I get asked so often by photographers starting out:
“How do I get started?”
“I don’t have any clients, how do I build my folio?”
It’s the most daunting and exciting thing to start a photography business and I would imagine, you haven’t made that decision lightly. You could be entering an oversaturated market, everyone has a phone with a decent camera these days, and investing in gear can be expensive. I get it, I’ve had these thoughts as well!
But guess what?! All of this means nothing. If you have a passion and drive to join (in my humble opinion ;)) one of the best industries out there, then you’ll push all of these worries to the side and make it HAPPEN! Doesn’t that feel good?
The first thing you need to decide is what style of photography you want to do – newborn, family, commercial, fashion, travel, sport…. The opportunities are endless.
Have a think about what you love to capture and start there.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to capture, the fun begins! Here are my tips on how to get started:
Reach out to family & friends
There’s nothing wrong with offering free shoots to family & friends when you’re getting started. It’s the perfect way to start folio building and more often than not, you’ll feel comfortable with people you know when you’re still getting the hang of your camera, light & settings ‘in the moment’. Just be sure to have a written agreement between you so they know what to expect from the session.
Join photography groups
This is the best way to learn from those in the know. There are so many photography groups out there; put yourself out of your comfort zone and meet new people, join photography walks through your city, network with ‘togs that have built successful businesses and learn from them.
Find a mentor
You already follow other togs on social media, right?! So, why don’t you reach out to them via DM and connect, open the conversation and see if they offer mentorships. You may even find someone who needs an assistant… this will be the best way to learn!
Collabs are one of the best ways to grow your folio and your following! Reach out to people who inspire you, brands you love or look for opportunities online to collab with others (Facebook groups are amazing for this!). This is one of the golden ways to build your folio and meet like-minded people in the industry you love. It can also be a fantastic way to get your work out there to wider audiences – you never know who’s watching
And so my friends, these are my top tips on how to build your folio. And don’t forget to SHARE your work! Whether you have a following of 5 or 500 people, it doesn’t matter. The more you share your work and talk about what you love to do, the right people will find you and want to work with you. You never know where the next opportunity will come from!
Good luck and happy shooting!