How to Start a Career in Photography

Carmen Polanco

April 5, 2023


If you’re passionate about photography, you may wonder how to start a career. Fortunately, there are many ways to make it a successful business.

First, it’s important to understand the basic technical skills you need to succeed in this industry. You can get these through education or by pursuing an internship or entry-level position.

Build a Portfolio

Creating a portfolio of photographs is an excellent way to show your photography skills and capabilities. It can also help you get a job as a photographer or start your own business.

It should include at least 8-12 photos that most accurately reveal your photographic style and ability. If you work in more than one genre, create separate portfolios for different areas of your photography career.

When building your portfolio, it is important to order the photos carefully. You want to make sure each image stands alone and is a remarkable piece of art.

The order you use for your images will determine how clients receive them. Spending some time on this part of the process and re-arrange your portfolio frequently is essential.

Get Experience

Getting experience in photography is a crucial step for any budding photographer. Internships and participating in competitions are essential for gaining relevant exposure in the field.

After garnering some experience through these means, budding photographers can start building a portfolio to showcase their talent. It should include their best work in different genres, such as wildlife, wedding, landscape, and others.

Developing a niche is another important thing for the budding photographer to do. Having a niche allows them to build their brand and get more clients in the future.


One of the most important ways to start a photography career is by networking with other photographers. Whether looking for advice on editing your portfolio or a mentor to help you grow your business, networking is the key to succeeding in this field.

Networking can occur through social media, local camera clubs, gallery groups, or even seminars or workshops. Building relationships with other photographers is important for gaining new ideas and inspiration for your work.

A good networking strategy can help you develop a strong clientele and increase your profits in the long run. However, you should note that photography is a competitive field and requires continuous effort to stay on top of the latest trends.

Get a Mentor

If you’re serious about building a photography career, getting a mentor is a great way to get guidance from an experienced professional. A mentor can help you learn more about the industry, hone your skills, and even teach you a thing or two about photography techniques.

Before searching for a mentor, figure out what you’re looking for in one. What are the professional and personal traits you want?

Then make a list of names that check every box and narrow your search.

When you find someone, you’d like to be a mentor, reach out to them and see if you can set up a meeting. This can be done through a direct message on their social media, attending events that they attend, or asking a friend who knows them personally to introduce you.

Become Self-Employed

Photography is a creative career that requires patience, hard work, and good communication skills. It can also be a rewarding career choice for those who want to use their talents and make money doing something they enjoy.

Once you know what kind of photography you want to pursue, start brainstorming and researching professional photographers in your chosen genre. Think of some photographers whose work you admire and who you would love to learn from.

Once you have a list of potential mentors, meet with them to ask questions and receive feedback on your work. They can be a great source of guidance and inspiration as you build your portfolio and career.