Myths About Becoming a Professional Photographer in the UK

Want to become a professional photographer? It is exciting and excellent to realise something that was initially a hobby is able to transition over to a profession. Sadly, a majority of photographers begin with the excitement and ambition to become the professional, doing it full time, but come to eventually fail for one reason or another. Given this, here are some myths about becoming a professional photographer and the solutions for them.


Becoming a professional photographer will let me work my own schedule.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Theoretically, you can create your own schedule, but unless you intend to work every night and weekend, it won’t pan out as expected. Wedding and portrait photography is an option for this luxury, but unless that is your cup of tea, you may decide this work isn’t your ideal choice.


A wide variety of photographers recognise the benefit of shooting children and baby photos, as you are able to schedule most shoots during the day since many parents tend to their kids at home during the daytime.


Charging £50 an hour means I’ll make £50 an hour.

Well, not necessarily, unless you are lucky enough to schedule plenty of shoots to be able to spend a vast part of your time just shooting hour long sessions. You have to take into consideration the time to arrive at the location, set up the shoot, send proofs, edit the images, and work on the prints. With all this time spent on stuff other than photo sessions, you end up not actually raking in £50 per hour, but more like £30 or so.


It’s a rare case that a photographer is able to bring in a steady £75 an hour—again, possible but infrequent. If you’re able to have a regular client base to fill up your workday, maybe, and having clients willing to pay for individual printings with a premium, then sure. Otherwise, the likeliness of coming out profitable is slim.


Compliments on your work mean you’re ready for the big time.

Just because you’re receiving compliments on your photography, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re quintessentially a professional now or produce professional content. The biases of your friends and family lend them to see you and what you create as brilliant. Until people begin offering to purchase your work, don’t think you are ready to go pro.


Creative shots equal higher quality.

Don’t forget to care for the clients in the shots, and to not only think about your angles and creativity. Because, at the end of the day, it comes down to the clients and what they care about. They worry more about how they look in the picture rather than what leaps you took. You could even look at the history of photography to see what inspiration you could find.


Allow your clients to choose the photos they like and not what you prefer. Be sure to pass it by them first for what gets edited, and before the shoot, ask what they are wanting as the end product.


What if you aren’t able to show up, or something fails?

Remember to tell the client the risks involved and they understand if you’re alone and aren’t able to make it, that shoots can be made up, or if not, you will compensate them for the inconvenience.


A beautiful website will bring in clientele.

Truth be told, this isn’t the case. A gorgeous site with loads of photos will not bring clients or make your page show up at the top of the search results. Make sure your page is not only good looking but optimised for queries.


Forget learning light and get tonnes of flash equipment.

Natural lighting is great, but not realistic to expect everything to be shot in a naturally lit area. Learn how to use light properly and use the tools you’ve invested in.


Networking isn’t important.

Networking is critical in finding new clients to shoot. Offer pictures you’ve shot to owners of the events you’ve done. Send pictures of the wedding cake to the decorator, make friends with the owners of the places you have worked in. Referrals will happen when people begin to know you better.


Photography is thriving and growing.

It is growing, but the demand is not. There is an over population of photographers all fighting for the same money. Differentiate yourself from the rest, because if you don’t stick out, the chances of your success as a branded professional will diminish. Recognise your advantages over others, and allow your clients to see that difference.


Photography is fun. Doing it professionally will be too.

If photography is your hobby first, understand how making it a career will change your outlook on it. The act of capturing breath-taking photos differs from professional photography. Take some steps to ensure this is the route you want, maybe become a pro’s second shooter to get a taste of the field before diving in.


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