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Unbelievable for some, a reality for others, photography can be a full-time job and one that pays quite well. It is certainly achievable, but it may be a little less poetic than a beginner might believe. A professional photographer works hard and puts in long hours, but this job also allows one to express creativity and have some sense of freedom.

Photography is a competitive field so you need to make the effort to become great and stand-out. And the first thing you need to do is get the basics. There are amazing photography courses in London that can teach you even more than you need to know for a small sum. Photoion Photography School teaches the basics, but also speedlite photography, product photography, food photography and many others. They even have a night photography course.

At first you`ll need to understand that the camera is important, but not all there is. To become a good photographer you need to study how to use its functions, read books, magazines and articles to see what works and what doesn`t and to develop a creative spirit. You will eventually need to choose what niche of photography you want to study more in depth.

The second thing you need to do is to start taking photos. You need to do this every day, as much as possible, because good shots are rare and you need to start building a great portfolio. Try hiring some models or ask friends to do that for you. Try everything at first, every type of photography to see what fits your style and study the works of other artists, especially of those who are successful. Make sure you meet some professional photographers as you`ll be able to learn a lot more that way.

Once you have a portfolio decide a rate by looking up other photographers or asking around. Don`t price too high or too low in the beginning, but be flexible in order to get your first gigs. In order to get business, ask friends to recommend you, build a website and advertise. Invest in marketing, SEO, keep business cards at hand, tell everyone that you are a photographer and engage in direct sales.

Don`t expect immediate success, these things take time, but eventually your service will be asked as long as you do not stop improving. Doing great work, being professional, being persistent in following your goal and advertising constantly will help you make the change from your daily work to do photos full-time as a job.

Get your documents in line, your license if you need one and carefully manage money. Keeping tabs will help you understand if this can turn into a full-time thing or not. Don`t quit your job before you can make at least half of your salary through photography for at least three months in a row. It`s a competitive environment, but don`t let anyone tell you that you can`t do it. Most people that do not make it in this field give up after the first two or three months so of course they don`t make it big.

And the most important thing of all is never stop learning. Even professional photographers take advanced photography courses from time to time or try to specialize in new fields in order to offer more services and be even more valuable on the market. Always try to improve the quality of your work because that is the way you`ll be able to increase your rates, but don`t forget that a photographer who makes money is also a good marketer. And good marketing usually means conquering a niche, sniffing opportunities and having just the right amount of confidence.

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