Ten Steps to Becoming a Full-Time Photographer

You've had your camera, your passion growing with every click of the shutter, and now you're thinking that this thing that you love could be a money maker. You say to yourself, "I'm going to become a full time photographer!" But first, what are some of the steps to go full time?

Going full time in photography is one of those professional pursuits that everyone wants to do, but when the obstacles start building up many shy away from. It's a tough reality that requires tons of dedication, commitment, and an undeniable sense of one's creative self. It can be an all uphill battle with very little at the horizon to look to. Many people never go full time, relying only on photography for the minority of their income. Adam Karnacz of First Man Photography gives us his 10 steps to getting there in his newest video.

There's a few things that Karnacz brings up that I think are absolutely true including ignore the naysayers but listen to the market. The 80-10-10 rule comes to mind where 80 percent of people will enjoy what we are doing and will be positive. They are the market to listen to. 10 percent of people will not like anything you do. It may have nothing to do with your output and everything to do with their self value. The last 10 percent is the group that wants everything your offering. They purchase your prints, buy your artwork, follow all your social media. They are your life-long customers as long as you keep embracing the values they see in your work. 

Giving more than you are taking is in Karnacz list and I think this is incredibly, incredibly valuable. We don't grow as artists in a vacuum. We grow by sharing and instructing. Those that teach their trade know more than any other group, because they have to understand and explain. Become a mentor can be a great way to grow as a photographer and as a person. 

There's eight more steps to becoming a full-time photographer according to Karnacz including the one that may matter the most: work harder than the next guy. Take a look at First Man Photography's video above and tell us what else you should be included in the list.

JT Blenker's picture

JT Blenker, Cr. Photog., CPP is a Photographic Craftsman and Certified Professional Photographer who also teaches workshops throughout the USA focusing on landscape, nightscape, and portraiture. He is the Director of Communications at the Dallas PPA and is continuing his education currently in the pursuit of a Master Photographer degree.

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Great video! Thanks for the help!

Great info! Keep ‘em coming!

Re the first paragraph, I'm not gleefully thinking that I can make money out of it, rather, I've realized that I'm driven to take photos and that there is nothing else I want to be doing; and that it is only through commercial success that I can do such a thing.

Who on Earth in their right mind would want to contaminate something so beautiful with the profit motive?