How to Become a Professional Photographer: Produce Defining Work

How to Become a Professional Photographer: Produce Defining Work

The most successful photographers produce iconic work that defines them, sometimes going so far as to develop techniques and styles that give rise to a whole new genre of photography.

Part Four

This is part four in a five-part series about becoming a professional photographer.

Part 1)  Define Your Goals
Part 2)  Establish Your Business
Part 3)  Master Your Skills
Part 4)  Produce Defining Work

Produce Defining Work

By producing steady, consistently high-quality work in your own defined styles, you’ll carve your niche in the industry and encounter more opportunities for work.

Analyze Iconic Photography

Trey Ratcliff became a pioneer of modern High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, a type of exposure bracketing that produces hyper-real imagery. He’s now shooting incredible HDR travel photos around the world.

Joey L shed new light on Africa, photographing indigenous tribes throughout Ethiopia using the same edgy, dramatic lighting seen in his Hollywood movie posters. He’s now working on a one-of-a-kind film in the Omo Valley.

Take note of the defining aspects of iconic photographers you admire. What sets them apart? Can you identify the unique style that makes their work their own?

Define Your Own Photography

Examples of uber-pro photographers may be extreme, but even an emerging pro can produce defining work.

Experiment with different styles and test the boundaries of traditional exposure and composition. Follow your instincts and your own personal taste to develop a defining style—whether it be for a single project or your entire portfolio.

Shoot your own style consistently in order to produce defining work that uniquely represents YOU as a photographer.

Define Your Reputation

A big part of being a success is maintaining a great reputation, both in your product and service. Deliver the best photos you can, and deliver on time. The total value you bring to your clients and customers will define your reputation.

As you determine your goals and establish your business—all while continuing to perfect your photographic skills and style—you must place a strong and ever-present emphasis on marketing yourself and selling your work.

Continue Reading…

Check back soon for Part Five: Market & Sell.

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Photo credit
© iofoto / 123RF



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Written by Hillary Fox

Founder of OnGoingPro, Hillary Fox is a travel and lifestyle photographer working throughout Europe and Africa. Visit her site at hillaryfox.com.

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