What Does it Take to Turn Pro as a Photographer


If you are thinking of pursuing a career as a professional photographer, there are certain things you need to know. Like with any career choice, it’s generally a good idea to learn about what it’s like to be in a certain profession, as looks can be deceiving.

At the same time, you need to learn what the requirements are. This will allow you to see what you are missing and whether or not you have the talent and desire to learn the basics. So what does it take to become a professional photographer? Let’s see.

First of all, it takes time

The first thing you need to prepare yourself for is the long period of learning in front of you. Becoming a professional photographer doesn’t happen overnight and you will have to invest a lot of time and hard work to get there.

If you think that you will be able to become a true professional rather quickly and don’t have the patience, then maybe this career choice is not for you. Be prepared to learn and practice for a long time while potentially doing something part-time to earn a living.


A professional photographer has a lot of skill and like we just said, this skill doesn’t come easily or fast. Furthermore, to be really skilled as a photographer you need lots of experience. Practice makes perfect in the photography world.

You can read and learn as much as you want, but if you don’t try out the things that you’ve read about and gain empirical knowledge about adjustments, lights, positioning, composition, and many other important elements, you will never become a pro photographer. If you’re wary of reading, and we get that, another excellent method to level up is to try to imitate the great photographs of the past, like these Last Vegas casino vintage images for example – try to figure out what makes the photographs great and apply it to your practice.


A photographer without equipment is not a photographer at all. Nobody will provide you with the equipment you need and you will have to buy everything yourself. In photography, the quality of one’s work is closely related to the quality of their equipment.

To take professional photos you need professional gear, it’s as simple as that. Although you don’t have to get the most expensive items, you will still have to invest good money to start learning and then upgrade your gear even further.


As you work on your knowledge and skill, you will also have to work on building your portfolio. Having a big portfolio is very important in this line of work, probably more than anywhere else. There are various customers that will want different types of photos.

They will want to go through a big portfolio to find something they like and then ask from you to do similar work for them. Additionally, a big portfolio shows that you put in the work. Bear in mind that even the pros only save about 10% of their photos from each session and be prepared to save only the best shots you make.


The main reason why experience is so important in this line of work is that every new gig is different. Each time there are dozens of different details from landscape light, colors, positioning, weather conditions, and many other.

An experienced photographer will always be able to recognize what they need to do to get good results. Getting to that point takes a lot of practice and there is no way around it. On top of that, customers will always go for the experienced photographer.


Getting into an online photography contest can do a lot for a photographer. Not only can you get valuable experience and learn from others, but you can also expand your portfolio and get a reward. These rewards can be very helpful for impressing customers and convincing them to hire your services.


All professional photographers have their own style. Being unique and recognizable is what makes real pros stand out and get a lot of work. Everyone wants to have photos that are not like everyone else’s.

If you work hard and follow your career path, over time you will naturally develop your photography style, but you could also try to experiment when you have enough experience and work on some ideas you might have.


Photographers need to know a lot of people and have many contacts. A lot of people aren’t able to become real pros even though they have excellent photography skills, simply because they are not good at marketing themselves; Inc.com has some advice on that. Word of mouth goes a long way in the photography business and one happy customer can turn into three more.


In the end, for all of the things mentioned above, you will need lots of perseverance. As we said at the beginning, becoming a pro in this line of work requires a lot of time and effort and to have these things you must be able to motivate yourself and keep going forward.

These are the essentials of professional photography, keep them in mind and see whether or not this is the right career choice for you.