Top 10 Must Haves for Successful Photography

How did you first get involved in photography? Do you have the ability to earn an income from photography? These are just a few of the questions I am asked by models, friends and students. I recently went to visit one of my family friends his son had recently graduated and was now really fascinated by photography. He had purchased a great camera and some lenses and had already captured many stunning scenic photographs. While we were there in the area, the following questions came up. It seems like I’ve been in this conversation a couple of times before, but I love sharing the things I’ve learned along the road.

As an artist and photographer, I have the opportunity to work on lots of things that are fun and still call work. It is rare for people to get up early in the morning and pursue what they love day in and day out. Life is too short of having an eight-hour work schedule that slowly drains the joy off of you. If you’re reading this, you’re aware of this. The challenge is making the switch. It’s not an easy task to begin a photography business. I’ve come up with the following list of suggestions to help newbies start off and on the path to success. I offer photography tips along with business tips. I’m not an expert in business or photography and have learned much more by going down the same path of failure than I’ve learned achieved success in the very first attempt. In terms of the totality of my list is concerned, there are many other excellent sources or suggestions available, but I think these ten make a solid foundation from which photographers can operate.

Buying Essential Tips

1. Passion is essential to succeed. Are you genuinely passionate about photography? This isn’t a question I am asking. Did you take a couple of photos using your phone uploaded on Instagram and loved it. What I mean by you a photographer’s dream is that you enjoy it? Are you constantly seeking out opportunities to shoot and experiment, tweaking your camera to get that perfect shot? Do you want to fully know your camera, comprehend the effects of lighting, aperture, lenses, techniques for posing and more? If you’re thinking, “Mehh, maybe”, then it might be time to consider a different route. Customers can sense an absence of passion just like dogs can sense fear.

2. Equipment is essential, but the debt that is significant can be crippling. The most effective way to end interest is to wash it down by accumulating debt.

3. Don’t be scared to purchase used equipment and then work to upgrade your equipment. In the past, I’ve bought and sold equipment from Craigslist, Facebook photography groups or friends, and even Pawnshops. It might be difficult initially, and I suggest having a photographer friend guide you through the process. I’ve met a lot of photographers who did not adhere to the second rule and are now required to sell their camera equipment. (Hint when buying on Craigslist, do not make use of PayPal and don’t ship. Always gather in a cosy and public place like Starbucks for the transaction as well as discussion of equipment. Don’t be afraid to give less, but be sure to discuss this before you meet. Also, to get better deals to look for suburbs in which the established income levels are significantly more.)

4. It is usually best to spend more on a lens than a camera body. It may sound odd, but I’ve bought many lenses over the last 12 years. Surprisingly, the lens I purchased for $1350 about ten years ago is worth $1300. It’s a shame that the Canon 5D body I bought for $1800 is difficult to trade for $500. With current values in mind the current market, I can imagine how tempting it can be to purchase the most expensive camera you can afford and then look for an inferior lens in order to save money. The issue with this method is that you’ve reduced the quality of your camera by putting in low-quality glass. You should ensure you purchase the top quality camera lens that you’re able to purchase as you’ll probably have it for longer than your camera body.

Know Your Market

5. Understanding your market is crucial to succeeding as a photographer. It’s possible that you enjoy taking photos of families, but with fake mountains with a mountain in the background. It might be a sharp photo with great lighting, but if you don’t like the 70’s look, you need to leave. Don’t try to force your style into a place where you’re not expected to in the event that you want to earn an income.

Always Learn so You Can Grow

6. Take a step out of your bubble and be as shadowy as you can. The clients I have worked with greatly benefitted from the experience I’ve learned from co-working with different photographers. Sometimes, you need to put your pride aside and seek out opportunities to grow. At the beginning of my career, I was working with photographers at a design lab I ran. Two photographers caught my attention. It was fascinating to study their photography styles and their stark differences in the types of photos they captured and how they did it. Both were fantastic. However, they have entirely different styles. One was focused on the technical aspects, and the other was more of an approach that was more artistic. In the later years of my professional life, I worked with the photographer for a bridal shoot, which changed the way I work with sunlight or natural light. I’ve learned advanced techniques for lighting from other photographers simply by asking questions. The techniques I’ve learned have been Lightroom techniques that helped me streamline my post-production while also contributing techniques I employ in conjunction with other photographers.

7. It may seem like an inversion of my previous advice; however, make sure you are a professional photographer. These means don’t attempt to emulate other styles of photography upon the client’s wishes. Follow your own style, And don’t feel hesitant to declare that you’re not the best match for those situations. (This will be easier once you’ve made yourself more apropos.) However, you should take a look at other photographers and try to recreate the photography style you are interested in to gain knowledge. Be aware that it’s not always ideal to attempt this on a live shoot unless you have the time and the client.

8. Be sure to educate your clients. While it’s tempting to satisfy your client’s wishes, however, you must educate them about what they need to do for a successful shoot. For example, noon outdoors in the summer months of Texas poses a variety of issues that could cause a poor photograph and an unpleasant experience. When planning natural light shoots, I get to know the couple, their family or individual to determine their style. Then, I suggest a location and time (usually in Golden Hour). We then build from the point. If we are taking newborn photography, I’ll explain to the photographer that we follow the baby’s rhythm, which may take longer than anticipated. Sometimes, the baby will need to be nursed, or additional time is needed to soothe the baby. There is no way to hurry a newborn! Informing parents of this prior to when they are due to shoot can help prepare newborns for more time-consuming shoots and lessen the anxiety of an unexpectedly long shoot.

Be Confident and Create Confidence

9. Cameras and guns shoot. An instructor in photography said to me that a professional photographer should direct the shooting as if he or he is holding the gun. At first, I was a bit shocked but later realized this to be the most valuable advice I’ve ever received as a photographer. Clients don’t want unconfident direction.


Unconfidently asked: “Would you like to try posing like this, maybe?”

A confident request: “Let’s try this pose next.”

Unconfidently, ask: “Do you think you may like a picture with your left hand on your hip and arm across your body towards the shoulder?”

A confident request: “Put your right arm on your hip and bring your left arm to your shoulder… I love it.” (Compliments can boost confidence. See the next step).

It’s easy to see the pattern. An unconfident cameraman or woman will produce an insecure model, and it will reflect in your pictures. (Note confidence is not rude, but it’s more clear and concise directions.)

10. The words of praise can boost confidence. When working with a different photographer, he would provide excellent feedback and praise the group or model when they had a good pose or the image looked nice. He would do it with so much confidence that the models in the photo couldn’t help but stand taller while appearing more comfortable in the photograph. He would repeat details like:

It’s a. Wow, this is a stunning image

B. I like the look I see here. Let’s go on with this look.

C. What a beautiful photo.

D. Oh, I really love this song.

E. It’s lighting amazing.

He didn’t use it as an unwelcome compliment that could cause the model to feel uncomfortable or fearful about their photographer being unfriendly. He mostly talked about the image itself. However, it was still thrilling that the models knew that they had good pictures.