Bought a camera? Know how to push its button? Awesome! You are a real photographer now, let the money roll in! Umm… Not so fast! Unfortunately, nowadays many people seem to think it’s easy to become a photographer. Buy a camera, take a few birthday photos of your relatives, charge them, and you’ve started your own enterprise. But even your relatives won’t hire you if you are not serious and professional about it. That’s why many business ventures in photography are short-lived.
But you can do it differently if you’re wise enough not to follow their path and start with the proper business mindset. Here are the first baby steps you need to take to transform your photographing passion from a simple hobby to a profitable business.
Invest in Equipment
We’ve already talked about the essentials for equipping your own studio. You can start from there and piece by piece create your personal studio with more complex gear. Just don’t go for the cheapest option and always try to get the best quality equipment as long as your budget allows it. The gear you choose will reflect on the quality of your photos. And remember, every piece of equipment will be different. Therefore, study it thoroughly by making a few test shots before you put it to use.
Make Yourself Stand Out by Offering Printing
Typical photographers offer only the digital version of their creations, leaving it up to you whether you want to print your photos or not. And the truth is, most of the times customers get inevitably disappointed later on when they print their beautiful memories themselves because in most cases they ruin them with too much grain and bad printing paper. So save them the heartbreak and make yourself stand out from the crowd of photographers by offering your printing services. Many people will turn to you especially for this reason. Keep in mind that most of the clients will want an impeccable large print of their portraits and wedding photos, so know that there are many quality large format printers specially designed for that matter. Moreover, many up-and-coming photographers looking to make an impact use large format printers for their first art exhibition to make their photos look as good as possible.
Constantly Work on Yourself
Never stop learning! If you want to invest in education, there are many renowned colleges of art and photography. Moreover, in the modern world of today, there are many online courses that can help you learn just what you need. And don’t stop there. Be constantly hungry for the latest developments in the photography industry. Engage yourself in constant experiments, discover your shooting style and philosophy and start learning more about that. It’s better to focus on one field like black and white or event photography and become a master at it, rather than trying to do everything at once and be average in everything. Definitely something worth considering.
Embrace Networking and Social Media Presence
Joining an existing photography business will enable you to work and learn along side experienced photographers. These people can show you how things are done and introduce you to different client bases. The right contacts are necessary for every business to thrive. Then, after you’ve gained the needed experience, you can open your own studio. My tip is to invest in high quality photography gear and not to spend much money on flyers and advertisements just to get the word out that you’re the new photographer in town. With the amazing possibilities of social media today, all you need is to invest some time in creating the perfect online ad. Your own Facebook page and an Instagram account are the best and fastest ways to promote yourself. Make sure you post quality material that is sure to be shared, and people will soon start flocking to you to make their special moments last forever.
“The most powerful weapon in the world, as far as I’m concerned, is the camera.”
This quote can make you see some things from a certain perspective. Get it? Professional photographers create better photos not by having the most expensive cameras and accessories at their disposal, but because they know how to perfectly capture a moment.
However, this does not mean that you can produce a quality image with a cheap camera. And furthermore, you’d be able to put more life in your images by having the right accessories. You might have the eye to spot a unique moment, or set a great scene for imagery, but you’ll need to arm yourself with a decent DSLR camera, preferably with double digit megapixels and a decent sensor size. And with the internet at your disposal and the number of shops that sell cameras and camera accessories in Australia, you’ll have plenty of choices to pick from.
You probably wouldn’t want to over-do it on your initial purchase. If you don’t own a camera already, buying one along with few other pieces of the most essential equipment will be sufficient enough to create quality photos.
Remember, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” It is you who is in control. Hence, pay attention to things like lighting and composition. Also, positioning yourself at the right angle is key to making outstanding photos. Still, the power of the lens is what can make or break a photograph; it’s what it takes to leave a viewer in awe or unimpressed. Even though lenses are top-sold camera accessories in Australia, the lens’ spec sheet leaves many (particularly those new to photography) a bit confused. In short, here’s what those numbers represent:
- the focal length (defines the lens’ angle of view)
- the aperture (describes how much light it can gather)
- the format (sensor size it’s designed to work with)
- the mount (whether or not it can physically fit on your camera)
- the image stabilization (optical stabilization for minimizing or ignoring blurring effects of hand shaking)
The key is making sure the lens physically fits into your camera. And again, you don’t have to buy all the different kinds of lenses as you will most likely end up not using all of them. Buy a few, or just rent them. Renting camera accessories and gear is a smart way to try out the equipment without actually buying it, which is something a lot of photographers (newbies and pros as well) take advantage of.
Besides lens, there are other accessories designed to make ‘taking great photos’ much easier. An extra set of battery will ensure you don’t run out of power in a crucial moment, for example. An SSD card will increase your storage capacity, allowing you to experiment and take as much photos as you want without deleting most of them in concern for not having enough space.
Bottom line is, when shopping for camera equipment, you have to pay attention to many things – specifications, compatibility, price, etc. The right gear however, is your one way ticket to making incredible shots. Broaden your horizons to reach beyond the unreachable!
If you are searching the market for a new camera, you know that choosing the right equipment can be an overwhelming process. Investing in a quality one can be pricey, so you want to make sure you are getting exactly what you want and need. That is where camera equipment rental comes in handy.
This trend is becoming more and more popular as photographers realize the convenience and cost savings of renting instead of buying all the equipment they need. If you haven’t given renting a try, here are a few reasons to get you convinced that camera equipment rental may be a great option for your needs and requirements.
A Chance to Try High-End Gear at Affordable Prices
Investing in high-quality lens for wedding and portrait photographers may cost you up to $2,000. Renting the same quality lens will cost you less than $100 for a couple of days rental. That means you would need to rent the lens for 20 times or more before you would have bought one. So, if you need a certain type of lens that you will use only for certain occasions, renting them may be more cost-effective than purchasing.
Affordable Way of Having Backup Equipment
When shooting a wedding or any other important event, it is quite important to have extra equipment in case something goes wrong with your main gear. Getting an extra camera for a weekend will only cost you a few bucks, which is a pretty cheap way to ensure you have the equipment you need to keep your customers happy.
Try Before You Buy
There are some things that no one should buy without trying them out first such as cars, computers and cameras. It is quite common to see photographers investing in small mirrorless cameras as their street photography camera or travel camera. With the wide variety of cameras available out there, it is wise to rent a certain model for a while before spending a great amount of money on it.
Many Options of Lighting Gear
Whether it is a few Einstein monolights or a bag of speedlites, the truth is, investing in lighting gear can be quite expensive. Therefore, instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a few monolights, you can rent them for about $50 for a weekend. So, if you don’t need big lights most of the time, renting them is a viable option.
Save from Shipping Gear While Traveling
If you have traveled before with your photography equipment, you know how big of a pain in the neck it is having to pack all your gear and travel with it. Plus, buying quality shipping cases is quite expensive and using a regular camera bag does not provide the right protection and security for your gear. Renting some of the equipment required may be a cost-effective and much more convenient solution here.
I’ve had this idea in my mind for so long and I’ve never had the courage to actually bring it to reality, but I have a photography studio now! It’s not a small deal, and if you want to have one, you should have in mind that it’s quite the action that costs money, time and effort. I started small though, I wanted to get the essentials first and step by step buy the rest of the equipment and with that to become the type of photographer that can do portfolios for people. I’m fully devoted to that goal and I must say that besides making a thorough research online, an important part of the whole evolution of the job process involves visiting Australian camera stores to see how the technological aspect develops.
With such vast offer of products, one could really get confused and disappointed and just give up. That’s why I am here; I went through the entire experience, and I know what you need to buy first in order to start with your studio. The first thing you need to do is to of course find well-equipped Australian camera stores and then make your list of ‘things to buy’ to start your shopping hunt.
The backdrop is the background you’ll be taking the photos on. It’s something similar to a wallpaper and comes in a roll of paper. You can choose the size and colour, as it can be found at all possible options. An alternative to the paper could be a piece of cloth, like velvet or similar, which is always a good idea.
Obviously, this is your most important piece of equipment. Now, for a professional photography studio, you’d need a really good camera, and the choice of one really depends on various factors such as what will you be shooting, will you limit your work only in the studio, will you offer your favours to companies, and similar things to consider. The important thing not to forget here, is that your camera should be wired to the studio lights which means you need to get sync cables. Normally, don’t forget about choosing quality lenses and other accompanying gear for the camera as a separate piece of equipment.
For starters, you’d benefit largely from a softbox here. This is a diffuser, and as such it softens the light and makes the shadows less harsh, giving window-shaped catchlights in the eyes. You should also pay attention to the height, distance and angle of the main light so you acquire the light you want. The flash should be strong enough and most importantly, it should be controlled easily, like through a button on the flash head.
At the beginning, light will be your most important issue, as you want to know how to master this issue really well so you get awesome photos. The reflector is used to bounce the light back from the main light and direct it towards the shaded side of the subject’s face. The point of this is to still have a shadow but make sure it’s not too dark.
All in all, besides the proper location and some basic logistical features, these would be your most important elements so you can start working in your studio. Of course you’ll need to upgrade it as time passes by and you’re financially capable to do so. Do your magic.