Photography is a huge passion of ours, it’s actually how we met and went on our first date! 6+ years after meeting, we’ve explored all types of photography including wedding photography, commercial photography, GoPro photography, long exposure photography, and more! Along the way, we’ve learned a few tips to be a photographer that we want to share with you!
1) Assist for other photographers
Assisting for other photographers is another one of the great tips to be a photographer because mentors will give you a safe space to learn and grow. One of our first mentors let us second shoot at weddings to build our portfolio and get a crash course on wedding photography. That experience was invaluable!
2) Learn lighting so you don’t have a lot of editing time
You can do anything on Photoshop and Lightroom, but why use Photoshop when you can get your images close-to-desirable in your camera! When you master your favorite lighting scenarios, you save more time in your editing!
3) Stop focusing on other photographers
One of the easiest ways to go stagnant as a photographer is to spend more time focusing on other photographers work than your own projects. Instead, focus on creative visions that inspire you to create your next big home run!
4) Helpful photography tip: focus on your turn around time
Whether you’re doing photography for work or for a creative hobby, we found a lot of value in focusing on our turn around time! Face it…when a photo is sitting on your hard drive for months, it can be difficult to find the motivation to go back in time to edit! That’s why, with creative projects and small work projects, we try to turn the project around in 8-12 weeks or less! There’s no industry standard for turn around time, but challenge yourself!
5) Do not spend a lot of money on camera gear
Do you feel like your photography will get better if you use a better camera? You’re wrong! Many photographers shoot on iPhones and cameras that cost less than $1000 and go viral on social media. The best camera is the one you have on you!
6) Promote your photography on social media
In todays digital age, it’s important to share your photography on social media so that you have a chance of going viral! Social media is like the modern day lottery, except you don’t have to buy scratch of tickets! Posting on Pinterest, Instagram, and your blog is free!
7) Take a photography course online or in person
Taking a photography course is a great one of the tips to be a photographer because, like any profession, education will expand your horizons in the industry! If you take an online course, you have the benefit of re-watching the course every time you want to sharpen your skills. If you take an in-person course, you can network with other photographers and even find a potential photography internship, apprenticeship, or assistance position.
8) Technology tip for photographers: invest in a good computer
A lot of photographers think they need the best camera on the market, but that camera won’t work if your computer can’t handle working with the file sizes! Investing in a good computer is a great way to ensure your photography workflow doesn’t get bogged down. The new Apple Laptops are more than enough to handle photography editing.
9) Pick the camera that fits best in your hand
Are you worried about your hands being too big or too small to work comfortably with your new camera? Don’t rely on someone else’s advice about “which camera feels the best” because everybody has different hand sizes! If you have small hands, you might not want a giant camera. If you have giant hands, you might have issues working with the newest, smallest mirrorless camera system. Try before you buy!
10) Read a book about photography
Reading a book about photography is another tip to be a photographer! It could be a storybook or a “how to guide”. A popular “how to guide” for photographers is the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson shows examples of different camera settings like aperture and f-stop, shutter speed, ISO!
11) Join a photography faceBook Group
Photography FaceBook groups are a great one of the tips to be a photographer, especially when you are first starting and want to connect with other mentors and photography assistants. One of the best photography FaceBook groups is Ben Hartley’s FaceBook Group for Wedding Photographers!
12) Keep your files and memory cards organized
When you are done with a photography session, you certainly are not 100% done with your workflow! An organized photographer will recommend you to keep your files and memory cards organized. You can never have enough memory cards and backup systems.
13) Back Yo Shit Up!!
Back up your photos! BACK UP YOUR MFING PHOTOS!!! Backing up your images on multiple drives is so important. Once you back up to at least two different places, you’ll want to separate the hard drives incase of a house fire or flood. You can try online storage or get a portable solid state drive on Amazon.
14) Submit your photos to a blog, magazine, or brand
A lot of photographers will market their business by submitting their photos to a blog, magazine, or brand. For example, you can send your photos to a local news paper or TV news station, get featured, and get local traffic to your website, social. When blogs and brands pick up your submission, they share your images on social media and the web which is good for your digital presence!
15) Create a photography portfolio website
Creating a photography portfolio website is a great tip to make sure potential customers and fans can see your photos in an organized way! Some of the best photography website hosts are Showit, WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and more. Plus, if you have a website, you can blog using your eye-catching images to ensure your articles rank higher on Google.
16) Install Google Analytics so you can track website traffic
Another great tip for photographers is to install Google Analytics so you can start tracking your website traffic data! You’ll be able to see key metrics like the page views per month, which pages get the most clicks, and the average time people spend on each page! Google Analytics is 100% free and it’s easy to connect to websites on platforms like Showit and Squarespace!
17) Get a website audit by a professional web designer
A lot of photographers will admit that web design is not their speciality, so they will get a website audit by a professional web designer! Web designers can run your website through a 100+ point inspection to ensure there are no issues falling through the cracks. Web designers might even screen record a website audit and send you the video file with their audio overlay so you can refer back to the video website audit whenever you please.
18) Create a collaborative styled shoot with local professionals
A lot of photographers will have a vision for what they want to photograph, but they don’t have clients yet to execute the creative idea. Creating a collaborative styled shoot with local professionals is a great way to practice your creative vision without the pressure of a paying client. Plus, the vendors you collaborate with will promote you on their social media when you send them the photos which might get you more exposure to fans and customers!
19) Join or host an accountability club or mastermind for photographers
Photography can be a lonely job if you choose to stay huddled up with your computer all day, so it’s important to connect with other creative enthusiasts to ensure your spark doesn’t burn out! Joining or hosting an accountability club or mastermind for photographers is a fun way to meet serious creatives, especially since most accountability clubs cost money to join to ensure people have skin in the game!
20) Try different lighting scenarios like sunset, mid day, or indoor studio
A great tip is to try different lighting scenarios because the conditions to shoot during sunset are different than the conditions for mid day or an indoor studio. That way you won’t stick to the same camera settings and shooting style all the time. This is a great way to discover your photography style!
21) Experiment with on camera flash and off camera flash
Did you know that you can use other light sources besides the sun? Off camera flash and on camera flash is a great one of the tips to be a photographer because you can take your indoor studio work or outdoor portraits to the next level! One of the most popular lighting setups for photographers is Godox.
22) Launch an online print shop on Printful
You can launch an online print shop in minutes with print on demand websites like Printful – all you have to do is upload a JPEG image and pick if you want your image to show up on a coffee mug, poster, tshirt, etc. Print on demand is great because you don’t have to pay for the products upfront – you only pay when a customer orders. The best part is you don’t have to handle any shipping!
23) Try a drone photoshoot for a unique aerial perspective
One of the ways to get your photography off the ground (pun intended) is to try a drone photoshoot for a unique aerial perspective! Drones these days are getting more affordable each year, so you can spend less than $1000 for an awesome drone like the Mavic Mini Series! Make sure to abide by the local drone laws and look into a drone safety course of the FAA Part 107 certification before flying, especially when you are near roads and crowds of people!
24) Outsource your editing so you can spend more time shooting or exploring
Did you know that a lot of photographers do not edit their own photos? That’s right – you can outsource your photo editing to websites like Fiverr and Retouchup! Photo editors charge a few cents per photo, so you can get 1000+ images edited for less than $100! Think about how much time you would save if you didn’t have to edit all those photos!
25) Take self portraits so you know what it’s like to be in front of the camera
Another tip for photographer is to take self portraits so you know what it’s like to be in front of the camera! You might realize that people in front of the camera need more hand holding in regards to posing, posture, and engaging in activities that produce candid emotions!
26) Connect your website contact form to a CRM software like Honeybook or Dubsado
Honeybook is a mobile app and desktop site that lets photographers and creative entrepreneurs send contracts, invoices, proposals, and automated emails in just a few clicks! Client relationship management software like Honeybook and Dubsado are great for getting organized, especially when you file taxes because your income is all reported in one place instead of tracking down payments from 7 places.
27) Design a photography pricing guide in Canva or Photoshop
Once you start growing your photography business, you’ll want to design a photography pricing guide in Canva or Photoshop so potential customers can see a clear example of your pricing, packages, services, and portfolio in an organized PDF often called a photography pricing guide. You can try some Photoshop templates or even make your own free template in Canva.
28) Design a “what to wear” style guide for your clients to get outfit inspiration
Once you start getting the hang of Canva or Photoshop, you know how to make a pricing guide, take your customer experience to the next level by providing a “what to wear” style guide for your clients to get outfit inspiration! This can be a PDF created in Canva or even a website page or blog post. That way customers can get inspiration for their outfits, and you can even add affiliate links to clothing websites like Lulus and Lululemon!
29) Optimize your SEO so your digital strategy isn’t “shooting in the dark”
Another one of the tips to be a photographer is to optimize your SEO. Now that you have your website up and Google Analytics connected to monitor your traffic, you’ll want to discover an SEO strategy that works for you. The key is that it works for you and excites you, because there are 1000+ other SEO strategies that might bore you to death or be too complicated for your level of expertise in the subject. Ubersuggest is a great free resource to get started with keyword research and SEO.
30) Give back to the photography community by sharing what you learned along the way
Another one of the tips to be a photographer is to give back to the photography community by sharing the tips and tricks you learned that helped you be the photographer you are today! Everybody loves a humble, generous human who honors the ones who helped them by passing the torch forward in the form of mentorship or a similar activity.
31) Play around with different compositions
This next tip is from travel photographer Jon Miksis. he says,
“Rather than just taking your photos at eye level, try shooting from a lower or higher angel by crouching down or standing on top of something. Frame your subject with things like windows or tree branches. Use leading lines such as roads, rivers, and railway tracks. And last but not least, follow the rule of thirds, which naturally draws viewers to the main elements of your image. If you’re looking to discover the best photography tips for beginners, this is it!”
Thanks for enjoying this list of tips to be a photographer! Bree + Stephen are adventurous entrepreneurs based in Salt Lake City, Utah! They’re pioneers of the NO BS Podcast and hosts of their YouTube channel where they share travel videos, business tutorials, and lifestyle content! They live with their German Shepherd, Sequoia and are usually chugging coffee while on their way to a hike! Please contact for business inquiries or collaborations!