With a new year on the horizon, it’s a perfect time to make all of the changes you’ve been putting off for the past few months. If you’re dreading the thought of spending the next year sitting in your office cubicle or tidying up the change rooms of a retail store, there couldn’t be a better time to make a move in your work life. Trying something new is the first step to getting on a new career path, and there’s plenty of room for growth in creative areas like photography – you just have to decide how you want your career to develop.

Capture milestones

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Plenty of people are happy to pay for professional photography to capture the most important moments of their lives. School pictures are an annual event worth considering for any photographer, especially since the environment is fairly low-pressure, and the chance of turning a profit is strong. A nicely-posed, formal photograph of their child can be difficult to resist for a parent. It’s worth hitching your ride to this train in case you’re lucky enough to get booked for graduation photos a few years down the track.

Celebrate love

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Given the common wedding mantra of “no expense spared”, it would seem an obvious choice to capture the most special day in the life of a couple. Wedding photographers are in high demand, so while you’re low on experience, there are a few things you can do to boost your chances of getting a gig. First, build up a great portfolio. This will be the first thing most prospective clients will look at when selecting a wedding photographer.

Even if you don’t have previous wedding photographs up your sleeve, event photography will demonstrate your ability to deliver quality shots. Otherwise, if you have any friends or family planning on tying the knot soon, ask if you can hone your technique on their special day. Once you have a portfolio, set yourself up for success by advertising your services online. Offering a free engagement shoot prior to the wedding is a good way to assure your clients of your ability and commitments.

Target businesses

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Business people of every discipline need quality images to use in their marketing materials, which means there are endless opportunities for a photographer who knows how to market themselves. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be impersonal; one of the best ways to find potential business clients is by simply wandering into stores and sparking up conversations – tell the owner what you do, and show them your online portfolio.

If you’re looking to further expand your photographic horizons, social media is the way to go. Follow up any initial face-to-face meetings with a message through Facebook or LinkedIn and you can begin to build a name for yourself – first in your immediate surroundings, and then, with any luck, further afield.

Sell prints

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According to Ink Station many people will place high value on quality photographic works, similar to great pieces of art, and selling your work in print form can be an effective way of generating extra income. Interests vary when it comes to artwork, and the same is true of photography, which leaves room to move with respect to subject matter and style.

Whether you prefer to sell at small market fairs or through an online store, the world of visual imagery is your oyster, and once you garner some interest, you print on request and save on printing expenses in the process. Quality prints can even earn a spot in art galleries, so don’t put a cap on your ambition.

Start a photography blog or YouTube channel

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If you’re as handy with WordPress as you are behind the lens, starting a blog based on photography and featuring your original works is an avenue with money-making potential. Start by writing up a few articles and producing content to go along with each, and then share your blog on every possible social media channel.

Writing may not be your thing, but if you’re still keen to produce online content that attracts viewers, you might be better off starting a YouTube channel. YouTube is all about attracting viewers and converting them into subscribers, and in order to do that, you need to produce quality videos. If you’re lost for somewhere to start, it’s a good idea to trawl through existing popular content and adapt it to produce something with an original slant. Alternatively, securing a collaboration with a well-known photographer or popular content creator will help you on the road to YouTube fame.

Use your social media

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We all know that social media are very powerful and important. If you are not sure how to start, this should be your first step. No matter if you are a portrait, family or event photographer people will appreciate having someone they know to take their photo. Use the platforms you already have to share your work. Once all of your friends become aware of your work you can make a professional page where you will share your work.

You can also make a profile on many platforms to sell your images. A lot of companies use these platforms to buy images for their commercial needs and it’s also one of the easiest ways to make money. It might take some time to start selling your work, that doesn’t mean that you should give up. Just be creative, original and it will pay off.

Become a culture fiend

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Photographers are always needed to capture live musical performances, and as a bonus, their work is often featured on high-profile websites. The trick is to choose your platform carefully. There are plenty of websites which will happily put you to work and publish your images, but far fewer will offer a cash payment in return. Your best bet is the largest publication you can track down, as they’re likely to have the budget for such things and don’t overlook general interest platforms like newspapers.

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