"Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like." -David Alan Harvey
Photographers go through a lot of phases while they learn the craft of capturing artistic images that stun and inspire viewers. Just like other skills, theory is of little use if not put into practice. But once you have gained a grip over the basics and acquired a certain level of proficiency, you consider less of the essentials as they simply become ingrained in your subconscious. If you are an aspiring professional photographer, you should be willing to experiment and convey emotions in each snapshot you capture.
Henri Cartier-Bresson, the French photographer considered to be the father of modern photojournalism and candid photography, once said, "Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." You have to realize that as a photographer you might feel that a certain place is an ideal spot for amazing shots. But let’s admit, other ambitious photographers also think the same way.
I know how you as an amateur would be struggling to showcase your digital photography. But you have to understand that you won’t get noticed overnight. Don’t be discouraged though. Although the task of putting yourself and selling your work might appear as a daunting task but with a few ideas and passionate energy, you can be all set to become a budding photographer.
1. Socialize and Network
Social networking sparks conversations and creates an interactive atmosphere. Mingle with people on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Google+ and tell them who you are and show them your work. You can even enter into photography competitions and contests initiated by reputable companies and gain recognition. And don't just sit in front of the computer all day long. Get out in the community and join networking clubs. Always bring a sample of your portfolio with you (ipad, mini album, laptop...whatever) so you can show interested people some of your work. Developing relationships is a key to getting people to spread the word about you.
2. Blog About Your Digital Photography
Give personality to your photography by having your blog where you can talk about your passion for clicking pictures, and how you enjoy doing what you do. You can even add your portfolio to your blog website that gives insights into your expertise. Write about photography and write inspiring blog posts worth reading. You can even leave your blog address on other blogs and forums to increase your visibility and exposure of your photographs.
3. Decide Where To Sell
The avenues that you use for selling your digital photography depend on your style. If you want to sell product photography, you can choose any of the micro stock sites such as Shutterstock, Fotolia, iStockPhoto and DreamsTime. It is better if you continuously keep your portfolio updated. You get paid a certain amount for each image downloaded. But if you are a photographer planning to sell fine art photography, options such as Red Bubble, SmugMug or Etsy are great. Throw in a few tags and showcase your best work on these websites. The best part is you can choose the price point on these websites based on your membership.
4. Get A Creative Commons License
With Creative Commons, you can maintain the copyright to your work and at the same time allow distribution of your images. The best part is that with this license, many websites actually put your work on display and you also become search engine friendly. You can appear more attractive to magazine and websites that would be more interested in using your digital photography.
5. Be Original
Easier said than done...right? This is probably the biggest challenge for photographers. Finding their voice or their perspective. Rather than simply copying what others have done, strive to develop your own unique style of photography. Play along with different camera angles and lighting techniques and make sure to avoid clich clicks. By adopting a fresh perspective and an inspiring vision, you will be able to catch greater attention and sell more. This will take time, thought, and a lot of trial and error before you find your unique perspective. It probably won't happen overnight.
6. Shoot, Shoot, and Shoot some more
If you are just starting out get as much experience as you can. Work with other photographers, assist, work for free, do personal work, and do all of this with a goal in mind to soak in as much as you can so that you can form your perspective and your style as a photographer. That as much as these other tips will help you get noticed...not promising anything, but it will help.