So You Want To Be A Photographer - Getting Started - Carla Coulson
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So You Want To Be A Photographer – Getting Started

Chasing a Dream – Carla Coulson

Morning Lovelies,

Yesterday I gave a brief overview of what is required to succeed as a working photographer. A question I am often asked is ‘How to Get Started as a Photographer ‘. I would like to give some insight into getting your photography show on the road in 2012 through my own personal experience. And boy have I road-tested it!!

When I was at photography school I was enamoured by many diffent types of photography. I adored the reportage style of Henri Cartier-Bresson, I loved the fashion photos of Paolo Roversi and after passing almost a life-time behind a desk I dreamt of travel.

Boy was I confused!! One of the toughest choices starting out is which type of photography to choose. I remained confused for the first couple of years. My first story published in Marie Claire Australia was a travel story on Naples and within a couple of years I was also shooting fashion. It gave me a great chance to have a look at different parts of the photographic industry and it also helped me to decide. If you can decide straight away what field you want to specialise in you are already ahead of the game.

Chasing A Dream – Carla Coulson

Carla’s Tips To Getting Started As A Photographer

1. Educate yourself on photography through schools, universities, courses, workshops and books.
2. Take time in the beginning to experiement with many different types of photography.
3. Form a clear picture of what field of photography you want to start in.
4. Look at 5 professional photographers doing what you would like to do. Look where they are working and for whom. Write a list..
5. See if there is any chance of assisting one of your favourite photographers. A true short cut to seeing how photography works in all senses.
6. Make a business plan. Defining who you are, who your potential clients are and a marketing strategy to get where you want to go. Write a long list of all your potential clients.. Only you can make it happen.
7. Create a a body of work that you can use to sell as your first photographic story if you want to be published or use it as a portfolio.
8. Make a budget for your first year listing costs including rent, cameras, electricity aand what you will need to live on.
9. Have some savings that will get your through the first year of your business or consider working part-time whilst you launch your new career.
10. Believe in your vision, your work and yourself.
11. When you are ready put your business plan into action. I have always had a plan and a list. I have been writing lists almost my whole life. Every morning I write a list and slowly cross things off as I achieve them and add more things to the list. These lists keep me focusesd and staying focused is tough..

12.. Take small steps each day. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. If you have a water tight plan just keep working towards it. YOU WILL GET THERE.

  • This is Belgium

    I need to be 20 (maybe more?) years younger for this … I will stick to admiring the work of other great artists. On my way to Diane Arbus in Jeu de Paume today and very much looking forward to it of course.. the thalys Brussels-Paris is the best invention of the last 100 years!

    January 4, 2012 at 8:04 am
  • Will @ Bright.Bazaar

    Great tips, Carla! The passion for your work and creative vision comes across in every post. x

    January 4, 2012 at 8:47 am
  • dustjacket

    I take my hat off to you wonderful photographers…it's an amazing skill I wish had.
    xxx DJ

    January 4, 2012 at 11:18 am
  • ParisBreakfasts

    Terrific post Carla!
    merci carolg

    January 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm
  • dina vanessa mercado

    great blog!!!

    following you now…

    visit my blog…!!!


    January 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm
  • peggy braswell

    Carla dearest: me, stylist behind the camera + you, the photographer = beautiful images. Thank you for sharing.

    January 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm
  • The Brunswick

    Thanks for the great advise Carla, I am starting out as a mature age student and your advise is invaluable. love your work.

    January 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm