The most difficult part about becoming a professional photographer is fighting to get your first two or three paid clients. It can be agonizing and difficult to get your first clients, but after you have done it a few times, you will get your business rolling.
I thought it would be extremely helpful for new photographers to see how photographers around them got started in the business of pro photography. The following graphic tells the story.
What is the lesson to be learned from this?
In my mind, the message is clear. You are most likely to be hired for your first gig through a referral of a friend or family member. I think the best way to start is to brand your business with a quality website, logo, name, and portfolio. Then, SPREAD THE WORD! Be certain that everyone around you knows that you are a photographer and are available to shoot.
Spread the word to your Facebook friends, co-workers, family, etc. Let them know that you are trying to get your business started and to let you know if they hear of anyone wanting to hire a photographer. The better you spread this message, the sooner you'll get past the first few difficult clients and soon you'll see your business starting to thrive.