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How do I get Started in Advertising Photography?

Article Details
  • Written By: Amy Hunter
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Advertising photography is a great way to make a living. Many people that enjoy photography wonder how to make a career out of it. Advertising photography allows you to do that. This type of photography is not as laid back as some other types, however. Your clients will demand professionalism and attentive service.

The first step to becoming an advertising photographer is to learn the various types of photography. You should be comfortable shooting action and still shots, composing the shots and turning your shots into prints. There are classes that teach all of these skills, but the only way to truly develop is hours of practice.

Advertising photography is different than senior portrait photography or wedding photography because every shoot will be different. Some will require that you set up in a studio and work all day and others will require that you meet the participants at dawn at an out-of-the-way location where you have one hour to get the perfect shot. You never know what the client will want. Since the last thing that you want is to develop a reputation as someone who doesn't deliver, you should wait until you are confident in your skills before you start looking for work.

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Photography skills are not the only skills that you need when working in advertising photography. You need to be confident in marketing yourself. While you may hope that your work speaks for itself, you need to be prepared to speak for it. Many people find this to be the most uncomfortable part of working for themselves.

Call a variety of advertising agencies and explain that you are an advertising and corporate photographer. Let them know that you would like to work with them, and ask to set up a meeting. Too often, you will be told to drop off a sample of your work and that they will keep your information on file. Occasionally you will get lucky and they will set up a meeting with you.

If they do ask that you drop off samples of your work, it is important not to get discouraged. They probably will file it, and may pull it out when looking for a photographer. Personal meetings however, give you an opportunity to sell yourself. You can proclaim your enthusiasm for a project, talk about your passion for photography or otherwise make an impression.

Whether you leave samples of your work without speaking with someone or actually get a meeting, follow up is important. If you haven’t heard from them in three months follow up with an email or note. Continue the follow up procedure, while at the same time building your client base by contacting other agencies.

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