Photography has been revolutionised in recent years. With powerful smartphone cameras in every pocket, everyone fancies himself or herself as a photographer these days.
But if you want to take your photography more seriously and go beyond selfies, here are some tips to get a start in a career as a fine art photographer.
#1 What Is Fine Art Photography?
There is no definitive description of fine art photography, but it usually means photography that conveys a message or emotion. This could be something as simple as a single word, or it could involve exploring a particular theme.
Fine art photography usually comprises a body of work rather than an individual photograph, and there is a need for uniformity in your ideas and subjects.
#2 Decide What You Want to Achieve
You do not need any specific qualifications to become a fine art photographer. But you do need to think about what you want to achieve.
Start by deciding on topics and themes that interest you, and think about the types of subjects you enjoy photographing. Which are your favourite techniques?
Get your thoughts down onto paper and brainstorm to see where it takes you. You can then use this as a guide for your photographs.
#3 Get the Right Kit
You'll need a good camera to take high-quality photographs. While some of the best smartphone cameras are very capable, serious photographers will want a dedicated digital camera.
An SLR is the best option. Although more expensive, it will provide you with the ability to take the best shots, and it will give you complete control over your photographs.
As well as the camera, you may need a tripod and different lenses. You will also want to use the best quality paper to display your photographs, so choose a company like canson-infinity.com for the best museum quality paper and canvas.
#4 Find Your Subject
Once you have your kit and some direction about what you want to photograph, you will need to find your subject.
This could be anything. Houses, animals, people, trees, abandoned cars, trash, shadows—it is completely up to you. Start taking photos of different things and find out where your interest lies.
#5 Practice Your Technique
When you take a series of photographs on a particular subject, you will want your technique to be the same for each. Your body of work must be similar, and it must work together cohesively.
You can also practice your artist statement. Describe what you are trying to achieve and why you are taking these photographs. You can refine this later, but for now, it can help with the direction you are taking.
#6 Market Your Work
Once you have a body of work that you want to show off, start to market it. There are many ways to do this:
- Set up a website to display your photographs
- Share them on Instagram and Flickr
- Reach out to local galleries and show them your portfolio
- Find out about local and national competitions for photographers
- Sell your photographs online
Keep looking for opportunities to show off your work, and you will hopefully start growing your fan base and selling your photographs.
#7 Be Passionate About What You Do
There is no set career path to become a fine art photographer. Instead, it is all about practice. It involves developing your technique and your style, working on your themes, taking lots of photographs, printing them off on high-quality paper and displaying them, and creating a body of work.
The more you do, the more you will become familiar with the techniques you enjoy and the subjects you find most interesting. And as your body of work grows, you can start to contact galleries which may be interested in displaying your photographs.
Keep doing this, remain passionate about your work, and there is no saying where it will take you.
Charles Driskell works in the world of marketing and has worked with some high-end and well-known brands in his career. He can attest to the difference good photographs make in branding and marketing campaigns. He contributes some of his marketing expertise around the web through articles and social media.
Do you think this is a career that you would enjoy? Let us know in the comments section below...