What it Takes to be a Professional Photographer


Lesson Info

Stay Up to Date

Staying up to date on the industry, I've talked about this a little bit. Here are a few blogs that I look at pretty much everyday and there's probably a dozen other ones that I look at everyday that I'm in the office. Aphotoeditor.com, my friend Rob Haggart's website. Does everybody here know aphotoeditor.com? If you don't you should definitely check it out. He was the photo editor at Outside Magazine and Men's Journal, started this blog anonymously like a decade ago and it covers all different genres of photography. But he shows the industry from the art buyer, the photo editor's side of things, and it's a gold mine of information. It shows pricing, it has all kinds of jobs that have been shot and it shows the actual estimate with the client's name and some of the specifics blocked out. But all of the numbers are there. So you can see like, this guy did this job, or this person did that job, they made X amount of money. OK, now I kinda know where I am in the ballpark and this is stayi...

ng up to date in the industry, how do I know if I am still in the ballpark? That website is a huge asset. Photo District News is a pretty normal one, PDN, ASMP, the PhotoShelter blog, DPReview, that's more for technology not necessarily clients and stuff. Seth Godin's blog is a great marketing blog. Several of his books, if you haven't read The Purple Cow, read The Purple Cow immediately. Thanks Seth Godin.

Working as a pro photographer takes commitment, passion and tons of hard work. Many think pro photographers are on an extended vacation and happen to take a few photos while traveling the globe non-stop. While many photographers do travel quite a bit, and some go to exotic locations, the reality is quite different than the perception. In this 90-minute class we will discuss what it takes to be a pro photographer including how to perfect your craft, dial in your marketing, build a following and how to find clients that will hire you. By the end of this class you should have a level-headed, realistic view of what a photography career might entail.



  • I come to CreativeLive as much for inspiration and motivation as much as for instruction. This class was a downer as far as inspiration goes. The instructor made me feel like he doesn't really want people to pursue a career in photography. I get setting realistic expectations, but there were a lot of "If this happens....forget it, your career is over, you're done" statements. I need some "You can do it!", quick!