Zoë Noble Education

Business, Inspiration

Pursuing a career in photography? Start with these 5 pieces of pro advice

Beauty photography of model holding flowers
  1. Marketing is a must! Block in time every week 📧

Listen, I get it. As an English person, selling myself doesn’t come naturally. 😅 But the reality is, it doesn’t matter how good your work is if nobody sees it!

Thankfully, there are many ways to market yourself in today’s digital world, so it’s not all about cold calls and meetings. For solid advice on pitching for photography work, check out this blog post by Olivia Bossert. Olivia’s focused on fashion, but her tips can ABSOLUTELY be used for getting all kinds of photography work.

2. Learn as much of the creative process as you can 🤓

It’s no secret: the photography market is incredibly saturated. A great way to stand out from the crowd, and offer your clients as much value as possible, is to hone as many different skills as you can.

For example, having a solid grasp of lighting is essential. Sure, many photographers hire lighting assistants, but that’s not always an option when you’re starting out. If you’re working solo and something isn’t working lighting-wise, or the client isn’t happy, it’s on you to solve that problem. Learn the fundamentals, and you’ll be adaptable enough to work something out. Become a master and wow your clients so they’ll never forget you!

And if you’re looking for ways to level up your lighting, check out my online course One Light Product Photography 💅

3. Grow together! Find communities to support you 🌱

Being a solo business owner can get lonely. That’s why it’s important to find other creatives, who can offer support, answer your questions and benefit from your help in return.

Check out Facebook for photography groups in your area and search your other socials for creatives you can vibe with. My Zoë Noble Education FB Group is a great place to start, as is this list of the 25 best photo forums and groups. Get out there and start marking friends!

4. Treat it like a REAL BUSINESS 📈

If you want to be a photographer 5 years down the line, you HAVE TO treat this like a real business. That means setting yourself up for success!

Work out how much you should be charging by calculating your Cost of Business. That’ll let you know how much you need to earn per shoot to actually make money! 💰 Here’s a super-simple calculator to get you started.

And make sure you’re protecting yourself with a rock-solid Terms and Conditions document that every client must sign before going ahead with a job. When the shit hits the fan, you’ll be happy to have a contract that covers you – trust me! If you’re in the UK, the AOP offer great free downloads, and if you’re in Germany, Google “AGB fotograf” for tips and templates!

5. You’re special! Find and focus on what makes you unique 💎

When you’re getting started, emulating other photographers is a great way to learn and develop your skills. But what’s going to set you apart and attract clients is creating work that is completely unique to you. Because no one else IS you!

Think about what you love and where your strength lies, and lean into this. Remember that it’ll take time to find your style and feel confident in who you are as a photographer, but creating work that aligns with your passions is a great place to start!

Thanks for reading!

— Zoë