How to turn photography from a hobby to a career

Whether you’re an enthusiastic photography student or part-time moment capturer for your personal Instagram, photography is a powerful hobby that you can easily turn into a career with a little time and money. While you don’t have to have the latest and greatest DSLR camera, mid-range smartphones are equipped with incredible cameras that can give you a leg up in your pursuit of turning photography from a hobby to a career. In doing so, you can quickly develop a fruitful side hustle that may just bring in more bucks for your student budget or prove to be an actual career path option if you are searching for a change in direction. In this article, we will outline the ways in which you can start pursuing a career in photography today!

Determine your niche

The first step in becoming a photographer is finding your niche and deciding what it is exactly that you want to shoot. This could be landscape, wedding, or portrait photography, among others that each offer different avenues into the professional photography game. Furthermore, each has distinct visual queues and rules to adhere to if you wish to excel in this niche. Once you have selected yours, then do as much research as possible into it to determine best practices as well as scope out the competition.

How to turn photography from a hobby to a career

Develop your portfolio

With a niche selected, you can begin snapping away at your favorite landscapes or weddings and start building a catalogue of images that represents your work within these areas. This will later on become your portfolio, as you wean through the reels of pictures to pick out the ones that best represent your abilities. Your portfolio will act as your pitch deck, allowing you to punt for potential new clients and send into galleries in the hope of being afforded the opportunity to exhibit them. 

Start pricing your pictures

Whether you have developed a strong portfolio that you will use to land wedding gigs or have a rich collection of exhibition work, once you have made it this far you will need to attach prices to your services if you wish to turn this hobby into a career. Different types of photography range dramatically across the pricing spectrum, so do your research into the kinds of prices photographers are charging in your respective niche.

Market your services

Maybe, up until this point, you have been relying on cold calling and word of mouth to get your work into the public eye. Alas, social media marketing will be your best friend in making a name for yourself and pushing your photography career. Instagram and Facebook are go-to tools for any photographer who wishes to earn through the art, providing platforms where images can be shared easily to promote the work and advertising can be done for affordable prices. You may also want to consider Pinterest if you wish to attach a blog to your pages or even start a website to host your portfolio. 

How to turn photography from a hobby to a career

Rack up testimonials

After some time in the game, you will start hearing positive feedback from the clients you partner with. This feedback is essential as you may use it to leverage the sale of your services to future clients. Incorporating your testimonials into your marketing efforts is another essential trick to securing new work, and it can do wonders for your reputation. 

Following these few steps will develop the foundations for you to launch your photography hobby into a profitable career!