As in other arts, the definitions of amateur and professional are not entirely categorical.An amateur photographer takes snapshots for pleasure to remember events, places or friends with no intention of selling the images to others.A professional photographer is likely to take photographs for a session and image purchase fee, by salary or through the display, resale or use of those photographs.
A professional photographer may be an employee, for example of a newspaper, or may contract to cover a particular planned event such as a wedding or graduation, or to illustrate an advertisement . Others, like fine art photographers , are freelancers , first making an image and then licensing or making printed copies of it for sale or display. Some workers, such as crime scene photographers, estate agents , journalists and scientists, make photographs as part of other work. Photographers who produce moving rather than still pictures are often called cinematographers , videographers or camera operators , depending on the commercial context.The term professional may also imply preparation, for example, by academic study or apprenticeship by the photographer in pursuit of photographic skills. A hallmark of a professional is often that they invest in continuing education through associations. Many associations offer the opportunity to test and exhibit acumen in order to attain credentials such as Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) or Master Photographer . While there is no compulsory registration requirement for professional photographer status, operating a business requires having a business license in most cities and counties. Similarly, having commercial insurance is required by most venues if photographing a wedding or a public event. Photographers who operate a legitimate business can provide these items.Photographers can be categorized based on the subjects they photograph.The exclusive right of photographers to copy and use their products is protected by copyright . Countless industries purchase photographs for use in publications and on products. The photographs seen on magazine covers, in television advertising, on greeting cards or calendars, on websites, or on products and packages, have generally been purchased for this use, either directly from the photographer or through an agency that represents the photographer. A photographer uses a contract to sell the license or use of his or her photograph with exact controls regarding how often the photograph will be used, in what territory it will be used (for example U.S. or U.K. or other), and exactly for which products. This is usually referred to as usage fee and is used to distinguish from production fees (payment for the actual creation of a photograph or photographs).
An additional contract and royalty would apply for each additional use of the photograph.The contract may be for only one year, or other duration. The photographer usually charges a royalty as well as a one-time fee, depending on the terms of the contract. The contract may be for non-exclusive use of the photograph (meaning the photographer can sell the same photograph for more than one use during the same year) or for exclusive use of the photograph (i.e. only that company may use the photograph during the term). The contract can also stipulate that the photographer is entitled to audit the company for determination of royalty payments. Royalties vary depending on the industry buying the photograph and the use, for example, royalties for a photograph used on a poster or in television advertising may be higher than for use on a limited run of brochures . A royalty is also often based on the size at which the photo will be used in a magazine or book, and cover photos usually command higher fees than photos used elsewhere in a book or magazine.Photos taken by a photographer while working on assignment are often work for hire belonging to the company or publication unless stipulated otherwise by contract. Professional portrait and wedding photographers often stipulate by contract that they retain the copyright of their photos, so that only they can sell further prints of the photographs to the consumer, rather than the customer reproducing the photos by other means. If the customer wishes to be able to reproduce the photos themselves, they may discuss an alternative contract with the photographer in advance before the pictures are taken, in which a larger up front fee may be paid in exchange for reprint rights passing to the customer.There are major companies who have maintained catalogues of stock photography and images for decades, such as Getty Images and others. Since the turn of the 21st century many online stock photography catalogues have appeared that invite photographers to sell their photos online easily and quickly, but often for very little money, without a royalty, and without control over the use of the photo, the market it will be used in, the products it will be used on, time duration, etc.
Commercial photographers may also promote their work to advertising and editorial art buyers via printed and online marketing vehicles.Photo sharing[ edit ]Many people upload their photographs to social networking websites and other websites, in order to share them with a particular group or with the general public.  Those interested in legal precision may explicitly release them to the public domain or under a free content license. Some sites, including Wikimedia Commons , are punctilious about licenses and only accept pictures with clear information about permitted use.
Common photography forms
Connecting with other photographers is a great way to grow your client list. Yes, you are technically in competition with other photographers for clients. But there is still a nice level of solidarity within the community. Other photographers care about their craft — so they always like to see other photographers producing great work.Join photography communities. There are all sorts of online message boards and social media groups specially designed to connect photographers with others in their profession. These are a great way to get feedback, learn about the newest technology, and potentially find collaborators.Go to festivals and expos. In-person networking events are naturally a great way to meet people in your industry. Going to a photography festival can also introduce you to new cameras and equipment that might benefit your business. These events are also a great chance to hand out your business card and find people to work with down the road.Volunteer. Sometimes organizations need photographers for events but don’t have the funds to pay for photography. This is where you come in. Not only does volunteering feel great — capturing memories for people on a pro bono basis — but it’s also a chance to meet other photographers or simply get your name out there in the community.Connect on social media. Follow other photographers on Instagram, Twitter, and any other platform they use. And don’t just follow — interact. Cheer them on with positive comments or chime in with an intelligent question about the camera or equipment they used for a certain photo. This is a great chance to build relationships with others in your field.Let’s face the facts: Photography isn’t a cheap profession. Cameras and equipment cost a great deal of money. So photographers are always looking for tools that can save them money while making their jobs easier.That’s where JotForm comes in. JotForm boasts plenty of features that can make photographers’ lives easier. JotForm’s wide array of data collection tools can make booking and scheduling clients a snap. Many photographers have used JotForm to ease their workflow — and it’s enabled them to affordably provide great service for their clients.
Photographer Work Schedules
The secret to being a successful photographer and not lose the passion for the craft is to constantly work on personal projects. Make the time to shoot what you love for yourself and your passion will grow by trying various digital photography techniques. At the same time your confidence as a professional will also grow. This is true for any hobby that becomes a business.Thanks!Invest in good photo editing programs for your computer. Although most of the editing should be done in the manual mode on your camera before you take the pictures, having the ability to make quick touch-ups and adjustments to your photos is very valuable.Thanks!Be aware that if you are being paid to take photos of others, you will be expected to meet your clients desires for the photographs rather than your own artistic preferences. As the saying goes, the customer is always right.Thanks!Dont be afraid to use your photo camera or a point-and-shoot to take photos in your free time. Taking photos on a daily basis is ideal, but cant always be done with a hefty camera and busy schedule.Thanks!Always start your business slowly, and dont expect it to grow incredibly fast.Thanks!A benefit to shooting in RAW vs. JPEG (if your camera supports it) is being able to work with much more information to correctly expose your image afterwards.Thanks!Always take a break from your pictures and come back to them in a few days, weeks, or even months. This will give you a fresh perspective on your work.Thanks!
Photography Mastery – from any starting point
How long have you been shooting weddings? How many weddings have you photographed?Do you often shoot weddings that have a similar size and style to the one we are planning?Can we see the full galleries of a few of your recent weddings?Pro tip: Unlike an album or a highlight gallery, a full gallery will give you a better sense of your photographer’s style, as well as his or her attention to detail. Make sure these are from weddings they’ve shot in the past few months so they’re an accurate representation.Have you ever shot a wedding at our ceremony and reception venues ? If not, do you plan to check the venues out in advance?Pro tip: If possible, your photographer should visit the venue in advance to scout locations, familiarize him- or herself with the layout and lighting, and determine any restrictions from the venue (like a church that does not allow flash photography).Have you ever worked with our planner ? Videographer? Florist ? DJ ?Pro tip: It’s not a must, but it’s always nice to have vendors who are comfortable working with one another.
- Understand aperture – The most fundamental element any photographer should understand is aperture. The aperture is the physical opening within your lens that allows light through to the sensor (or film in an older camera). The wider the aperture opening, the more light can pass through, and vice versa.The size of the opening, which is regulated by a series of fins encroaching from the edge of the lens barrel, is measured in so-called f-stops, written f/2.8, f/5.9 and so on, with smaller numbers denoting wider apertures. If you find this inverse relationship tricky to remember, imagine instead that it relates not to the size of the hole but the amount of each fin encroaching into the opening.A narrow opening is regulated by a large amount of each fin encroaching into the barrel, and so has a high f-stop number, such as f/16, f/18 and so on. A wide opening is characterised by a small number, such as f/3.2, with only a small amount of each fin obscuring the light.2.
- Aperture measurements – Lenses almost always have their maximum aperture setting engraved or stamped on one end of the barrel. On a zoom lens you’ll see two measurements, often stated as f/3.5-f/5.9 or similar.Rather than being opposite ends of a single scale these describe the maximum aperture at the wide angle and telephoto (maximum zoom) lens positions respectively. Always buy a lens with the smallest number you can afford in each position.
- Avoid using aperture to compensate for poor lighting – Changing the aperture has a dramatic effect on the amount of light coming into the camera, as we have already said. Youll notice this is the case when shooting landscapes with a narrower aperture (higher numbered f-stop) as your camera will often want to take a longer exposure — so much so that you may have to use a tripod to avoid motion blur. You should avoid using the aperture scale to compensate for unfavourable lighting, however, as it also changes the amount of the image that remains in focus, as well explain below.
- Use a wide aperture for portraits – Anyone with a cat knows that when they’re hunting or playing their irises contract to enlarge the size of their pupils. This has the same effect as widening the aperture in a camera lens: it makes the subject they are focusing on very sharp while causing everything behind and in front of it to blur. We call this a shallow depth of field. This is perfect for portrait photography, as it draws forward your model within the scene, making them the central focus while the background falls away. Choose f/1.8 or similar wherever possible.
- F/8 and be there – Static models and immobile landscapes are easy to shoot as you can predict with a great deal of certainty which aperture setting you need to get the best out of either. Reportage and street photography, weddings, Christenings and so on are less predictable as your subjects will be moving in relation to the frame. In these circumstances, adopt the pro photographers adage, f/8 and be there.Set your aperture to f/8 for a practical, manageable balance of fairly fast shutter speeds and broad depths of field, allowing you to spend more time thinking about composition within the frame than you do about optical algebra. When shooting indoors without a flash, and depending on the lighting conditions, you may need to increase your cameras sensitivity setting at this aperture, but be careful not to push it so high that you introduce grain into your images, unless you are chasing that specific effect.