More than 95 million photos are being shared every single day on Instagram alone. So it is undoubtedly true that as a photographer you are going to face a lot of competition. It also means that the world needs a lot of photos and thrives off them. But, opportunities still exist to carve out a successful career in Photography provided that you have the right skills. Most commercial photographers are self-employed, so skills related to the business are the most important. On the other hand, if you do not have the right business skills, it is possible to drop out of the business pretty quickly.
It is not to mention that you must have to master your camera and equipment. You must not be fumbling around reading the camera’s manual during a shoot. You must be introduced to all the buttons and settings, and how they affect your photos. It appears to be easy and simple, but it is not. The current technology is amazing if you can make it work for you, but it is distasteful when you do not know what you need to do.
It is an extremely valuable skill to compose a photo inside a camera. Given enough time, you can learn it, but no one can teach it to you, so it is better you have it right out of the box. In my opinion, it is an inherent quality and it is what makes an artist an artist. Anyone can learn to work with a camera, but only a true artist can compose good photos regardless of the circumstances, i.e. bad exposure or suffering from lighting.
Similar to the composition, skills to seeing the light take time to develop. While some people master it quite readily, some others can not grasp it forever. An expert commercial photographer will be able to capture composition and texture within the photo using artificial or natural lights. It is really one of the most fundamental skills in photography that every photographer needs to master before they can get any success of whatever scale.
Commercial photography is all about creativity and imagination. Anyone can take a photo, but a talented commercial photographer can take a look at the subject and come up with a creative idea to make the photo unusual or interesting. They use the tools on their hand (camera angle, lighting, composition, exposure, focus, perspective) to create a photo that is worthy of being sold.
Marketing is actually the most important business skill that a commercial photographer needs on a daily basis. As a commercial photographer, if you are not shooting you must be doing marketing for your photography business. It’s that simple. The success of your business depends on sales, and sales do not occur until you do proper marketing.
No matter where your photography business stands- at the beginning, or a full-blossomed business, you will need some accounting skills to keep track of your business. This is extremely important when you want to track the cash flow, income tax returns, and other financial matters. Without proper bookkeeping, it is not possible to measure the health of your business. So in order for you to thrive in your business, you need to do the bookkeeping yourself or hire an accountant for you. If you are just starting out, you may take help from some online courses, then once the business grows you may consider hiring a professional.
As marketing skills are important for your photography business, you will also need some people management skills. This will be required when you deal with clients or even vendors. You do not really have to be a super-social person, but it helps. Clients feel comfortable working with people with whom they would like to spend their valuable time. You may think that it is only your amazing photographic ability that sets you apart from others, but in reality, there may be other competent photographers in your area who can handle the projects with the same level of expertise. As a result, the person with good communication and people management skills gets the most projects out of the competition.
When you are working or doing your business on yourself, it is hard to avoid procrastination. It may not be easy to get off your butt sometimes. If you are self-employed, you need to figure out how to best allocate your time and then be self-disciplined enough to implement it. This is especially true in the case of slow times when it is easy to get distracted and lose focus. So it is no doubt that you will find it difficult to get success in commercial photography if you are not self-motivated and self-disciplined.
There needs to be consistency in the quality of the work that the photographer produces. Without consistency, it is hard to make the customers loyal to do repeat business. The client expects to get the top results from you every time, if you fail to do so, then the client will try to find someone else. So in order for you to make the customers dependent on you, you should strive to maintain consistency in your work.
Commercial photography is not only about how to operate your camera and capture the images with an out-of-the-box and unique look. To run a successful photography business, you will also need to learn the business side of photography. You have to master skills such as marketing, accounting, and people management skills in the long run for photography business. The groundwork for a solid photography career lies in how much knowledge you obtain about accounting practices, operation of the business, marketing, and how to deal with clients professionally and affectionately. In general, moving your career from an impressive Instagram account to a profit-making business takes time and effort. So you should better invest your time in learning skills like marketing, design, and business overall.