Starting Out As A Photographer – Overview

starting out as a photographer, going pro, starting a photography business, photography business, photography tips, career as a photographer, carla coulson

Morning Lovelies,

I know so many of you would love to work as a photographer and I often receive questions about starting out. So I thought a brief overview of what’s involved in working as a photographer.

Who wouldn’t want to be a photographer?? We get to go to great places, meet incredible people, participate in amazing shoots and work our own hours.. Sounds like the best job in the world.. And most days it is. But what is the reality of working as a photographer?

For any of you thinking of taking the plunge here is a little overview of some of the things that may help you start out as a photographer. Don’t be freaked out!

So many people not involved in this industry don’t see what the big deal is about being a photographer. Isn’t it just a couple of clicks here and a couple of clicks there??

I often have people say “I would like to do a shoot for just an hour”. Well the truth is 99,9 percent of things in photography take a whole lot more than an hour including (just packing your gear and getting to the job) all the post processing and unless you work in photographer it’s difficult to get a grasp on all the time and effort photographers put in to be able to get that shot over and over again.

Being a full-time working photographer requires hardwork, planning and most of all a burning passion..

Here’s my list of some of the things you need to know if you are starting a career as a professional photographer.

A Clear Picture of what field of photography you want to do (ie, travel, food, fashion, wedding, portraiture etc) If you start with a clear idea you can focus your energy on working in that field, marketing and contacting the right people and not losing your energy trying to cross over many different fields.

Your own style of photography. Having a unique look in photography and your own eye is what will differentiate you from others. Don’t be frightened to be different or take the photos that are burning deep down inside this is the key to the kingdom.

A Business Plan (yes folks this is a business). This is probably the most important point that new photographers overlook. They love taking pictures and being creative but to keep doing that you need clients. And knowing who they are, how you will find them and communicate with them is vital.

Money Though on the outside it seems as though you can get into photography without spending a fortune you still need to consider all the equipment other than cameras you will need to buy, such as computers, back up systems, money to live on in the first years when you are getting established, setting up a website, paying an accountant and all the other important things that need to be taken care of.

Camera gear to suit your field of photography. Each type of photography requires different equipment. You can save yourself a fortune by choosing the right camera gear for the style of photograph you want to do, that’s where the focus and being clear from the start will help you.  Being a professional photographer and offering your services to clients means that you need to be able to produce over and over again the images in your portfolio. Everybody can take a great photo once but being able to do this over and over again is what will differentiate you from an amateur. Don’t be afraid to do courses, workshops and specialisations and hone your craft before putting yourself under the pressure as a working photographer.

Portfolio and Presentation – You need a red hot portfolio and your work needs to be visible to the public in an online presence of your best work. I am often contacted by young photographers looking for assisting work and often they don’t have an online portfolio where I can see their work. This is our language and it is the language of photography so without this you haven’t got to first base.

Team Up – Find your tribe! Form a community of people in your field that you can work with and help each other. (ie I regularly work with journalists, make-up artists, stylists)

Work Ethic.. Do the right thing. Your work ethic will get you jobs over and over again.  You are only as good as your last job so do what you have promised.

Money streams – There are many alternative ways to earn money as a photographer. As the world of technology, publishing and photography continue to evolve and move quickly there are many ways as well as offering your photographic services to supplement your income including royalties from book or print sales, photo libraries and agents on-selling your photographic stories.

Photographer’s Agents – To be respresented or not?  It is a photographers’s personal choice if they want to be represented by an agent and particularly important if you want to eventually access high end advertising clients. Depends on where you want to go and how you want to live your life, you will need a polished portfolio.

Social Media – Marketing your work is of great importance to a photographer. Social media gives you access to the world, having an online presence is vital. Start with one social media such as Facebook or Instagram if you feel it’s too overwhelming.

Set Backs – If you know from the beginning that there will always be humps in the road. What’s important is how to handle them, to turn a negative into a positive.

Pricing, Paperwork and Model releases.. Uggh the thought of paperwork.Who would have ever thought that there would be so much to think about as a photographer. This is a vital part of life as a working photographer. Paperwork covers your back and makes everything clear upfront. PUT IT IN WRITING.

Keeping Accounts – As I mentioned in point 3 if you plan to work as a photographer you need to be clear that this is a business as much as a creative art. You need to know how to keep accounts and run a business.

Have fun – This is one of the most important things we need to hold onto. We started in this photography thing because we love images. Great images come in fun atmospheres and through people doing what they love. Never stop taking the pictures that come from your heart.

I hope this helps you with some things to think about so when you start it will be clear sailing..

If you have a question please leave it in the comments section and I will do my best to answer it.

You may enjoy this interview with fashion photographer Mario Testino on how he got started

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” Aaron Siskind

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It’s Live – A Love Story

limited edition prints, fine art prints, carla coulson, capri, cross processed, fashion shoot,

It’s Live in my print shop, so happy to share this image I hold so dear with you.

Details:

Limited Edition of 25 fine art photographic print onto archival 308gram rag paper (matt), signed and numbered

This photo was taken in Capri Italy

Print image size –  24 x 36cm

Paper size – 40 x 50cm.

Frame and Matt board NOT INCLUDED

Print shipped in 7-10 days from order date with a tracking number by standard mail.

Flat packed in a rigid art folder.

You can make it yours here

Sending summer love from Paris

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A Love Story – Limited Edition Print

limited edition prints, fine art prints, carla coulson, capri, cross processed, fashion shoot,

One of my special photographic moments will be available in my Limited Edition shop this Wednesday. This was also the cover image for Chasing A Dream and one of those freaky photographic moments that happens but you never expect it to! So thrilled to be able to share it with you.

The Story Behind The Image:

I was on a shoot in Capri for a fashion magazine and had scouted the main town the day before for possible places to shoot. I loved this wall but at the time there was no graffiti. The fashion editor briefed the model in the morning, she told her “you have come to Capri, last night you fell in love with someone from the Island and this morning you have woken and changed your mind. Today you want to run away.”

The model ran and ran all day till we came to this last spot for the final shoot of the day. Overnight someone (with a broken heart) had graffitied ‘una vita per farmi innamorarmi, cosi presto per dimenticarmi’.

We all stood with our mouths gaping and goosebumps, the graffiti said ‘it took me a lifetime to fall in love with you and so quickly you forgot me.’ It was as though the fashion editor’s thoughts were truly connected to someone’s love story on Capri.

That’s photography for you!

Print Details:

This photo was taken in Capri Italy on slide film, it was then cross processed to give it a strong contrast and added grain. All blur in this image is intentional.

Print image size –  24 x 36cm

Paper size – 40 x 50cm.

Frame and Matt board NOT INCLUDED

Print shipped in 7-10 days from order date with a tracking number by standard mail.

Flat packed in a rigid art folder.

Set you alarms it will be available at 10.00 Paris time, 6pm Sydney time and 1am California time here

“A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love.” Max Muller

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A French Connection

 

hollyoak, carla coulson, personal branding paris, photo shoot paris, portrait inspiration, paris photography

I adored shooting these images with talented Joanne King for her Australian based label Hollyoak around the backstreets and hidden courtyards of Paris.

Joanne’s creativity flourished becoming a mum. Taking a break from her ‘day job’ as a clinical neuropsychologist, what started out as a hobby soon became a small business with children’s label Little Chillies and Hollyoak.

She initially started designing Holly Oak with a ‘post-baby-body’ in mind.  “I wanted women to be able to purchase feminine and beautiful garments that would make them feel great about themselves.  Hence, a lot of the styles are versatile, they can be warn loose, or accessorised with a belt to give more shape.”   

“I like to design timeless and tailored pieces that are less likely to date.  I have a strong French and Japanese influence in both design and fabrication, in particular drawing a lot of inspiration from Tomoko Nakamichi, who designs the most extraordinary shapes. I keep the fabrication as natural as possible, predominantly using linen, cotton & silk.”

hollyoak, carla coulson, personal branding paris, photo shoot paris, portrait inspiration, paris photography

Joanne has a curious link to France!

“My great grandmother was born from a young French couple, after some naughty hanky panky (out of wedlock – tut tut).  She was left in a shoe box on the door step of her adoptive parents (English couple).   There is a stream of us on my paternal side (myself included) that look European, which from a young age sparked my curiosity about my family history.  I’m currently exploring this family connection to see if I can trace where in France my ancestors came from.  It’s tricky given the secrecy around the adoption.   At present, an aunt who spends part of the European summer in Villefranche sur Mer, has inspired my most recent travels, exploring the Provence-alpes-Côte d’Azur region.”

hollyoak, carla coulson, personal branding paris, photo shoot paris, portrait inspiration, paris photography

hollyoak, carla coulson, personal branding paris, photo shoot paris, portrait inspiration, paris photography

hollyoak, carla coulson, personal branding paris, photo shoot paris, portrait inspiration, paris photography

hollyoak, carla coulson, personal branding paris, photo shoot paris, portrait inspiration, paris photography

 

hollyoak, carla coulson, personal branding paris, photo shoot paris, portrait inspiration, paris photography

Hollyoak0024

Joanne is about to return to her day job so she has wound back her children’s label but designs and manufactures an annual range spring/summer range for women. You can check out her beautiful work here

“Paris is always a good idea.” Audrey Hepburn
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Addicted to Greece


Lesvos, Molyvolos, Greek Island, Carla Coulson, fishing boats, greek port, greek holiday, donkey,

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

You may have wondered where I disappeared to lately?

I made myself a promise at the beginning of the year that I would devote this year to taking more photos. Talk about be careful what you wish for! I have turned 2015 into a photofest and my camera now officially smells of ‘burning rubber’.

This means I have spent a whole lot less time at my computer and blogging but sheesh I miss you guys.

I have been meaning to share a little of my holiday last year in beautiful Lesvos. Being the nostalgia queen that I am, Greece is Carla heaven. It has everything that triggers off an emotion deep down inside and connects me to a world I feel part of. Bring on the donkeys..

Lesvos, Molyvolos, Greek Island, Carla Coulson, fishing boats, greek port, greek holiday, sigri, On the beach at Eressos and looking to the old castle Sigri

Lesvos, Molyvolos, Greek Island, Carla Coulson, fishing boats, greek port, greek holiday,

The port of Molyvolos

Last summer I travelled to Lesvos almost on the Turkish coast to catch up with wonderful friends Claire Lloyd and Matthew Usmar Lauder to get a little snapshot on how it feels to live on a Greek Island.

Lovely Lesvos had me digging myself out of bed early to sit in the silence of the port of Molyvos early in the morning, walking along her coast to find yet another deserted beach with transparent water and embarrassing the hell out of myself by driving into the small piazza of Sikaminea and getting our car stuck in front of a full crowd of men at the local tavern.

Lesvos Greece, greek island, cats in greece, fishing port, fishing nets, red, fishing boats, greece,  washing on the line, tea towels, Greek tavern, taverna, sikaminea

I love the worn, the past, the way the world use to be, traditions and I will be forever fascinated with the human condition. On Lesvos I found it all and although I was meant to be on holiday I couldn’t help but capture some snaps of this wonderful place.
Lesvos Greece, greek island, cats in greece, fishing port, fishing nets, red, fishing boats, greece, washing on the line, tea towels, Greek tavern, taverna, sikaminea

This was taken in the village of Sikaminea and I felt like I had been transported to Greek village heaven when I found this piazza (yes this is the one I drove into) with a Greek Taverna untouched, unspoiled with the most charming owner who served us ouzo with the most delicious salad I ate on the island.

Following are some snaps from around the Island, of the village people, beautiful beaches, village life and Claire showing us all how photography can connect you to people.

greece, lesvos, sikaminea, greek islands, my greek island home, carla coulson, greek village, traditional greek village Lesvos Greece, greek island, cats in greece, fishing port, fishing nets, red, fishing boats, greece, washing on the line, tea towels, icons, religious icons, chapel in a cave,

greece, lesvos, sikaminea, greek islands, my greek island home, carla coulson, greek village, traditional greek village, fishing boat, wooden fishing boat

Lesvos Greece, greek island, cats in greece, fishing port, fishing nets, red, fishing boats, greece,

greece, lesvos, sikaminea, greek islands, my greek island home, carla coulson, greek village, traditional greek village

The barber of Matamados greece, lesvos, sikaminea, greek islands, my greek island home, carla coulson, greek village, traditional greek village, octopus drying, by the sea Greece, Skala Sikaminea

greece, lesvos, sikaminea, greek islands, my greek island home, carla coulson, greek village, traditional greek village, greek tavern, taverna, men playing cards,

greece, lesvos, sikaminea, greek islands, my greek island home, carla coulson, greek village, traditional greek village

Claire sharing her pics with the local ladies

greece, lesvos, sikaminea, greek islands, my greek island home, carla coulson, greek village, traditional greek village, rescue dog greece,

Francesco and Nellie getting up close and personal

greece, lesvos, sikaminea, , kale limani, greek islands, my greek island home, carla coulson, greek village, traditional greek village, end of the day, golden hour Greece,

Sunset at the Tavern at Kalo Limani

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson

Our gorgeous friends Claire and Matthew generously shared their love for the island with us and all their favourite places (and even their gorgeous rescue dogs see pictured above on Francesco’s knee).

Some lovely links:

My Greek Island Home Guesthouse

Seahorse Hotel

My favourite Greek posts

“In many ways we are all sons and daughters of ancient Greece.” Nia Vardalos

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