Are You Just Getting Started?
That very moment when you decide you want to do more with your photography than just share your images on social media and amongst friends – the question arises.
“What’s the path to becoming a successful photographer?”
That’s the one question asked by everyone who has ever considered going beyond being an amateur photographer to dreaming about becoming a full-time pro photographer. It holds true even if you want photography to be a more profitable hobby, while you keep your full-time job. There are college degrees you can get that focus on photography and that is certainly one way to go. Then again, I have found in doing my research that the majority of successful fine art, wedding, portrait and commercial photographers are self-taught as photographers and each has created their own path. Photography in a sense, is a field where you can blaze your own path to success. Most of the top photographers in the field today are self-taught individuals who developed technical and business skills as needed to move forward. Photographers like Chase Jarvis, Peter Lik, Art Wolfe, Thomas Mangelsen and Anne Geddes all began as amateurs at home and grew to the multi-million dollar photographers they are today.
Each of these photographers thought about the type of photography they like to do and asked themselves “how can I help someone else meet a need they have with my photography?” The whole goal of any business is to help someone else fill a need – and do it in a way that brings in more income than goes out to produce it. That is why successful photographers learn the business side of photography so they can put their creative and technical skills to use over a long period of time.
Take for example Chase Jarvis, a highly successful commercial photographer who got his start shooting snowboarders, skiers and families at the Crested Butte ski resort. Graduating from San Diego State University with a degree in Philosophy, he channeled his critical thinking skills into how to focus his efforts into making a living as a pro photographer. Self-taught photography and business skills, combined with a focus on his goals helped him grow his photography business into commercial success. With the success of his commercial work, he began building an online means of helping other photographers learn their craft and turned that into the CreativeLive Company that brings in over a$100 million dollars a year.
Take it from Chase – the road is yours to create.