Ep 10: Transitioning from day job to photographer

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Want to change careers and become a full-time photographer? Gina outlines everything you need to do to make the leap. From getting industry experience, finding mentors, books worth reading and what projects you should work on, this episode is your guide to making it all happen. Enjoy!

Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio.

Show notes

Thanks to questions/comments from: Michael, Ron and Gary – great to hear from you!

The main reason people don’t start is FEAR

  1. Begin today
    “Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.” –Napoleon HillMake a decision and commit to it.
  2. Make it officialRegister a business name
    – find out the relevant laws in your country, register to pay tax
    – get insurance etc to cover public liability and loss or damage to your gear
    – invest in accounting software (eg Xero or Saasu)
  3. Do some research
    Know you camera
    Shoot every day
    Do workshops and courses
    Continue to hone your skills – you never stop learning
    The time you think you know everything is the time your biz starts to slideBooks worth readingThink and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill
    How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie
    The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey
    The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
    Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
    The Dip by Seth Godin
    Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
    Power Stories by Valerie Khoo
    The E-Myth by Michael GerberPlus any biography ever written that discusses struggle to successNot everyone loves to read or has the time these days (including me) so I love audio books.
  4. Find a mentor
    Preferably someone who has a successful photography business who can fast track your business growthWant someone who is prepared to spend at least 1-2 hours a month with you.
  5. Get as much industry experience as you can
    Intern on weekends and after hours this could also develop into a mentor relationship.
  6. Surround yourself with people who inspire you.
    The minute you announce that you are becoming a photographer well meaning friends and family are going to talk you out of it
    – they feel threatened when someone tries to leave the tribe
    – you are a constant reminder of their failure to take a risk
    – look for like minded people who will support and encourage you during this transition
    – there are many online communities that will do this
  7. Having a full time or part time job while you build your business is a great idea
    I worked full time in an Italian restaurant for the first 5 year.
    Having another job while I built my business had positive effects.
    It gives you something positive do everyday while you are waiting for your first breaks
  8. Have a folio with you at all times and be passionate about your love of photography (phone folio/mini book/postcards)
  9. Find clients amongst your inner circle
  10. Share your work on social media
  11. Your uniqueness is the most important asset you have
    Develop a unique style that sets you apart from everyone else.
  12. Make friends with other photographers
  13. Shoot personal projects that inspire youShooting personal projects give you a chance to test new lighting styles, lenses, locations and it’s a brilliant way to showcase your personality.
  14. Seek constructive criticism and learn from it
  15. LOVE WHAT YOU DO
    Waking up everyday to do the thing I love is the best feeling in the world. Being able to make a living from it is awesome.
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