There are a lot of different opinions on how to become a professional in the field for any creative position. Aaron Nace from PHLEARN give his take on how to become a professional photographer and while a lot of this is photography driven there are definite concepts that being in the field for 13 years I can say are definite gold for getting employed as a freelancer. If I could add anything to this video it would be offering services for a limited time free of charge at a place you really want to work at. Now I understand that if you need to pay bills, feed yourself, or pay rent this isn’t the advice you want to hear, however, if you want to network and want to essentially audition for a company this is the way to do it. I was taught in school never to do this for the fear that people either will take advantage of you or won’t take you seriously, however, I graduated before the recession and a lot of the stuff that they taught is no longer applicable in this business. So do some free work but give the company you’re doing it for like three weeks at three days at a time. If they’re not willing to pay you after that ask if you can use them as a reference, notate it as freelance on your resume and move to the next company. As long as you’re not starving this will get you in the door.

Below are some notes from the video:

  1. Getting into corporate photography
     – become an assistant 
  1. Networking
    – get inspired by others
    – find people who’ll help
    – keep doing it
  1. Light Metering
    – finds the proper exposure
    – especially when using flash
  1. Essential Gear
    – speed lights
    – 50mm 1.4 or 1.8
    – natural lighting
    – concepting 
  1. DYI or School
    – School = Structure
    DYI = Self Driven
  1. When should you charge?
    – When people come to you
    – don’t feel bad to charge
    – dollar amount varies
    – don’t lowball your price
    – think if a price and double it
    – explain the process to the client
  1. When to start a business
    – teach for money
    – find the demand go from there
  1. How to socially interact with clients
    – let your work speak for you
  1. Transitioning to paid work
    – work with different people
  1. Becoming a Getty contributor
    – not worth it
    – can make more money on your own

All in all, it’s all solid advice. I would definitely consider a lot of this, being that I’m not a photographer, as a great starting point and then figure out what works for me personally after that point. I’m also looking to get more into professional photography to create more of my own original content for my designs so any comments below are appreciated for sure.

– Aa

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