A selfie an hour is the norm these days. People upload pictures almost daily on their face book/instagram pages. Profile photos on the various apps of our smart phones are something that we all browse through regularly before bedtime.
Within a span of two and a half decades, the career prospects of photography have changed dramatically – so much so – that there are no more hard copy matt and glossy pictures decorating heavy albums anymore. Everything is compiled and touched up and burned onto a CD.
In such an intensely competitive arena, is there any scope at all for people to pursue their passion of photography? Isn’t every Tom, Dick and Harry taking pictures on all occasions to preserve for posterity? What then is the difference between a professional photographer and a novice? Is professional photography worth pursuing as a career? Will it be financially lucrative? What kind of skills should a professional photographer equip himself with?
Here are some tips that will prove to be useful to people who are passionate about photography:
Step 1: Master your craft thoroughly:
Learn the terminology.
Shutter speed, depth of field, focal length of the lens, different kinds of lenses, zooming, grains on the film of the camera and how it affects the quality of the photographs, using the flash and how the lighting around the object affects the final photograph.
Familiarize yourself with all the manual settings and options that different kinds of cameras offer.
Explore all kinds of cameras and observe the differences in features.
Learn how best you can use them to your advantage.
There may be several automatic cameras out there in the market. But a true professional photographer will never opt for such a camera. And that is the difference between a novice and a time pass photographer and a person who is passionate about taking good photographs.
Step 2: Go in for the best professional camera that you can afford.
We strongly recommend the DSLR camera for people who are serious photographers. The second half of this article highlights all the advantages of a DSLR camera.
Not all of us may be able to afford such an expensive camera initially. But even scrimping and saving every penny to buy it at a later stage will work to your advantage.
The best thing here is when you graduate to a DSLR from the point and shoot camera – you will realize how much you learned from the sturdy old point and shoot camera of yours!
The features that a DSLR offers are simply amazing and we have a wider range of options to create that ultimate great photograph!
The DSLR camera also has an auto mode for people who simply want to take that snap now……..when there is absolutely no time to go in for any kind of manual settings.
But a true professional will rarely use the auto mode feature.
Step 3: Develop your people skills:
Yes, photography too is an art, a creative pursuit that can keep you engrossed over the computer for hours together. But at the end of the day – if you are keen on earning your bread and butter from this art – you need to step out of your comfort zone.
Your knowledge, skills and talent as a great photographer will not be of any use if there are no takers for your business. Like any art form – unless you have an audience or people who view the paintings/sculptures/photographs – your art and your passion will live and die with you.
So expose yourself to new people and new experiences.
Mold your skills and use your expertise to cater to the specific needs and the requirements of your clients. You need to learn to compromise on what you think and feel is right and bend over backwards to match the requirements of different clients.
Again – yes – different strokes for different people – different people will have unique requirements. You need to tailor your end product accordingly.
Step 4: Multitask:
You will learn:
- To take calls at all times of the day and respond to email enquiries.
- To gauge how many enquiries finally get converted to a photo shoot.
- To talk calmly and politely and professionally at all times.
- To make bookings and juggle your projects properly so that you do not wear yourself out.
- To negotiate and as you slowly gain expertise – you will slowly master the skill of being firm on the professional fee that you charge.
- To calculate the total expenditure that you incurred during the photo shoot.
- To make an estimate of how much you earn from each photo shoot that you work on.
A virtue like patience when you realize that your success depends on the reputation that you create for yourself.
That reputation takes a lot of time to build and is directly related to the quality of work that you turn in and also on the way you conduct yourself amidst people.
Communication and Marketing and Advertising and Customer Service and Business Organization on a first hand basis.
Slowly but steadily.
That setting up any kind of business takes time. The initial few years may prove to be discouraging to even the most passionate photographer. But a person who is full of grit and determination is bound to experience success at some point of time – and then the going will only be upwards after that.
We come back to step 2 of our article where we promised to give you a list of
The advantages of a DSLR camera:
DSLRs are quiet cameras.
The inbuilt mechanism has been designed to generate minimalistic noise specially while generating JPG images. This special feature is of great use when we take pictures of wild animals and birds. The noise does not alarm or distract them.
DSLRs are great on speed.
The image sensors in DSLRs are larger than other cameras. This means a DSLR has larger pixels. This enables us to shoot pictures at a faster shutter speed which means we get to catch all those fine nuances that are very fleeting and quick.
DSLRs generate quality pictures.
The images that are generated are less grainy because the pixel size is big.
DSLRs are versatile.
We can change lenses to suit the occasion. This gives us a lot of flexibility as we can now judiciously use all the different permutations and combinations to capture the perfect picture.
Wide angle, super long focal length, Zoom lenses et all…you can buy each lens as and when you can afford it and simply get going.
You can use the host of accessories like flashes and red/green and UV filters, play with the final image and add special effects before you finally present them to the client.
When you have mastered the art of using all these different lenses, filters and flashes properly – the quality of the images that you generate will be beyond comparison.
DSLRs are known for their depth of field.
Whether you want to capture the beauty of a single rose flower by the morning light or take a picture of a crowd of 50 people – the DSLR will bring everything from the foreground to the background into focus.
This is truly an all inclusive feature – which ensures that every little feature or every person standing in front of you is in the photograph too!
DSLRs give you ultimate control.
A DSLR is designed for a professional photographer who knows the value of manual settings and is an expert in operating them in a jiffy.
A professional photographer knows his DSLR inside and out and all the manual controls are just a finger tip’s touch away so that they can simply flick them quickly before shooting a photograph.
A professional photographer will understand how each feature works within the camera and he will then have to play with the light around him in order to capture that perfect picture.
DSLRs are the ultimate cameras that we need to graduate to.
Working on any kind of camera and tinkering around with the manual settings will help us understand the basic working of a camera.
The more cameras you explore and experiment with the more the learning that you will glean.
Please Note – We are not suggesting that you go back in history to learn the basic working of a camera – but when you begin right at the beginning and slowly progress to a DSLR – you will know exactly what to expect when you use a particular feature. You will know how to select the right feature at the appropriate moment and you will be able to visualize the final image in your mind’s eye even before you click that photograph.
In short you will develop your photography skills properly well before you finally buy your DSLR.
DSLRs are expensive but worth every penny that we spend on.
The range of features is all listed above – and we know it is the ultimate camera that every passionate photographer will eventually graduate to!
So keep learning and use all the tips given above to click that perfect picture. Photography is a passion with a lot of promise and for people who want to pursue it professionally – the sky alone is the limit!