There’s something utterly terrifying about jumping onto a totally new career path—or even just deciding to devote 110 percent of your time and energy to a career that you once considered to be a side gig or hobby. Not only do you have to figure out how to market your skillset, but you have to do so in a way that convinces people to hire you, too! For a lot of photographers who are trying to find their footing in this competitive industry, this challenge can feel daunting at best—but the truth is that right now is probably the best time ever to dedicate yourself to becoming a photographer. Seriously! And I’m going to let you in on all the reasons why.
Chances are, if you’ve decided that you want to become a fulltime photographer, you’ve met that little voice that sits in the back of your head that won’t stop teasing you. It loves telling you things like, “The photography market is so oversaturated,” or the classic, “But everyone else is already doing it, how could I ever stand out and succeed?” But that voice couldn’t be more wrong!
Here are a few of the other things that voice might be whispering in your ear as you try to muster up the courage to post a photo or send an email:
“Why would someone ever choose to hire me over someone else?”
“So-and-so is already so good at shooting what I want to shoot—I could never compete!”
Or, my personal favorite, “I don’t have the right equipment to be a professional photographer.”
Sound familiar? When this little voice shows up at your door with one of these paralyzing excuses in tow, here’s the one thing that you need to remember in order to stop it in its tracks before it ever has a chance to kill your spirits:
No matter how many other photographers are out there doing what you want to do, not a single one of them will ever be YOU. And what YOU have to say through your art, style, and experience matters! Being who YOU are, and owning it to the fullest extent, is all the edge you need to work your way into the photography industry and create for yourself the career of your dreams.
And if you can remember that and hold it close to your heart when that voice comes around to taunt you, then nothing else can stand in your way. Let go of these excuses and embrace all that is unique about you—because you deserve to go after what you want.
The best part? Believe it or not, the photography industry has probably never been swarming with as many work opportunities as it is today. In fact, I honestly believe that right now is one of the very best times in history to become a photographer. Here are some of the reasons why:
Two words: Social Media
This might sound super obvious at first, but social media has literally woven itself into the fabric of nearly everyone’s daily lives. It’s become an essential tool for people to connect with one another, promote their projects, and sell their goods. But the thing that people need most for their social media accounts to be successful is, you guessed it, high-quality photos. And this is where you come in! There is such a huge need for photo content that it can be hard for people and brands to keep up. People will scroll through hundreds—if not thousands!—of photographs without even giving it a second thought. It’s the high-quality images that catch people’s attention and get them to pause. Nearly everything we interact with on a daily basis in some way relies on having a social media presence, which means there is tons of work out there just waiting for you—you just have to seek it out first.
The Rise of Online Stores
Product work is an amazing way to get your foot in the door in the photography industry. And with the rapid rise of online shopping, brands need everything from e-commerce photos to product shots with models in order to market their goods. And since each brand wants to be unique and stand out, they need photographers with the know-how to help them express their brand voice and style effortlessly. And with new brands and small businesses starting up every day, there is a never-ending stream of opportunity for photographers to find the perfect match for their style and career goals.
Photoshop Can Help You Stand Out
Thanks to programs like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, it is easier than ever for photographers to take their images and refine them into a photograph that perfectly reflects their style. They allow you to add your own creative spin to just about any aspect of a photo that you can imagine (just make sure you’re shooting in RAW first!), which in turn creates a look and style that is uniquely you and will help your work stand out in the crowd.
Self-Promotion is Easier Than Ever
I know how scary “self-promotion” sounds, but it’s so essential to your success as a photographer—and the fact that our world revolves around social media gives you the perfect opportunity to use it to your advantage! How will anyone know to hire you as a photographer if you don’t tell them you are one in the first place?! Sharing your gorgeous, high-quality photographs on your own social media pages—everywhere from Instagram to Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok—is a great way from potential clients to see that you’ve got the talent they’re looking for.
The good news is that visual content sharing doesn’t appear to be going anywhere—which means that as a photographer there will always, always be work out there for you. You just have to find it! From brands to small businesses and magazines, strong, high-quality images are essential to success in our media-driven world. What could be more exciting than entering into an industry with such an endless array of opportunities?!
So, whatever you do, don’t let the obstacles and doubt get in your way—the world needs your talent, and you owe it to yourself to pursue what you’re most passionate about.