There are certain things that all photographers need and there’s also a clear list of things that photographers do not need.
Many photographers start to blur the lines of these two lists because they think they need something more than what they have or they get caught up in the rat race of having the best of everything. Here’s the thing, at the end of the day, photography is art and art is entirely based on appreciating and the capturing of something that gives or creates emotion.
The most basic needs that a photographer must have in order to be successful can be summed up in a very short list.
You need time to practice. Young photographers, not necessarily meaning age either, always feel stuck when the money doesn’t come right away. Instead, they need to work harder on themselves and their skills rather than trying to sell their business that they haven’t built.
Practice will not make perfect all the time, but practice will make permanent. It will allow your camera to become an extension of your hand and an extension of your eye and that’s the kind of thing you need to build a business.
You need to be reaching out. There are a shocking amount of online classes, courses, webinars, conferences, and more that are available to you for relatively inexpensive and advice is going to be the one thing that will speed up your learning curve. It will get you over the hurdles other photographers experienced with ease while they were stuck and stumbled over for months or even years.
It gives you an insight into the life and talents of a professional photographer who has made it and built their business and this advice is so invaluable. Plus, in a world where social media is the easiest way to communicate, reaching out has never been easier.
3. Technical Knowledge
As aforementioned, you absolutely need technical knowledge of your gear to even begin to capture the images you are capable of. That doesn’t mean you need to buy the most expensive or the largest pieces out there. It does mean that you need to learn how to use every single button, preset, and function of that piece of gear before you can ask anyone for money.
Having basic camera knowledge will help you evaluate situations, find out what works best in what environment, and will teach you how to be super flexible during your photo shoots. Now, odds are no one (other than the occasional photographer) will even ask you about your gear but you can really make your business suffer if you’re not using your gear correctly.
4. Business Knowledge
Without suggesting you get a business degree, although it might be helpful in some cases, you don’t want to waste your time trying to run a business with a photographer’s mentality. You have to be able to switch roles from creative to a business owner at a moment’s notice.
Photographer is your role to create content and product and to build a relationship with clients, but the business owner will need to track your profits, watch your taxes, and evaluate your expenses because if those factors are not aligned correctly, it won’t matter how great of a photographer you are, your business is subject to fail.
Four simple things that are all entirely attainable are the basic needs for photographers in starting their business. Stay tuned next week for four things that photographers don’t need, but they often think they do to be successful.
With some research, practice, advice, and a little bit of technical and business knowledge, you can finally take your passion and your craft into a full-blown business.