic

Black and white photographs are something that never goes out of style. However, learning how to handle chiaroscuro in this context can be extremely difficult. On the other hand, the black and white color of the image allows you to highlight the central object, removes unnecessary color spots that can violate harmony, composition in the photo, negatively affect the overall mood of the image. You need to work with b / w photos carefully and carefully, approach them meaningfully.

Photography: Creativity or Profitable Business

Work as a professional photographer is attractive, as it promises high earnings, a free schedule and doing what you love. But is this idea true? It seems to many people that being a photographer is very simple, and expensive equipment completely replaces professional skills.

In practice, it turns out that this work is not suitable for everyone (as, indeed, any other profession). It requires continuous improvement of skills, high ability to work, perseverance, creativity, the ability to find a common language with a variety of people and much more.

Varieties of photography: why it is important to choose the right one

To understand how to become a photographer and start making money, first of all, you need to decide which types of photography the master will work best with. Currently, the most demanded among clients are:

  1. Studio and non-studio personal photo shoots.
  2. Wedding photos, as well as pair shooting and love-story.
  3. Children and family photosets (in the studio, at home or on the street).
  4. Subject photography (jewelry, clothes and shoes, food, interiors). Customers, as a rule, are organizations planning to use the images for commercial purposes (menus, catalogs, advertising).

In most cases, successful masters specialize in 1-2 areas, since each of them requires a very large number of shooting and processing skills. Narrow specialization allows masters to constantly improve and work more closely with the target audience.

What is a photographer?

Few people familiar with the process of working as a professional photographer imagine his work very one-sided and see only the process of photoset directly. However, this is fundamentally wrong, the master’s work consists of several stages, often invisible from the outside.

It is the unwillingness to engage in other work besides photographing that prevents the overwhelming majority of those enthusiastic in photography from moving from amateurs to professionals:

  1. Search for customers. Usually conducted via the Internet or through friends. It’s very difficult to start shooting for money, as customers do not trust the masters without impressive experience. It is especially difficult in this regard for wedding photographers, who have a very big responsibility - an unverified person will not be called to such a job. Given the high competition in the market, finding the first "paid" customers is extremely difficult.
  2. Communication with customers, discussion of the details of future work. At this stage, the master has to act as a diplomat and a psychologist at the same time: each customer needs his own approach, his own reasons for persuading to decide on an order.

Future newlyweds need to be convinced that the photographer will have time to catch all the key moments of the event, the individual customer - that his photo session will be unique, parents with children - that the children will have fun and the shooting will take place in a game format and so on.

As you can see, in addition to photographing, the master has to do the most diverse work: from communication with customers and hours of image processing to promoting their accounts on social networks. Before pondering the purchase of equipment, answer the question: "Are you ready for such a life in non-stop mode?"

How much money will have to invest in getting started: buying equipment

The list of what is needed for professional photography cannot be imagined without a minimum set of equipment and software, which for some reason is often forgotten by many, although this is no less important part of the work.

The technique used by modern photographers is very expensive, so starting without costs will not work.

In each case, the minimum price is indicated, since the upper limit of the cost usually goes for several hundred thousand rubles:

  1. A camera for professional shooting. The most well-established companies: Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm. The price of the camera starts at 30 thousand rubles.
  2. Flash. Professional photography is always carried out with a separate (not built-in camera) flash. From 7 thousand rubles.
  3. Additional lenses. For close-ups, “portrait” - from 10 thousand rubles. The zoom lens may be in the standard kit for the camera, but if it is missing, you need to purchase a removable lens - from 15 thousand rubles. Also, most masters will need a lens with a large zoom - from 10 thousand rubles.
  4. Amount for equipment. Many people forget about this expense item, but this approach is not serious. Важно обеспечить безопасное хранение всей техники — чтобы продлить срок её работы и, в случае необходимости, перепродать по более высокой цене. Поэтому сразу же нужно подобрать профессиональную сумку для камеры и объективов — от 500 рублей.
  5. Карты памяти. The device’s internal memory will not be enough to store a large number of pictures, so you need to purchase several additional 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes. From 1 thousand rubles apiece.
  6. Tripod, from 1 thousand rubles.
  7. Additional battery. Shooting can last several hours in a row, one photo shoot is replaced by another, so the master always needs to have an additional charged power supply with him. The price depends on the model of the camera, from 1 thousand rubles.
  8. Extra strap for the camera. If the photographer plans to shoot weddings, celebrations or reports, the camera must be worn on a reliable belt. As a rule, the one that comes as standard is not strong enough. From 2 thousand rubles.
  9. A computer or laptop for image processing. It is desirable with a good processor and a large diagonal of the monitor, otherwise it will be difficult to work with graphics. Using such a computer or laptop for other purposes is not recommended - only for processing and storage of images. From 20 thousand rubles.
  10. Licensed image processing software. Many photographers work with pirated versions, thus saving money, but if you plan to make money with a photograph, you should not risk unverified software. Typically, such programs are sold by subscription, from 650 rubles per month, depending on the version.

If we summarize all the minimum costs only for the purchase of equipment for work, the value will fit at least 100 thousand rubles. The amount may seem very impressive for beginners (for this money you can buy a used car or even start a small business), but professionals spend several times more on the purchase of necessary equipment.

Photography is an expensive hobby and an expensive job. Advanced technology helps professionals create unique, high-quality images and sell their services at a high price tag. Saving on the purchase of everything and using "pirated" programs, this will not work.

Tips for acquiring equipment: how to make an informed choice and not spend too much

The choice of equipment is a very crucial stage, on which the success of all future work depends on half. Therefore, you need to choose responsibly and thoughtfully. Here are some helpful suggestions:

  1. Before proceeding with the selection of a camera, understand what all the characteristics indicated in the description of the models mean and find out their optimal value for your photo direction:
    • type of camera
    • interchangeable lens support,
    • built-in flash
    • total pixels and effective pixels
    • the size,
    • maximum resolution
    • type of matrix
    • sensitivity,
    • shooting speed
    • focusing,
    • weight,
    • type of memory cards
    • image formats.
  2. Consult a specialist. Preferably, not with sellers in the hardware store, but with existing photographers. Ask them specific questions about different camera models, write down and analyze all the recommendations before buying.
  3. Do not purchase used equipment from unverified sellers - you risk spending money on a faulty device, with no chance of returning them.
  4. Order a piece of equipment online. Currently, each serious company has an official online store that will give the buyer the same guarantees as a regular one. Lack of trade margins will help to significantly save initial capital.
  5. The choice and number of lenses should be based on the specialization of the wizard.

Why you have to study and pay for tuition

To become a really good photographer, you have to constantly learn to shoot and process images, as well as endlessly practice. It is impossible to shoot professionally without theory. Now there are many online courses from different authors, telling where to start work and how to make big profits.

However, if possible, it is better to undergo a "live" training, at least in the form of a starting course with a certificate. Real communication with the teacher and other novice masters is much more useful, as it accelerates integration into the profession.

Becoming a professional photographer, be prepared to constantly study and pay for it. Information from free courses is not enough for a profitable job, as it usually only includes general information that can already be found on the network. If you want to know real recommendations from current professionals, be prepared to pay for courses and consultations.

Some types of shooting, such as photographing jewelry, are very complex. In order for your work to appear on the pages of jewelry catalogs, you will have to learn how to shoot and process images for a long time. It is almost impossible to cope with this independently. Do not waste time - take a specialized course. Ultimately, you will save both time and money.

Also useful is communication in thematic groups and chats, monitoring accounts of famous masters and just your competitors in social networks. Such monitoring will help you to be in the center of events and in the course of all news.

Is it necessary to create your own studio

A significant part of the work of a professional photographer is in studio photography. A studio is a room where, as a rule, several backdrops, several lighting options and a variety of equipment for photo shoots are installed (chairs, toys, flowers, books, musical instruments - the list is limited only by the photographer’s imagination).

At the first stages, you should not think about your own studio - it is very expensive. Novice masters rent premises for filming for hours, including the cost of rent in services for the client. However, even some very advanced professionals do not have their own studio, especially if they specialize in weddings and subject photography.

What income does professional photography bring?

It is impossible to say unequivocally what profit professional photography will bring. A lot depends on the specialization of the master, his skills, ability to attract new customers, as well as the demand for such services in a particular city.

Of course, it is generally accepted that photographers earn a lot. An hour of shooting rarely costs less than 3 thousand rubles. But this applies to well-known professionals, with a huge portfolio and a good reputation. To get into this caste, you have to work daily for several years, constantly improving and tracking all fashion trends.

If a photograph interests you as a hobby, you won’t be able to seriously earn money with it and even pay back your investments in equipment. Therefore, think carefully before buying a professional camera and all related equipment.

The market is oversaturated: is it worth it to become a professional photographer

Summarizing the information presented above, we note that professional photography is a difficult job. The technical skills in it dominate creativity. Behind each beautiful picture, dozens of failed frames and hours of computer processing are hidden.

To start working as a professional photographer, you will need at least 100 thousand rubles, which, at best, will be recouped in a few years. It’s worth doing photography only when you feel that this is your calling, for which you are ready to work hard and hard.

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1. Design your own style

It is necessary to study the work of famous photographers and their manuals. Analyze the manner of construction and technical features. So you will form your own handwriting. Why is it needed? So that your work will surprise the viewer and be pronounced among the usual others. Writers are guessed by the style of writing, and the photographer by the construction of images.

I have a good article, books for beginner photographers, be sure to find these books, and read. And one more, very good video course, I will tell at the end of the article.

3. Gather ideas

Everyone ever has a creative crisis. How do professional photographers deal with it? When ideas come up, they will write them down, and then think through the finest details: the image of the model, setting the background, feelings. At the time of the creative crisis, they open their notes and begin to implement old ideas!

Features of becoming

  • Always keep your camera ready with you. The camera is your second eye. The most famous photographs were taken unexpectedly!
  • Look for unusual places to shoot.
  • Try to immediately correctly build the composition, and then rely less on graphic editors.
  • Love your work, your enthusiasm more than the material side. Otherwise, your photos will spoil the artistic look.
  • When shooting, look for a non-standard viewing angle, so your image will immediately attract attention. Photographers are not advised to shoot at eye level. This is very commonplace.

1. Do your photo research

Do an analysis of the work of photographers. They can be found on various forums and in social networks. At the same time, not leaning towards someone else's opinion, but evaluating the work completely independently.

  1. First, you will evaluate the image: like or dislike.
  2. After that, you will begin to notice the peculiarities of taking pictures, their technical parameters, colors, and geometric fundamental.
  3. The final step will be to understand the aesthetics of photographs.

2. Do research on photographic equipment

  1. Understand the camera.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the basic settings of the camera: aperture, shutter speed, light sensitivity.
  3. Examine the color wheel to know the right combinations.
  4. Try to start shooting as soon as possible in manual mode to control all the parameters. That is how good photographers work.

3. Learn the basics of a graphical editor

The main graphic editor at this time is Photoshop. I advise you to learn it, because it is it that is more suitable for working with images and crammed with various functions, therefore it does not set the limits for the implementation of your ideas.

  1. First install the program and learn the basic working tools,
  2. Understand the difference between two types of graphics: raster and vector,
  3. Start a simple operation,
  4. Navigate to more sophisticated filters and more complex work with layers.

To work in Photoshop, I advise you to study online courses at home and attend various forums for working in the editor. What courses are best to learn, you can find at the end of the article.

4. Gain experience

Spend more time practicing. Take pictures not only of nature and animals, but also look for people who want to pose for you. Because still, the animals will not pay you for the shooting.

Where to find models? In social networks in groups and in many forums you can meet people who agree to the shooting, based on TFP. What it is? This is a free digital photo shoot. That is, as a result, the photographer gets experience and portfolio, and the model - the experience of posing and photos in the portfolio. At first, you simply accumulate experience and give the model pictures. After you start with small rewards: chocolates, cake.

So, choose for yourself more effective ways to achieve the title of a good photographer, and you will certainly achieve it.

As promised, I will give a few of the most popular courses that experts recommend to novice photographers. I, too, recommend them to my friends and acquaintances who want to develop as a photographer. Why exactly these courses, because there are so many others on the Internet? Believe me, these courses are time-tested and they give results.

  1. Digital SLR for a beginner 2.0 or My first MIRROR - this is a gorgeous video course that will teach you how to work with a SLR camera, set settings, answer many of your questions about taking photos.
  2. Photoshop from scratch in the VIP 3.0 video format - if you are completely new to Photoshop, this course is for you. Start with it!
  3. Photoshop for the photographer 3.0. VIP is a video course for people who know the basics. This course is designed for photographers. You will learn how to properly process photos, retouching. Learn to turn photos into masterpieces!

Novice 2.0 DSLR - for NIKON fans.

My first MIRROR - for fans of CANON.

On this I say goodbye to you. Love photography, enjoy the process of both shooting and processing and show the most sincere feelings with the help of photographs, then you will definitely begin to strive for professionals. Do not forget to share my article with your friends on social networks. Subscribe to further reviews of my blog.

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