Have you ever visited a portrait studio to get professional pictures taken, watched the photographer at work, and thought: “I can do that,” but never took action on your impulse? Breaking into the world of professional photography is not that difficult provided you are willing to start at the bottom and work hard to turn your passion into profit.
The opportunities to make money from your photo talents are vast and varied. However, there is one photo job op that I constantly see being offered and wonder why so few people want to take advantage of it. Local portrait studios such as Target, Sears, Kmart and JCPenney are constantly looking to hire (at least in the town I live in). At one point in my life I seriously considered applying for the job.
What impressed me the most about the particular position I considered applying for is that it offered on the job training. Among other things, such as lighting and shooting creative angles, the program is designed to teach photographers how to make even the most camera-shy customers smile. In addition you get a crash course on how to work with people from diverse backgrounds.
Most portrait studios offer decent employment packages which include competitive wages, flexible schedules, store discounts, advancement opportunities, insurance benefits for full-time employees, holiday and vacation pay, sick leave and bonuses. However, if you have exceptional photo skills and bring a lot to the table both professionally and personally, your chances for promotion increase exponentially. Advancements typically equate to higher wages and additional bonuses. Though with any promotion comes new responsibilities. You will likely be required to train other staff members and possibly cover for others when scheduling gets tight. Even if your photo skills are not in the league of semi-professionals, if you are enthusiastic, have a willingness to learn, and work well with others, then you have a great chance of being hired.