As Nietzsche once said – “we have art in order not to die from the truth.”
But how about making a living from art?
Like many people, you swipe out your camera whenever you see something interesting. At the beach, you take photos of your kids’ swimming. At a restaurant, a colorful and exotic vase catches your attention, and you quickly snap a pic to document it. Now, what if you could make a beautiful living out of this innate creativity you have?
It is possible. Today, the market for photos is higher than it ever has been. You can sell photos to local magazines, blogs, business owners, and many other sources.
But there is a problem: the number of professional photographers has also increased. You have some serious competition. And there is another problem: you don’t consider yourself a professional photographer. Terms like depth of field, shutter speed, and f/stop leave you clueless. Also, you should know about photography post-production and clipping path. So how can you become a famous local photographer with these obstacles in your way?
It’s not that hard.
Here is your comprehensive guide to becoming the famous go-to photographer of your local magazine publishers, blog writers, and businesses.
The First Three Steps on Your Path to Becoming a Famous Photographer in a Local Area
Every journey starts with a single step. To make it to the top in the world of photography in your area, here are three crucial measures you should not miss taking.
I. Just do it! You will never make it if you keep waiting for the perfect moment. If you put things off until you have attended this workshop or finished that photography course, you may never actually start. Procrastination, self-doubt, and worry will always stand in your way. So do the first step: start snapping photos today!
II. Start in your backyard. Your road to getting noticed begins with making a portfolio for yourself. You want to show the world what you can do with a camera.
So take some time each day to step into your backyard and find interesting subjects that might be hiding in corners, nooks, and crannies. Take a close-up of a bug with intricate and colourful designs. Notice the position of twigs or leaves that have fallen on the ground, and take photos of them.
The point of good images is to show people how you saw things and what they made you feel.
III. Go around your city. You don’t need to take photos of the Eiffel Tower or the Notre Dame Cathedral to get noticed. Go local first. Take pictures of people getting off the bus. Capture the light as it strikes on street signs. Show how the city breathes.
Once you have completed these three steps, you will have a portfolio. You can be proud to show off.
To Be a Famous Photographer, Take Unique and Interesting Photos
There are billions of photos already out there, so the way you can stand out and become famous is to take pictures that no one has made yet. Here are some tips you can follow.
- Attend local events and think unique. If there is a concert, an opening ceremony, or another exciting event in your area, be sure that you are one of the first people there. Of course, there will be other photographers milling about with their cameras. To stand out, think unique.
For example: most photographers will take photos of the main event: the speakers, the cutting of the ribbon, and the famous people attending the event. You can spice things up by taking note, with your camera, of the outside of the building, the unique decorations, the audience, and other things that go unnoticed in the noise and colour of the event.
- Capture the spirit of your city. There are a lot of ways to do this. Naturally, you can take photos of local buildings and tourist spots from different angles and perspectives. This is generally about capturing what it feels like to be in your city. You can take photos of an old lady selling vegetables at the local farmer’s market. Or a kid’s hand is reaching out for an ice cream cone. Convey the unique feel of your city, and with a little retouching service, your photos will get noticed.
- Work hard with technique. There are several techniques that work excellently towards turning a mediocre picture into something stunning. Here are some of them.
I. Put your subject into a naturally-occurring frame. For example, take a photo of a building from between two large tree trunks. Or one of the lovers holding hands in the doorway of a museum. The frame will make the picture more interesting.
II. Look for diagonal lines (or create them!) Diagonal lines lead eyes into the heart of the photo. So watch out for these lines whenever you step outside with your camera. You will be surprised how many you find: the slant of tiles, a fence, or an aisle between work desks in an office. If the lines are straight, change your angle to turn them diagonal!
III. Watch out for the right lighting. With outdoor photography, you rely a lot on the light and the weather for good photos. It is a good idea, then, to wake up before sunrise. You can also take pictures of your city before complete darkness falls at night, but after the neon signs have come flashing on. The depth added by shadows will give your photo different emotions.
Following these steps, your portfolio will be even more attractive and stunning. More importantly, it will show how you convey what a local area feels like through your photos.
Get Out there and Promote Your Photos!
It certainly is not enough to have a gorgeous portfolio. You need to go out there and market yourself! You can start by creating a website. Post your photos on the site. Start writing a blog. Give tips on how to take great pictures, marking yourself as an expert in the industry.
Approach local magazines, businesses, and travel companies, bringing along your portfolio or gallery with you. In no time, you will find yourself with your first assignment. This is the most significant step towards becoming a famous photographer in the local area.
If you follow these tips and never give up, you will one day find yourself living your dream of making a living out of art.
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