I had a friend ask me recently, “I’m still a beginner, but I enjoy landscape photography and want to begin shooting portraiture. What do I do to get started?”
There is much I could say, but here are five important things I think you should keep in mind when you’re getting started:
- Never stop learning! Start with what you know, but always, always dig deeper. Know your camera instinctively. Ask “Why?” about everything. Keep weeding your pictures, displaying only what you think is the very best. Always strive for something better!
- Can you articulate your convictions in art? When you begin taking on jobs and interacting with people, there are many different situations you will run into. Know from Scripture what you will stand for on conviction versus what you think is nice based on personal preference.
- Do you have an online portfolio or blog? It’s vital to have a place for folks to go to get an idea of who you are, what you do, and what your work is like. Get people familiar with you before they even meet you in person.
- Get real-world practice. Offer to do things for free to get experience doing what is worth charging for. I did this for several years, but now I very seldom take a free job because I’m too busy working on paid jobs. As you practice, gain experience, and become more confident in your skills, the value of your work increases and you will be able to charge more for it.
- Begin networking. Let everyone know what you do. Facebook, Google+, personal website . . . church, family, friends, neighbors . . . be friendly, be enthusiastic, and do your very best!