Turn Your Photography Hobby Into a Source of Income
By conventional standards, finding happiness at work is a rarity. It is easy to fall victim to mundane work cycles, since most of us view the pursuit of dreams as unrealistic. We would jump at the chance to leave our 9-5 job, yet rarely do anything to change the status quo. But what if we said you could get paid for doing something you enjoy, and translate your hobby into a successful career?
Though job security and societal norms can pressure us to stay in our jobs, by doing your due diligence and following decisive steps, why can’t we follow our dreams? Though it probably seems far from reality, normal business rules apply, where to get anywhere you need to leverage effective marketing tools to gain exposure. A fantastic example of a cost-effective, popular marketing method is postcards, which can additionally showcase your work. In this sense, they’ll serve a double purpose, highlighting your skills while promoting your business. Remember to diversify, capitalizing on various marketing approaches to advertise your services in the public eye.
Today, everyone seems to be an amateur photographer, but most don’t realize the potential to turn this into a rewarding career. If you’re the type of person who envisions leaving work to get your hands on a camera, you’re halfway there. With this being said, how exactly do you turn your photography hobby into a source of income?
Buy a Great Camera
A great workman needs great tools, and with the right equipment you’ll be positioned to capture magical moments. Buying a high quality camera is a foundation for success, and your decision depends on your ambitions. A Digital Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) is great for storing thousands of photos, with adjustable settings which fit any environment. If you’re serious about photography as a source of income, select a camera with an interchangeable lens, and avoid budget restrictions.
Find Your Niche
It’s difficult knowing where to start, but practical experience is telling. Take a wide range of jobs initially to help define your niche, because you’ll begin to learn more about the specialisms you enjoy most. Along your journey, a specific area will resonate, and this will indicate the niche that’s right for you. Once you’ve made a decision, your specialist skills will instill confidence in customers, who will feel more comfortable hiring you for certain jobs.
Devise an Online Portfolio
Your online portfolio should be a true representation of your expertise, knowledge, and experience. It is the most powerful marketing tool for any photographer, since prospective customers can observe your skills upfront. Your portfolio is an opportunity to showcase your talent, creating a professional story your clientele can relate with. It should speak for you, communicating your artistic voice. Client’s will be strongly influenced by your portfolio, so it’s important to highlight your best work.
Share Your Work!
Once you’ve created a portfolio, your next step is sharing it with the world. The influx of social media has created multiple platforms for sharing content, from Instagram to Tumblr. Sharing content in relevant groups and prioritizing online outreach will help your pictures gain exposure, while effectively building your brand. Followers can translate to customers, but if it’s a slow process, be patient and never give up on your dreams!
Remember to treat your photography aspirations like a business, not a hobby, implementing proper invoicing to track your progress. Establish your prices in accordance with your cost structures, and get things running from the ground up! With the business side of things taken care of, you can focus on your true passion - Photography! There are multiple job opportunities, so keep your eyes open for weddings, family pictures, or even work at professional studios!
Thanks for reading. Hopefully you’ve found this article informative, and if you’d like to contribute to the conversation or have any questions, please comment below and kick-start the discussion.
Author works in internet marketing, and has done for more than a decade. Originally working with one of the top internet marketing firms in London, UK, he went on to work as a freelance SEO consultant, and eventually went on to start his own internet marketing firm, which provides high quality white-hat link building and content creation services.