Photography: From Hobby to Profession

Turning Your Photography Hobby into Your Profession

Turning Your Photography Hobby into Your Profession

Are you a hobbyist photographer who wants to take the plunge and turn it into a full-time profession? That’s great! And, we are here to help make it work for you. How? By guiding you through the transition. Learn everything you need before taking the plunge, dropping your day job, and going pro!

Having photography as a hobby is certainly fun. Through it, you can capture the most beautiful moments in people’s lives and the most stunning scenes you’ll ever see. You can turn once-in-a-lifetime experiences and make them last forever. Moreover, you can use it to make some extra cash too!

Now, if you are already making a few bucks taking photos for people then how much more will you make when you go full-time, right? You have a decent camera, a laptop, your phone, and you have been taking photos for a long time now. Plus, all your friends and relatives keep telling you that you should start shooting weddings, birthdays, and other events too! So, how hard can it be, right?

Wrong.

Doing photography for the pleasure of it is entirely different from making it as a living. And, it requires so much more as well.

Decide Whether Photography is Your Hobby or Your Profession

Many new photographers start their professional journey by treating it as a hobby. And, this should never be the case. You can be a hobbyist or a pro photographer.

Turning Your Photography Hobby into Your Profession

However, you can’t be both. Now, we’re not saying you can’t have a job that you love. We are simply pointing out that going pro means making it your business – your source of income and which will cover all your monthly bills.

See, there’s a whole lot more into photography if you want to turn it into a business. For one, you won’t have the safety of your full-time job in the background. If you can’t land a job, you won’t get paid! Secondly, are you prepared for the basics of business? What is the cost of your services? Do you know how to do your taxes?

Another thing to consider is that you will be entering the market as a newbie, making you inexperienced – even if you have been taking photos for a while now. So, this will make you easy prey for people who want the most out of their photographers for the cheapest cost. Now, how will you handle this?

Finally, you might think that doing photography full-time will only involve taking pictures, maybe some travel, and attending parties. But, this can’t be further away from reality. Being a professional photographer entails the following:

  • Technical upkeep
  • Networking
  • Marketing
  • Print orders
  • Handling your social media
  • Bookkeeping and taxes
  • Communicating with your clients
  • Designing albums​​​​​​

All these take about 60% of your time. You will be spending around 28.4% of your time editing photos in front of your computer and your remaining time, about 12.2%, will be on taking pictures. This is according to The Secret Life of Wedding Photographers”.

Taking the Final Leap

Turning Your Photography Hobby into Your Profession

Now that you understand how not-so-easy it is to make the final leap of becoming a hobbyist to a professional, here are some tips to get you started on the right path:

  • Focus on the end product and the services you provide and ask for a considerable amount for you and your client. Remember, you will be asking people for their money. So, you need to believe in the price you are offering.
  • To guide you with the price, it is wise if you charge enough to cover your time, operating expenses, cost of service, taxes, and still have enough left to make a profit.
  • Clients will not come to you simply based on the quality of your photos. So, do your homework and understand how the market, sales, and managing relationships work. This is important if you want to generate leads, clients, and potential customers for your business. In addition, you also have to learn managing your customer relationships properly to make sure you get referrals, positive exposure, and encourage repeat business transactions.
  • Find your niche and be clear about your area of specialization. Do you want to be a wedding photographer, portrait specialist, or a sports photographer? A set genre helps you create your brand and it will help potential clients find you faster.
  • Build your portfolio and start working on photos that fully reflects your talent and the style of shoots you want to be doing.