Struggling to Break into Professional Photography?

Being a professional photographer is becoming more and more of a sought-after career. If you are struggling to make the jump, here are some pointers that might help you out.

When I wanted to become a professional photographer way back in 2008, I assumed that it would be a pretty quick transition. I had my camera, and I could expose an image and use off-camera flash. I was ready, or so I thought. About a decade later, I had finally learned enough to be competitive as a commercial photographer. 

For some reason, I assumed it would be easy to get into a creative career, especially coming from a scientific background. Little did I know just how much information I had to absorb before I could do the smallest of shoots. By the time I shot my first worldwide ad campaign, I had spent about seven years of seven-day weeks working and learning for 10-12 hours a day. Even now, I spend a huge amount of time learning and trying to improve my craft every single week. 

This video covers some key areas in which photographers end up falling short of the mark when trying to turn from hobbyist to professional. From work ethic to finances, these pointers are key if you want to become part of a very small percentage of photographers who pay their bills with a camera. 

I personally believe that anyone can become a professional photographer. I managed it, and I am the sort of person who has the ability to lock themselves out of their home completely naked. But knowing what it takes is really useful. I thought I knew what it took to be a professional photographer when I started out; clearly, I was miles from the mark. Yet, a decade later, I am starting to understand the work ethic and skills required to make this hobby work as a profession. 

What has your biggest learning curve been so far?

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