If I were a beginning photographer, there’s no doubt about it, I would be practicing freelance photography. The advancement of technology has made this photography niche one of the best learning methods of photography besides formal training. Working this niche also helps to clear up many of the myths of the business side of photography.
For example, the beginning freelance photographer learns early that photos don’t sell themselves – nothing does! There is a method to the business of successfully selling your photography, full-time, part-time, or just sometimes. Photographers must find their market. Photography customers don’t seek out photographers based on a great photo that the photographer has taken. More is involved. Many very talented and gifted photographers never adjust to this reality. But, just because the work of a photographer is not sold for large sums of money doesn’t mean that the photo isn’t “great photography.”
In my opinion, too many self-taught, beginning photographers end up undervaluing and underselling their work. Worse yet, many give away their photos for ‘credit.’ Too many aspiring photographers don’t have a clear understanding of copyright law, of fees and commission rates, reproduction fees, etc. Even successful freelance photography should be learned.
Firstly, a photographer must be familiar and comfortable with their camera. This is a critical must. But, a good online photography course can quickly and easily do this for most photographers, novice or experienced.
Then, exploring the photography markets is the goal of photographers.