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Becoming a Commercial PhotographerPosted by Michael Grecco
So, you want to become a commercial photographer, but you have no idea where to begin? Don’t despair; you’ve come to the right place. Though ultimately, we all must forge our own professional paths in our own unique ways, there are a few concrete steps you can take to start your journey off on the right foot.
Step 1: Equip Yourself
If you aspire to be a commercial photographer, the first thing you’ll need to do is acquire the equipment necessary to do the job well. If you’re already a professional photographer and you’re just trying to break into a new market, this step should be a cinch; you probably have most (if not all) of the materials you’ll need to hit the ground running.
If you’re not yet kitted up, this step will be crucial, as you really can’t proceed until you’ve obtained the tools of the trade. Take some time to do some research and figure out what kinds of cameras, lenses, lighting gear, and editing software will best suit your needs. Once you’ve compiled a list, hit the shops and start investing in your future career.
Step 2: Put Together a Portfolio
The next thing you’ll need to do is create a portfolio. You’ll use your portfolio to impress and entice potential clients, so take care to select shots that really highlight your skills and abilities. To get the most out of your portfolio, make both digital and physical copies.
Post the digital portfolio on your website to capture the attention of any interested parties who happen across your page. Keep the physical portfolio handy for in person meetings with companies considering your services. Presenting a good portfolio is the quickest way to convince a could-be customer of your commercial photography capability.
If you’ve reached the portfolio prep stage without any formal photography training, now would be a good time to consider enrolling in a photography course. Taking classes will help you learn about both the technical and artistic aspects of photography. Going to art school is a great way to hone your craft and grow your portfolio.
Step 3: Make Connections
Ok, now that you’ve got the gear you need and you’ve compiled a compelling portfolio, it’s time to drum up some business. If you don’t have any big corporate connections yet, don’t fret; start small, and grow from there. Post on social media; ask your friends and family for referrals; offer your services to local establishments. Get out there and make yourself a staple of your community. Build positive relationships with each new client, and watch your network blossom.
Follow steps 1-3 and you’ll be well on your way to cultivating a thriving commercial photography business.