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People attach enormous emotional value to photographs, often considering them to be their most precious and irreplaceable possessions. As a photographer, you are tasked with making your client’s memories tangible – a monumentally important job.

So many moments in life are worth documenting.

As a photographer, you can take advantage of the many events and special occasions that people want to remember.

Whether you choose to photograph weddings, new-borns, fashion models or athletes, you can count on a steady stream of clients waiting to be captured on film.

Opportunities in the field are virtually boundless.

All you have to do is follow a few simple steps to harness your creativity to produce beautiful photography.

The process

1. Find your niche. Decide on your strengths, weaknesses and interests as a photographer.

If you love shooting landscapes, look into nature photography.

If you want a great deal of editorial control in your compositions, you might be better suited to the structure of fashion photography than the spontaneity of weddings.

This does not mean you have to limit your work to a single subject – but it will help you to find a way into a particular market.

2. Train. Attend workshops, courses or seminars on photography.

Even if there are none in your area, online courses allow you to improve your skills no matter what your location or schedule.

3. Practice. In photography, your results are limited only by your creativity.

There are unlimited ways to capture any single image.

Once you learn a new skill, practice it until you think you have exhausted all your options. Then practice some more.

4. Record. Put your best work into a portfolio to show to clients who are interested in your skills.

Choose only the photographs that you think best display your style and strengths as a professional.

In looking through your portfolio, a client can determine whether your style suits their tastes, and they couldbe convinced to procure your services.

5. Mingle. Talk to other photographers – their advice and knowledge might inspire you.

You may even be able to answer another photographer’s questions!

6. Experiment. Never stagnate.

If all of your photos look the same, your portfolio will become bland and mundane. Show your versatility by following techniques or styles that extend past your usual methods.

7. Edit. Even supermodels need a bit of help.

Familiarity with editing suites like Photoshop will allow you to enhance your compositions and extend your creativity even further.

Editing will allow you to bring your vision to fruition, without the limitations of reality.

If you are interested in this topic, consider the University of Cape Town Photography short course or our University of Cape Town (CFMS) Photoshop short course. Both courses are presented online throughout South Africa. For more information contact Roxy on 021 447 7565 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .Alternatively, visit UCT Digital Photography Short Course

By Terri-Lee Adendorff

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