I received this email today and it's not the first time someone has asked me these questions. I thought I'd answer her on the blog incase there is someone else wondering the same things.
I have been reading your blog for about a year and you always give such great advice to beginning photographers so I was wondering if you could help me out as well. I just moved to a new area (Milwaukee, WI) and after being unhappy with my job I've decided to turn my photography hobby into a career. I'm just getting started and am only shooting with a Canon PowerShot SX20 IS until I can save up for a DSLR in the next few months. What advice do you have for building a portfolio and experience as a beginner on a budget? Most classes I've looked at require a DSLR and most photographers need a portfolio before they'll consider you as an assistant. I would really appreciate any recommendations on how to overcome these hurdles or other advice for a beginner that you could give me.
Thanks so much for your time Noemi!!
Here's the explanation I give at all my workshops:
Take Pictures - Sounds simple but, it's true! The more you take the faster you'll grow.
Learn your camera - Learn how you learn best! Use the internet free resources.
Shoot for free - You have to prove yourself first!
Build your portfolio - As you shoot for free, compile 1-2 shots from each shoot and store them in a portfolio folder.
Show your work - You're going to need constructive criticism in order to fix mistakes
Keep Learning - ask questions and offer to assist any photographer willing to teach you.
Start charging -Entry Level
Raise your prices when you have too much work
Start blogging or website
Get your information out there - referrals work
Any new type of shooting do for free to build your portfolio
Get to know other photographers - have them look at your pictures
Make it lucrative - look at what competitive pricing in your area
Know your competition
Know what you unique
Be confident on your camera and with people
Update your portfolio
Work on Branding, Marketing, Reputation
Get to know other Professional Photographers - offer to assist for free and learn from them.
Looking into WPPI or other teaching venues
Tara, I hope this is helpful! Definitely get a DSLR as fast as you can and up grade the lens soon after that! I wish you all the best! Love, Noemi.