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Essential Qualities for a Successful Photographer

Professional photographers work in various fields such as portrait and wedding photography, industrial, scientific and medical photography, photojournalism, advertising and fashion photography. They may work outdoors or in studios and may operate as freelancers or employees.

Despite such differences, there are some qualities shared by all successful photographers. Here are some of them:

  • Ambition and passion

Like other creative professions, photography is a highly competitive field. You will need to be passionate about your job and ambitious to strive for best results, in order to be successful.

  • Technical skills

Photographers must have excellent technical skills. They must be knowledgeable about camera operations and understand nuances of outdoor and studio lighting. They must be aware of photo-editing software to complete post-production work. Photographers may develop technical skills by attending training programs at art schools or any photography institute course.

  • Interpersonal skills

A talent to work with people is vital for photographers who indulge in editorial, fashion, portrait and wedding photography. They need to build up a rapport with their subjects and get them to cooperate to achieve the targeted results. Also, most of them need to collaborate with other professionals like editors, designers and art directors in their line of work.

  • Detail orientation

A major part of great photography is the ability to focus on both the big picture and the tiny details. This implies capturing the tiniest details when necessary and editing away those details that do not contribute to the story told by the picture.

  • Subject knowledge

This is vital for photographers who work in specialized fields. For instance, wildlife photographers must understand animal behavior so as to capture the best moments. Medical photographers need to know in detail about human anatomy to focus on relevant details. Sports photographers must be knowledgeable about the game and its rules.

  • Creativity

This is an obvious trait. Photographers must have a strong creative ability to make their photos stand out. For instance, advertising photographers must be able to create images that attract the attention of viewers from among the hundreds of photos they see every day. Great photographers are aware of how their creations will look on pages of newspaper and magazines. Event photographers focus on creating strong images which remind customers about their special moments.

  • A sense of networking and marketing

To make it in the photography business, you must build up contacts and do some serious networking. In case your contacts are reliable, good and within budget, you can be free of many problems in the long run. It is a wise practice to network with as many persons as possible; you never know who might be useful. For instance, wedding photographers must have contacts like wedding planners, florists, caterers, etc. Contacts lead to more contacts, so get busy networking.

A keen photographer has good marketing and business skills. He can manage all business aspects of the trade like marketing and finances. As a good photographer, he must be able to sell himself to prospective clients.

  • Legal knowledge

You don’t need to be a law graduate to follow a career in photography, but you must be aware of some legal issues. Can you take a photo of someone and run it without their permission? Is it legal to take photos on private property? Who owns the copyright of your photos?  When does taking a photo to violate someone’s right to privacy?

These are all some essential qualities of a successful photographer.

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