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How to Become a Photographer Online for Free

Nov 13, 2019

Professional photography is a desireable career field. This article will discuss the career itself and the steps one can take in order to work toward becoming a photographer online for free.

Photographer Career Information

Photographers capture high-quality images for their clients or employers, and they may also retouch, print, and provide digital catalogs of these photographs. Professional photographers may also need to be able to schedule and organize appointments, market their services and maintain their equipment, including camera bodies, lenses, and lighting equipment, etc. Since this career does not require any postsecondary education or official certification, it is possible to prepare for this career online for free.

Required Skills Artistic ability, organizational skills, technological aptitude
Job Growth -6% for 2018-2028*
Median Salary (2018) $34,000*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Steps to Become a Photographer Online for Free

All of the below steps can be completed online and for free, the only exception being optional steps such as potential in-person classes (paid or otherwise) and any formal postsecondary education. Potential photographers should keep in mind, however, that there are costs associated with necessary basic equipment and technology to enter this career, such as a camera, lenses, and photo editing software.

Step One: Learn Photography Basics

A bachelor's degree is not required to be a professional photographer, however, an eye for photography does often need practice and direction. While there are many potential paid and in-person options, such as a degree in photography or photography classes, there are also many free online videos and web tutorials that can instruct interested learners on photography basics, camera use, and associated software. Those wishing to become professional photographers can find online resources covering the basics of camera work, including lighting, exposure metrics, framing, subject isolation, and other basics, with common household objects.

Step Two: Practice and Refine Skills

Those wishing to become a photographer can also practice on volunteer subjects. Many photographers begin their careers as assistants and learn on the job. The former option might be best for those wishing to start their own photography business, while the latter option might be most helpful for those wishing to become a photographer at an established studio or to simply learn the ins and outs of the business first hand.

Step Three: Build a Portfolio

To demonstrate to potential future clients your value as a photographer you can show that you have a strong portfolio. Each photography session is therefore not only a chance to generate customer satisfaction with current clients through excellent work but also to advertise to future clients. Demonstrating that your services are worth the associated costs with an impressive portfolio is a way to beat out the amateur competition. You may feature your portfolio online as a way to showcase your work and draw in new clients.

Step Four: Engage in Web Marketing

To begin increasing the volume of clients you have online, you might choose to advertise your services using free web platforms such as social media, blogs, and portfolio sites. A strong social media presence can generate interest for your new photography business, and although these sites often offer paid advertisement opportunities, there is no cost necessary to begin advertising your business with the free tools available.

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