Using your Hobby in Photography for Business

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By Mary Rae Floresca | | Photography is no longer just a hobby, to some people, it is their main source of income. If you’re fed up with your regular eight to five job but you have your camera on hand, why not start your own photography business?

The most important thing to start the craft is to own the best gadgets. The owners of Stark and Shy Studios, Jose and Vanessa Olarte (husband-and-wife) shared, “We knew that equipment would be expensive and that we needed to put aside a part of our budget to buy the equipment that we need. During our very first paid wedding gig, we just used a point and shoot camera, a low end DSLR and another DSLR camera we borrowed from a friend.” Once you get in hand of your camera, your business is fully operational. “I was able to give my clients exceptional photos not only because of my talent but also because my Canon gears are really amazing,” Valerie Ledesma-Pineda of Silver Linings Photography added.

Photo By: Silver Linings Photography
Photo By: Silver Linings Photography

You may start as the wedding photographer, pitch your craft with friends, relatives. Be exposed with the industry. “We knew we will be dealing with different kinds of people, not only the would-be-clients but the co-suppliers as well. So we knew we have to work on our people skill”, Vanessa Olarte added. Aside from weddings, a lot of moms or moms-to-be would like to have portraits of their kids, family portraits or even while they are pregnant. Photography is a way to document significant milestones of every one’s life. You just have to be persistent and patient in this area as well especially when the subjects are kids. Valerie Ledesma-Pineda advised, “In this industry, it is not enough that you take good shots. Your personality will take you far especially because that’s one of the things your clients will remember. I often talk to the kids’ mommies and most of them end up being my friends! It pays to be genuine. Your love for your job. Your love for the different children you meet.”

Not all professional photographers have their own studios, sometimes it’s easier not to have one. “No overhead cost”, Jose Olarte emphasized. Though it has less exposure, it’s a big win if you have a lot of connections and referrals. “I have met a lot of moms who are more private than others and want their shoots to be more intimate. The good thing though is that I never had a problem with not having a studio. I always end up doing my shoots in my client’s house, the outdoors or a nice place to do an indoor shoot”, Valerie Ledesma-Pineda added.

To keep up with this profession, if you have enough means to upgrade your gear, go for it, always have back up,what if it’s an outdoor event? Also, learn about new equipment that comes out in the market in this photography business workshop, and be in the look out on how you can produce high quality outputs. The passion and skill is already there, you just have to have good gears to support you as well.

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