First year as a pro photographer. Your story


TPF Noob!
Feb 23, 2012
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Hastings UK
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Thought it might be good for newbies to hear how people on here went from photographer to photography business.

Who would like to share?

Sorry it's my eighth year. :). I would like people to think back on their first year. Think it might help others.

Best wishes


Sorry it's my eighth year. :). I would like people to think back on their first year. Think it might help others.

Best wishes


I'm far from a pro but as a relatively experienced forum user I can tell you that to get the response you want, especially when asking questions like this, you need to answer the question yourself. As it stands it is looking like a question posed by a 'troll', if you put the time into your own threads then other people will also put the time into them.

A lot of non-pros will check this thread looking for an insight into the life of a pro. One of the pros has to contribute before the rest will, that pro should be you.
Not a problem

I have no problem telling you how how my first year was. I just didn't want to start off by doing a look at me!

My first year was a very poor but creative learning curve. I had just finished one year working and training with a company called Venture, which made me realise that I love photography. My background was theatre design, where I painted and built props.

As part of my contract with my old job, I couldn't go and do high key photography, so I thought it would be good to do family outdoor portraits. I had a canon Rebel, and a couple of lenses. I got clients by making friends with local independent shops and running ads offering free family shoots. I used a local park and peoples gardens for locations. Most people bought the images taken on disk for around £50.

After a few weeks of doing this, I had an offer to shoot inside one of the childrens shops I was adverting in. To make it special I decided to do a fairy shoot. Since it was a bit different (I used chroma key made from a green blanket) I managed to get free PR by writing my own piece for the local paper. It was such a huge success I took the idea around to other shops and play centers in the area. Once I had people invested in my photography, I started doing more and more, contemporary shoots and eventually weddings.

Eight years later I still have clients coming back to me from those days. My prices are higher, I have two studios, but I'm now their go to guy for anything photographic.

It was hard, demoralising at times but ultimately the best thing I have ever done. Did I ever feel like packing up and getting another job... no.. not ever.

The first year I made less than £4000 , the second year £7000 the third £12000 but since then I have always grown. Even during the recession I have made more money year after year. I now do very well thank you. :D

You have to look at the long term while building a business and constantly strive to improve.
I've been shooting since 1969. At age 13 my Dad handed me a camera took me to a professional football game, gave me one roll of film to shoot. It was an adventure. Really didn't have a first year, I just grew into a freelancer, with good years, bad years and many inbetween. During the film years where there were fewer weekenders it was the best time to be a photographer. I have enjoyed it, hated it and thought about just hanging the gear up and doing something else.

I don't think about my first year as much as I wonder when my last one will be.
That painted a wonderful picture.

Thank you so much for sharing. :) apart from the deppressing bit at the end...
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