What are some tips and suggestions to becoming a professional Photographer or Videographer?
I am a junior in high school and ever since I was little I had been interested in Photography and Videography (Probably because I grew up in a family of Photographers). Though I had been trying to get more and more into these two subjects because I usually like being able to capture the moment(s). So, I was wondering if there would be any tips and advice that I could get in order to be able to become successful in these two subjects as either a full-time or part-time job. I heard that it is very hard for those who have photography as a priority because it is difficult trying to find someone who will be interested in your specific style in both photography and videography. It would be helpful knowing how to start off and put yourself out there where people would be able to properly acknowledge the story that the picture or film is trying to put across... Starting off has never been a problem but the motivation has been a struggle when I doubt the end product. How are people also so confident in what they produce?
I would suggest looking into local photographers or videographers that you can either "shadow" or "volunteer" (for the time being) your time so you can learn and observe. Kind of like an apprenticeship. This will get you exposed to clients, styles, opportunities and help you gain confidence in what you are creating. I can tell you - it is of my opinion that every creative never is 100% satisfied with their end product -- there is always something they wish they did differently or would want to add etc.
I'd also recommend getting a website/blog where you can post your work and share it. Take photos or videos of the things in your life that inspire you or make you happy. Use family and friends as your subjects - they are free and usually patient :)
Lastly, look into classes that are offered to the community either at rec centers or through continuing education programs. You can never stop learning!
As mentioned before, talk to your school counselor about arranging some share time with a local photographer who is willing to 'share his/her talent'. The last part of the sentence is important; following someone around who is not willing to share the why and how behind aspects of the business will not be beneficial. Developing your own 'voice' in photography is important and that can be done with continuing your education both behind the camera and behind the computer. Find something that works for you, and constantly refine it. When you have the basics down, try something new to challenge your creativity with that skill. Lastly- Develop strong marketing skills. This is something that most photographers need help with.
Bob recommends the following next steps:
Practice. Practice. Practice. If you have a camera I suggest you take pictures of everything around you. Think of it as stories, create stories using still images or video. The more you shoot the better you’ll get and soon enough you’ll start to see the world with a new perspective.