Making the Leap from an Advanced Hobbyist to a Professional Photographer



If photography is your passion, there will eventually come a time when you’ll consider turning your hobby into a career. Nothing is more satisfying than making a living doing something that you love, but you must carefully consider all of the variables and also take certain steps to ensure that your career will be successful.

There is a lot of truth to the saying that a camera doesn’t make the photographer; even the most expensive equipment won’t help those who have no eye for photography. Therefore it is not necessary to run out and purchase all of the most expensive camera equipment. When you’re scouring your local ads for DSLR deals, it’s best to keep in mind that investing in quality glass is actually more important than the camera body. Any skilled photographer with at least a Digital Rebel will have the ability to turn out high quality, professional photographs.

Once you decide that you want to cultivate a photography career it will become imperative to choose a specialty. While it is important to diversify, you’ll do your best work, and therefore build the best reputation, by doing photography that appeals to you. The first major distinction to make is between fine art work and portrait work. If your passion lies with nature or architecture photography then your best bet will be to market your photography to genre specific magazines, at art fairs and via an online store. If photographing children is more your cup of tea, however, then you’ll need to invest in quality backgrounds, portrait lenses and a light kit. Again, there is no rule that states that you can’t do both portrait and fine art photography, but focusing more on one of the two options will yield the best results.


Six Important Things to Know about the Life of a Professional Photographer:

1.) If you work for yourself, then you’ll have to pay all of your taxes each year at tax time. Keep records on everything that you purchase for your business and be sure to track your mileage, too. You will not be able to fill out your taxes on an EZ form, so you may wish to consult with a professional tax preparer. Your state or county may also require you to maintain a sales tax license in order to sell your services, so be sure to check into your local guidelines.

2.) Marketing and word of mouth are everything. Invest in quality business cards and make sure to place ads in all applicable places. offers free Craigslist templates, which will allow you to stand out from the crowd. You should also consider offering a referral discount for clients who send you new business.

3.) Model releases are critical for photographers who are interested in selling their work. If a person’s identity can be discerned in the photograph, then you need a signed model release before you attempt to sell the image.

4.) Professional photographers who photograph other people need to invest in liability insurance, along with insurance on their equipment. Without liability insurance, you could end up losing everything if someone gets hurt during a shoot.

5.) Never shoot without a contract. Sample contracts are available online, but make sure that the verbiage adheres to all of your local and state laws.

6.) Don’t give away your work for free. Doing so sets a bad precedent and will make it difficult to charge people in the future.

Are you considering making the leap or have you recently done so? Share your stories and tips below.



Be Like the Sharpie

A life long fan of the Sharpie Permanent Marker, and proud owner of a few smear-proof Sharpie pens (highly recommended), I’m so enamored to see the development and creative community involvement strategies currently being implemented by the same sensational company.

Beginning with the manufacturing and distributing of one simple, yet incredibly effective, design of the now classic black permanent marker, Sharpie has been constantly evolving and bringing innovation to permanency of ink.

The Sharpie Blog is currently promoting a nation-wide challenge that dares each of us to use their new line of fabric staining markers to create something vibrant, colorful and unique!

If as a human being, I can evolve in some comparable way to the graceful, imaginative and honorable way that Sharpie has, I’ll be quite pleased!



Add My Link
Add My Link, Add My Link

You Totally Rock, Sharpie!

“Hello my baby, Hello my honey, Hello my ragtime gal”

The original Michigan J. Frog Entry has gone astray, somewhere between the vortex of theme and alteration vortex… However, today there is luck in the air. For the first time ever, it was material I actually ‘backed-up’ somewhere!

Click me for some Frog-alicious Magic!

oh yes, and a special hello and thank you for the sweet message. It brightened my day, very much appreciated. ❤

Now, take a peak at the Blue Star grading scale below 😉

See? you love me!

Viva Las Vegas


You and Me

The Wannadies

Be A Girl (1994)

You and Me Song


Always when we fight
I kiss you once or twice
And everything’s forgotten
I know you hate that
I love you Sunday song
The week’s not yet begun
And everything is quiet
And it’s always…
You and me always, and forever
You and me always, and forever
ba ba ba ba da ba, it was always
You and me always..

For More on the Swedish Alt. Rock Band, Formed in 1988, The Wannadies:

Have a wonderful evening. Hope you’ve enjoyed this evening’s Little Ditties Entry. -Alex