Everybody nowadays have a great camera. Even IPhone has good one. And your mom tells you how pretty your pictures are - it's time to become a photographer! We all starting this way. And it's awesome! You learn some skills and tricks and getting better at this picture taking thing. Let's start a business.
There are few things to know before you do it! Or what I learned third time starting over. (As you know we moved 3 times in last 7 years and in every new place I followed my heart and learned my lessons :)
1. Nobody will take you serious with your NEW HOBBY
What makes makes you a professional photographer? When you are getting paid. Right? Maybe. But for a longest time ever my family was treating we as a person who snaps photos. Even my mom was not really sure about this thing. What is so hard and special about this photography. Go get a job. So, after almost 7 years I saw a glimpse of respect and appreciation from my family (my husband always my biggest fan, so it makes life easier :)
2. Hours and hours by computer!
We all creatives like pretty pictures. And hopefully by now know how to make them. But besides your photography craft you need a business license. (In South Carolina it was way different than in Seattle or Kansas. Do your research). And a website. Where to go? Which one to use? What template to adopt? And after that it's Facebook and Instagram. And Pinterest and tweeter and...
when I can go and take my pictures?!
3. It's very lonely
And when you try to figure all of this things out you did not communicate even to one soul. Maybe website support people and state officials.
Get a support group going. Go out for lunches with your friends and just get yourself out of the basement.
4. Networking is awkward
When you get done being lonely and realize you need people to know about your fantastic talent you start networking. Meeting strangers that do not have any interest in you. Because they are trying to do their own thing and trying to figure it out too. So, be positive and keep at it! You will find like minded amazing talented people. Just push through!
5. It takes time
Unfortunately (for me) to build up your following, client base and confidence takes time. I am very impatient person. It takes a commitment to get all the NOs to get to your first, second and third client who are not related to you. But than it gets better and better. You meet this amazing people and they trust you to capture their special moments!
6. You will do everything
From website building, to shooting, editing, shipping, cleaning, emailing, marketing, invoicing, and much more. If you are organized that would be very helpful. Every person creates their own system. But sometimes it make sense to invest in a system like 17 HATS that sometimes can save your life!
7. JUST DO IT!
Sometimes just moving towards some kind of direction is helpful. We are as visual artists want everything to be perfect. But that will not happen in the begging. When you just sit there and stare at the screen of your computer and tweaking photo here and there nothing is going to change! Keep moving. Keep shooting and you will see the light at the end of a tunnel (this is where I am right now).
8. Get support from your partner
Starting something new is always scary. It's frightening to put yourself out there. Financially, emotionally.
Give yourself time and build up your budget before you switch to photography full time. Even though you are an artist at heart you still need food, electricity and gas money.
9. Believe and hustle
More you do of both better and quicker you will get a result (especially financial one)
10. It worth it.
The biggest satisfaction for me is to see teared up eyes of the parents of a senior when I show them pictures for the first time, and excited coupe after their engagement photos. And couples coming back for their maternity and newborn photos after we shot their wedding couple years back. I do not change people, I do not save lives but I capture special moment for generations to remember. And its the most amazing time to be a photographer! Especially in Charleston.
Good luck to me and to you! It will be fun!