Becoming a professional photographer is more than just taking pictures and making more money. Photography can be more than just a passion, It can be a profession. This is a profession that can enable you to show up to a job you enjoy every day while evolving as a person.


This profession requires a lot of passion and love for photography to be able to thrive. It is important to know that having a professional career in photography is way beyond just being talented, having a camera and knowing how to use it. In becoming a professional photographer, you should be committed to putting in long hours in your skills and work, executing difficult tasks as a result of a shortage of resources and managing your firm as an entrepreneur.


In this piece, I will guide you through the steps to take in becoming a professional photographer.


Steps to Becoming a Professional Photographer

  1. Obtain a Professional Education

    You can apply to a University that offers photography under the arts & humanities faculty. However, it is not compulsory to attend a university to become a professional photographer. You can also attend photography schools and training centres that offer comprehensive knowledge of photography. Additionally, there are a lot of online courses you can take to educate yourself as well as grow your skills.  Online courses are a fantastic way to better prepare for a photography career.

  2. Find a Mentor

    Finding a mentor is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for a professional career. While working towards becoming a professional photographer, you need to have a mentor who is experienced in this field. It will enable you to learn skills and avoid career mistakes.

  3. Gain Practical Experience

    You need to practice while you are learning photography. This is a practical that requires more practice than theory. You should engage in activities that will brush up your skills.  Additionally, you can apply to work under a professional photographer before you launch your career. This will enable you to learn skills that improve your career such as how to find potential clients and how to meet up with the industry standards.

  4. Learn Film Photography

    This is a very useful skill to master before becoming a professional photographer. By understanding film photography, you will gain an understanding of the origins of photography as well as the ease of employing shutter speed and other exposure settings to make photos.

  5. Take Certificate Courses

    If you want to become a successful professional photographer, you need to have something that will make you unique compared to other photographers. Aside from having a good talent, you should take up courses and earn certificates that will enable you to learn abilities that will distinguish you from photographers around you. You can learn skills such as how to fly a drone and how to work with complex light setups.

  6. Choose a Niche

    As a professional photographer, you can carve a niche for yourself to specialise in. You can decide to specialise in portraits, wedding photography or family photography. However, it should not limit you from exploring other areas of photography. Additionally, you should make research on the niche that other photographers recommend while trying to choose a niche.

  7. Join Photography Groups and Communities

    There are many aspects of photography besides merely taking pictures. You should join groups, communities or organisations to find out what is popular in the world of photography.

  8. Get the right set of Cameras and Photography Equipment

    As a beginner in photography, you do not have to worry about buying expensive gadgets that you cannot afford. You can start small and get better ones while you grow in your career. Additionally, you must get the right set of equipment based on the type of photography you want to focus on.

  9. Keep Practicing

    To get better at photography, you need to keep practising. You should take pictures every single day and figure out ways to get better. Additionally, you can use apps such as Pinterest to arrange your best images into boards that adhere to a certain style.


Niches in Photography

  1. Street Photography
  2. Product Photography
  3. Wildlife Photography
  4. Event Photography
  5. Commercial Photography
  6. Fashion Photography
  7. Family Photography
  8. Photojournalism
  9. Documentary Photography
  10. Headshot Photography
  11. Stock Photography
  12. Architectural Photography
  13. Long-Exposure Photography
  14. Lifestyle Photography
  15. Infrared Photography
  16. Beauty/glamour Photography
  17. Real Estate Photography
  18. Fine Art Photography
  19. Drone/Aerial Photography
  20. Sports Photography


In Conclusion, photography can become a full-time career or a side hustle. You just need to keep your enthusiasm for photography alive and aim to consistently produce excellent images that will set you apart. A career as a professional photographer will enable you to unleash your creativity, inspire people and give them access to the digital world of creativity they may not have experienced.


Good luck!

Click to discover an extensive list of local and international schools offering courses and programs in various career path
Share This Post: If you think this post can be helpful to somebody else, please share it using the buttons below!