5 Questions New Photographers Should Ask Themselves

You’ve decided to become a professional. Great! Your passion, desire to change careers, or some other burning motivator has brought you to this point. So what do you do? What should you think about? Here are 5 good questions/items to consider and ask yourself now that you’ve made the decision.

1 – How do I get started?

Making the decision was the easy part, now you need to sit and think about your next steps. This first question is more of a meta question as it will entail a lot of other ideas. The main goal here is to start thinking about the next few weeks, months and steps that you need to take to actually start. Does this mean creating a website? Does this mean selecting your best work for your online portfolio? It depends on what your exact goals are, but this first step is more of a question that should lead you to organizing your next few moves.

2 – What do I want to do?

Think about your passion here. Are you strictly interested in boudoir photography? Nudes? Portraits? Fashion? Or maybe you are interested in portraits? Perhaps you are interested in all of the above? Then begin to think about your art, are you doing what you need to get to where you want to get?

3 – Do I have the right equipment?

Sure, you want to shoot great portraits, but where will you do that? Do you need a home studio? Do you need to build a relationship with someone who can let you use their studio? Do you just want to do on-location or outdoor portraits? What kind of equipment will you need to get started doing what you want to do? Will you need a prime lens for portraits? Will you need some versatility and thus a nice zoom lens? Will you need reflectors, diffusers, off-camera flash, etc? My advice is to start light and buy gear/equipment as you need it. Let your craft and workload dictate your shopping.

4 – How should I manage my time?

Now that you’ve decided to do this, and you know what you want to do, what you will need to do it, you need to ask yourself another question: How much time can I dedicate? How will I dedicate that time? How will I manage that time? You need to consider all of these things. You need to make sure you make enough time to update your portfolio/website, that you reply to customer e-mails/messages. You need to make sure you have enough time to actually shoot images. Look at your calendar and set specific times to get things done. Stay organized.

5 – What are my weaknesses?

You are new, let’s face it, you are human and thus you have weaknesses. Humble yourself and write a list of your strong points and your weak points. You need to, as a professional, work on your weaknesses on a constant basis. Otherwise your weaknesses will rule your craft, you will get pigeon-holed into a specific line of photography or eventually give up because your work will not show your passion. To stay ahead of the competition and to make sure you continue to bring customers in, you need to look inside yourself and continually improve on your weaknesses. Besides, personal growth is a great source of happiness.