How To Start a Fine Art Photography Career

Image of photo shoot

The field of photography is ever-growing, and more people are finding themselves drawn to and collecting fine art photos. Rather than simple snapshots, people now want even their family photos to be elevated to fine art. Because of this, the demand for professional photographers is higher than ever - but becoming a fine art photographer requires a lot of time and effort. You'll want to start with a great education in the arts. 

  • The most important step to becoming a fine art photographer is to do your research. It is absolutely essential to familiarize yourself with what constitutes fine art as well as current market trends. You will need to fully understand the basics of design and composition and how your camera functions.
  • A background in art and photography lessons can also be very beneficial. Although many famous photographers never received any formal training, an education is always helpful.
  • Begin making connections in the field early in your career. Apply for a photography job even if it isn’t exactly your dream job. It will provide you with invaluable experience, and you will have opportunities to meet people who can help you advance your career later on.
  • Use this time also to constantly work on improving your craft. Practice whenever you have the opportunity, and keep your best work for your portfolio.
  • Experiment to find your own personal photographic style. If you truly want to be recognized as a professional fine art photographer, your work will have to be unique. Photography, like any artistic field, is extremely competitive. If your work looks exactly like everyone else’s, you won’t get far.
  • Once you have a decent portfolio that showcases how your work stands out amongst all the other fine art photographers, start branching out. Seek out ways to have your work put on display. Local contests are often a great place to start. You may also be able to find local businesses that are willing to display your work.
  • Online research may also lead you to galleries, museums, blogs, or print publications that publish photography from up-and-coming artists. Enter your photographs in contests and submit them to be considered for publication often. The more places you send your work, the greater the chance of your work being published or displayed.
  • If you receive rejection letters, do not be discouraged. Rather, take the criticism as an opportunity to improve your work. Eventually the acceptance letters will come, and gradually your work will start becoming more and more recognized in the art world.

Beginning a career as a fine art photographer is not easy. It requires a willingness to constantly learn and refine your craft; you can keep pushing yourself to learn more by taking online classes in the fine arts.  More importantly, it requires a deep desire to be successful. If you have this and you are able to handle criticism and learn from your mistakes, you may already be well on your way to becoming a successful, well-known fine art photographer.


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