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A photographer can specialize in various areas of photography:
  • Weddings
  • Parties
  • Portraits
  • Scenery/Landscape
  • Buildings

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These are some of the different types of photographs that people like to take. A freelance photographer works for him or herself and is hired by people and companies to take photos.

In the photography world, you can break the different types of photographs into three big categories:
  • Commercial photography
  • Retail photography
  • Fine art photography
When you work in:
  • Commercial photography: you usually sell your work to people who will use your photos in advertisements, brochures, reports, newspapers and magazines, on websites, and so on
  • Retail photography: this means you probably take photos of weddings, party portraits, etc.
  • Fine art photography: you work with art galleries who sell your work for hanging in homes and businesses
No matter what your photography passion, make sure you have the right experience and skills. A great way to get this is by taking photographs for school publications. Or, you can be a photographer for your school yearbook or the school newspaper. You might even work as an intern or an apprentice in a photography studio or for another freelance photographer. That way, you can learn the ropes before putting money into your own biz.

You want to consider if there are courses you should take to get started in the photography biz. Maybe a course in photo processing would be useful. Or, perhaps a course in portrait photography is just what you need.

A big part of the freelance photography biz is having the right equipment. Do you need special cameras, lenses and processing equipment? These can be a big expense, so you'll want to do your research before you get started. We put together a checklist of skills and equipment you'll need to start up your biz.

Keep in mind that retail photography, like any retail biz, has peak times. These times are Mother's Day, graduation, June weddings, etc. Think of ways to make the most of these times by hiring extra help, but also develop sales strategies to get customers at other times of year.

Remember to find out who your competition is in the biz. You also figure out the best ways to advertise your photography. You can find out more about these aspects of biz start up in the Know Your Market and Sell It! sections of this site.