Becoming a professional photographer: 6 tips for taking the plunge

Becoming a professional photographer: 6 tips tips for taking the plunge

In our ongoing Shoot Like A Pro series we teamed up with our sister title, the Nikon magazine N-Photo, to explore the many different ways you can sell photos online, in print, and elsewhere in ways you might not have considered before. In our latest instalment we speak to a pro who shares his top tips for making the leap.

Becoming a professional photographer: 6 tips tips for taking the plunge

All images by Mark Upfield

Mark Upfield has spent eight years building up his expertise. He now shoots landscapes and offers family portraiture and wedding photography in Hampshire. Here he shares his advice on how to make the leap into professional photography.

01  Shadow a pro
Gain experience by working as trainee in a studio or shadowing a photographer. It won’t make you much money, but it’ll give you the know-how to start charging for your work.
much do you tend to get paid?

02 Catch the dawn for landscapes
Want your landscape shots to sell? You’ve got to get up early to capture classic sunrises. I often wake up and drive to my location at 4am. I’ll be back at the studio and editing shots by 8:30am.

Becoming a professional photographer: 6 tips tips for taking the plunge

03  Follow trends    
You’ve got to balance shooting what 
you love with shooting what’s popular. Keep an eye on magazines, websites and competitors to see what’s on trend in your specialist area.

04 Learn to keyword
When you upload images to an online portfolio or a stock website, clearly label them with keywords, including the location and the camera and lens you used.

Becoming a professional photographer: 6 tips tips for taking the plunge

05 Don’t give up
I have heard statements like “That’s not a real job” and “You can’t make money from photography any more” so many times I now switch off when conversations head that way. 
I now work longer hours I love every minute.

06 Join forces
As well as selling my landscape images I’m also part of a company called Simply Event Photos, covering weddings with a team of photographers. While you split the profits, you gain support, contacts and expert knowledge.

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