Photography is an expensive hobby and if you are an amateur photograph you can start earning money from your hobby. The difference between amateur and professional is relative. While a professional has to earn his living bread by selling his photographs while the amateur is happy to take good photographs and feel good... but selling is not his main aspiration.
So if you are a good amateur photographer you can earn good money from your good photographs as well as appreciation and kudos. For that you have to change your attitude towards your photographic work and start thinking as a professional. It is not a problem to sell photographs if you are a good photographer with a good stock collection.
HAVE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
If you want to be a recognized photographer competing with the professionals you need not only a creative mind and strong artistic talents you need good and professional equipment. You must have a good system camera to start with few lenses: normal, wide-angle and telephoto lens plus a good zoom lens.
The professional plans his photo work. It is true that the man behind the camera is more important, but you have to have professional equipment and an instamatic will not do. You must have the possibility to take portraits, long shots and tight close ups. A micro lens for close up photography should be part of your tools.
It is useful to have electronic flashes with umbrellas to get indoors clean, beautiful images. The photo lamps are not good enough as they have different color temperature not suitable and do not match... and one needs special artificial light film. The EF is the best light and you can purchase an additional head later. One needs the background, backdrops and the photographic papers on rolls are available in many shades and color. You can start with few selected colors and go on expanding. Initially the white, black, some dark shades as well as some light shades can be enough. You need these paper rolls for studio and modelling photography.
Photography is a science as well as art and you should have proper training and expert know how of the latest techniques and trends. You have to be the best as you are in an open market and you are going to face the stiff competition at every step.
How you learn photography techniques? By reading books and attending various courses. One has to be up-to-date and you have to be modern. The result counts and if you have rich fantasy and creativity and a sharp and artistic mind with keen observation, no one can stop you. As the new techniques are being introduced everyday and new equipments are available you have to keep up with the pace of developments. Digital photography is going to be as common as film photography. You must be fully awake and receptive to the new changes. You can learn from other photographers by studying the masters and see how they compose and how they light a portrait. How they try to capture the nature and the outdoors. You must study the relevant literature and subscribe to few photographic magazines to know what is happening in the market.
Regular visits to the exhibitions, art galleries and photo museum may broaden your outlook giving you new ideas and new styles. Ultimately you should have your own niche and speciality to be recognized for your creative work in your special sphere. Black and white photography is still not replaced by color and it is popular and considered more artistic. The grey tone remove all the unnecessary color details that disturb the a good photograph. Black and white photography provides an opportunity to create art and win awards. In b/w photography you have more control and you can even process and print your images in your own dark rooms. The equipment are not expensive and the process is simple and easy.
THE QUALITY IS IMPORTANT
Whether you do color or b/w photography you have to be the best. There is no place for mediocre photographers as there are too many amateurs are already there. Every photograph is unique and perfectionism is strived and you can not allowed to make too many compromises. The professional usually take many photographs of the same moment in order to get one good shot, perfect, unique, remarkable which takes the breath of the viewers. A good photograph can change the history and the way of thinking. You have something to say and you do it with your camera. You should be obsessed with the visuals dreaming images.
DISCIPLINED AND ORGANIZATION
A good photographer is not only a creative artist but must have strict discipline and has to organize the finished photographs. It is important that you make your own collection and library of photographs and stock shots properly catalogued and easy to find when required. Half of the work is organization and filing system. If you can not find easily what you are looking among the disorganized bundles and packs of photographs, your efforts would result in frustration and hopeless. Try to find a good filing system and be organized.
Your photographic work may be great, creative and unique, but if it is not presented to the right buyer, sponsor, editor and Photo Agency then it is useless and it would vanish with the time. You have to learn to sell and present your work, whether it is assorted slides: color/black and white prints. A good presentation is the key to success. Show your best ones. Kill your darlings. If you have photographs you love because of your personal reasons, do not include them in your collections to the potential buyers. Be highly critical in selecting your images for presentation. If you are careless, clumsy and disorganized you may lose the buyers.
THE PHOTO AGENCY
They can be your opening to regular income. If a good and active Photo Agency accepts your work then you are in and you may enjoy regular income for years to come. The Photo Agency works for many clients: press and advertising agency as well as business houses. They may have millions of images from many leading photographers around the world. They provide the images on any subject to the customers for a price. Sometimes they use their own photographers as well as freelancer of high quality. There are agencies which specialize on press and others are expert providing images to the advertising agencies. They can provide the images on any subject from all over the world. It makes easier work of the advertising and press people who can choose and select the best possible appropriate images from the collection. So if you are lucky to find a place in a big agency, your photographs should be first class and the best. Photography can be a profitable hobby and if you have some unique sought after images, then money will not be a problem and you will be offered fabulous prices.
There are other potential markets such as for greeting cards and for calendar markets. Selling may involve hard work, visits, telephone calls and through mail publicity. One should visit the clients with the portfolio of your best and representative work. The advertising Agencies need beautiful images and they pay well.... but they are always having deadlines. It is good idea to take part into photo competition and get recognized. Photography is a glamorous profession and many people want to be successful, but cut throat competition awaits them.