The thing about freelance photography is that it does not require you to have an educational background to start a career as a freelance photographer. Many companies and businesses would rather hire someone with no educational qualifications in photography and then train them on how to work their equipment and style. Your zeal for photography, hard work and commitment are just enough to make a successful photography career.
Tips on Starting a Freelance Photography Career with no Experience
Work on your Skills
Photography is an art that you can easily learn and improve on with time. You do not necessarily need to enroll in a photography school; luckily, in this era of technology, you can easily find reading material online. It could either be an eBook, online course, or video tutorials.
Another great way to learn new skills is by attending workshops. This way, you get to learn a lot by getting one-on-one guidance from a professional photographer. On top of that, workshops are a great way to build connections, develop your style as well as finding internship opportunities.
Learning is always a continuous process, therefore, regardless of how good you think you are at photography, there is always a need to take a step back and refresh your knowledge. Besides, technology is ever-changing as well as the needs of clientele. Continuous learning will help you not become obsolete in your profession.
Find a Mentor
A mentor, preferably someone with great experience in photography, will be an added advantage to you especially since you are trying to venture into a field you have no experience in. your mentor will help you to network and give you real applicable knowledge of working in photography in real life.
You can easily find a mentor locally or by searching online and approaching someone you feel is working in line with what you envision for yourself.
Decide on a Niche
Photography is such a broad concept and it is very easy for one to get lost in the process. When starting with no experience, it is good that you take a lot of pictures until you can decide on what you are best at and feel comfortable with. Find inspiration from photographers that you admire but be original with your art. Some of the areas of specialization that you might want to explore include portraits, landscape, pet photography or aerial shots amongst many others.
Work with what you have
Starting photography can be quite tedious and expensive especially when it comes to buying the required photography equipment (what do I need to start a photography business).
However, when starting, you do need all that. What is best is you make do with what you currently have, even if it is a smartphone that can take good quality pictures, then you can gradually upgrade your equipment as you advance your skills.
Build a Portfolio of your Work
Any potential client would want to see your work in action and this can be made possible by having a strong portfolio. To be able to build this, you are going to need to land your first clients, which is not an easy task especially since you have no experience. We would recommend that you first do some free work with local models or business brands.
You will then use this project to build your portfolio which will in turn help you to market your services to potential clients.
When learning a new skill, it is important that you try and get as much feedback as possible; from friends, your mentor, other photographer or better still, from strangers who will have unbiased opinions.
One way to get unbiased feedback and rating of your work can be through taking part in photography competitions. By submitting your photos, you are going to get honest feedback from the host, who is possibly a highly skilled photographer. Also, you will be able to get ratings of your work in comparison to several other contestants.
Get your First Clients
There are a lot of work opportunities for photographers, however, as a freelance photographer with no experience, no one is going to come knocking at your door to inquire about your services.
Therefore, you need to go out of your way to actively market your services to potential clients; these could include models, companies as well as individuals who might come to require your services at some point, for example during a wedding ceremony or graduation party.
You can also create social media accounts (how to make money as a photographer on Instagram) where you will be able to share your work as well as market your services; this will help you reach a wider scope of potential clients.
Boost your Confidence
Photography will require you to be able to take pictures even in not-so-comfortable places like on busy streets, festivals or restaurants; it is not easy having people look at you as you work but it has to be done. You also need to get comfortable working with different people since you will need to give a ton of instructions to your subjects. Remember to keep it respectful and professional.
Confidence is very essential; it helps to show your potential clients that you are capable of delivering on your promises. Building your confidence is a gradual process, the more you practice the better you get at it with time.
Keep Taking Pictures
It is said that practice makes perfect. therefore the more shits you take the better you are likely to become at it. At first, you may need to offer a few free services to your close friends and family. These are great opportunities to practice your way around photography. If they like your work, they are likely to hire you for paid projects as well as refer you to others.
At the end of the day, photographers are judged by the quality of their work. Therefore, what you need to work on is developing your skills and building your portfolio to help you build a successful career as a freelance photographer.