It is always desirable for anyone to chase a job that they genuinely see as a hobby. Whether that is being a musician, computer programming or photography, the more enjoyable you find the activity, the more likely you are to have a fruitful career in that industry. With photography in particular, a lot of people see it as a passion or hobby, but are not sure how to pursue it professionally, assuming that the only route is through a university degree. However, that is not the case. While a degree can provide a lot of help, there are several other ways you build your reputation.
First of all, you need to make sure that you’re good, seems obvious right? Well, there are plenty of people who consider themselves good at taking photos, yet do not understand the different techniques and equipment required for a whole range of different photos. Like any other profession or hobby, to be very successful you have to put in the work beforehand. Any athlete or musician will tell you that the most important thing is to perfect your craft, grind out the practice until all the basics are implanted in your brain permanently.
Once you have soaked up as much information and expertise you can, it is time to start building a brilliant portfolio. This is your chance to showcase your talents, but first it is important to find a field that you want to focus on. Once you have done this, you can then try and showcase your wide variety of knowledge that you have built. Of course, you should capture photos that truly represent your own perspective but try and include as much diversity as possible to increase your marketability.
Finally, you want to advertise yourself as best as possible. This can be achieved in several different ways. Social medias like Instagram have proven to be very popular launching platforms for photographers, Pinterest is another that helps to gain a lot of exposure.
Like every industry, the people you know is a big factor so it would be a great idea to try and network with some other professionals in the industry. These professionals can either provide invaluable advice or you could try to build a good relationship with them and they may even help you find an opportunity yourself.
Alternatively, you could use your portfolio and go down the entrepreneurial route which could involve creating your own website for self-promotion. Nothing is ever easy, but with hard work it is always possible.
For some interesting information regarding the history of cameras, check out the following infographic from J Knowles.