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careers in photographyHow can you build a rock solid foundation for a great career in photography? It all begins with taking classes, learning about business, choosing a career path and building a clientele. Successful, satisfying, long-term careers are only possible when built upon a firm foundation.

Photographers must have formal and informal knowledge of their craft, dedication and motivation and talent, not to mention a great head for business. The best way to begin to transform into a professional photographer is with education. Try taking one of many photography courses like this one offered by Udemy.

Take Photography and Photo Editing Classes

Photographers can’t subsist on talent alone. It’s extremely rare for a photographer with no formal knowledge of flow, movement, color, lighting, etc. to succeed in the field. It takes a solid understanding of all aspects of photography to do the job well. However, not every budding photographer is in a position to take fine arts and business courses at a formal college. Online learning is an excellent option for those struggling to make time for classes or who can’t afford the high price of traditional fine arts schools.

Beginner’s photography classes like this one offered through Udemy will teach basic technical knowledge you need to know in order to start honing your craft. Just like in a normal college setting, a great entry level photography class on the internet will help you learn about different types of lighting, photographing a variety of subjects with different types of cameras and filters while also helping you develop your own personal style. Not only will you begin to learn about the artistic side of taking photos, you’ll learn about marketing your product and make money while you continue to learn.

More advanced photography classes will expand on different mediums, introduce intricate lighting systems, and explain the complexities of professional camera settings and so much more. Capturing moods, thoughts, actions and emotions becomes easier, a certain style emerges and talent starts to shine. Mid-level and upper-level classes are sharply focused on formal and functional learning and will teach you how to put your passion to good use. These classes will help you develop the skills to take photos that can touch the hearts of the viewer, build a clientele base and launch a truly wonderful career.

In today’s world, retouching is a service most clients expect. Photoshop and other photo editing software programs are a must in the field of photography. As a professional, you will need to learn to use the tools of the trade at a level much higher than common knowledge applications. Learn to use layering, filters, airbrushing and light to bring a picture to life. Software is an incredibly powerful tool, and superior skills can take you a long way towards success. To learn more about photo editing, take a course!

Learn to Manage Personal Finances and Run a Business

Not only do photographers need to learn their craft, they need to learn to manage their money wisely. Photographers who want to be their own bosses need to understand the rules of business before branching out on their own. Business owners must initially invest a sizable sum of money to purchase equipment, travel to work locales, take classes, and rent a studio. Very few photographers come straight out of photography class and launch a successful freelance career.

Nearly all businesses fail due to a lack of cash flow. To gain cash flow, you have to learn how to market your services and product, generate leads and close sales. Marketing is incredibly important to any business’ bottom line. You’ll need to know who you’re marketing to, how to reach them and what sets your photography apart from the competition.

Qualifying your products and services is important, but it’s not everything. People often make purchasing decisions based upon emotions, especially when it comes to photography. They want to capture an important moment or event. If you can stir the prospective customer’s emotions and connect with them, you can almost always overcome their objections and make a sale.

Business classes and knowledge of personal finance is imperative to the success of a freelancer. Without the proper foundation, photographers are setting themselves up for a heartbreaking failure, not to mention hard financial times. Get started the right way by taking a photography business class like this one through Udemy.

Find a Specialized Area of Photography

A formal education can take you a long way towards a successful career in photography. The field is incredibly versatile, and there are many career paths to pursue. Whether contracting work as a freelancer, heading your own startup or working for a company as a regular staff member, photographers can launch lucrative careers behind their cameras.

 Fine arts photographers typically make their living by approaching potential clients with their portfolios. Private collectors, all types of designers, fashion executives, news media, art galleries, engineers and architects, city, state and federal entities and even corporations hire freelance fine art photographers. In order to enjoy a long and successful career, freelancers need to be self-starters with excellent sales skills. Learn how to take professional grade photos with simple beginner’s gear with a class like this one from Udemy.

 Staff photographers usually work in the media and are responsible for capturing images the entire nation views. They must be organized, dedicated and loyal to their organization. The types of photographers enjoy the benefits of corporate environments: steady paychecks, medical insurance, retirement funds and more. If security is what you want, consider a career as a staff photographer.

Forensic photographers normally live in large cities and work with law enforcement agencies to document crime scenes. This type of career requires nerves of steel, the ability to answer the call of duty around the clock and a willingness to testify in court. Forensic photographers are highly respected individuals with steady careers. While there may not be much room for advancement with this career route, if photography is your passion this career will satisfy you.

Event photographers capture precious or momentous moments in clients’ lives. This career path is perfect for those who appreciate sentimentality and can project emotions through their photos. Event photographers almost always contract their services as freelancers, so stability isn’t always possible. If you have great networking skills and can make sales, this may be a great area for you.

Wildlife and travel photographers have the best of both worlds. They get to have exciting careers traveling the world while for major publications. Media corporations usually provide good health, retirement and medical benefits. Those who work in travel fields also enjoy the added benefits of getting paid to go on fabulous vacations. If you’ve got itchy feet but still want security, look into the field of travel and wildlife photography.

Still life photographers usually work for magazines. It’s a still life photographer’s job to help sell magazines and newspapers by catching the eyes of browsing readers. This career path can be very rewarding and stable, and side work is easy to find once you have an established portfolio and references. This is a great option for those who see the beauty in simplicity.

Fashion photographers work with elite models and major design houses to promote their image, brand and products. This is one of the most glamorous fields on the planet, and you must be talented and technically skilled to succeed. Because the fashion industry is so competitive, most photographers have excellent photo editing skills to help set them apart from the competition. Sharpen your photo editing skills with a course like this one from Udemy.

 It’s important to take a realistic look at your career options before deciding on the path that’s right for you. Freelancing offers the most flexible career path, though it requires extensive marketing skills, strict discipline and the understanding that he/she is the brand. If your marketing skills aren’t great, you’re introverted or you don’t have the time or energy to do sales, this is not an good option for you.

If being your own boss isn’t a comfortable situation for you, and the security of a regular paycheck and benefits eases your mind, the corporate world is the way to go. Start reading up on education requirements to get your foot in the door with the media, a magazine or other established companies.

Without an education, many gates to amazing careers will remain locked. Break through those gates by signing up to learn the fundamentals of photography with a Udemy course like this one. With the right classes and talent, you can get on of many dream careers in photography.

Page Last Updated: February 2020

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