How 115 Photographers Got Their First Paying Clients

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.

Pro photography infographic
How 115 Professional Photographers got started in the business

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.

2 thoughts on “How 115 Photographers Got Their First Paying Clients”

  1. Hi there, this is Linda from Australia, i am a start up business, a slow one however much to learn apparently on the tech side? I’m returning to photography from analogue of which I also had a long time away from. I was quite good at what I did, I have work in the National Gallery of Victoria and some private collections. Bit slow at self promotion networking and asking for money! So I love your show so very much! I was listening to one of your podcasts and a photography site was mentioned. My pic? Or something where you can upload your pics which I signed up for, I cannot for the life of me remember the name. I have re listened to podcasts cannot find it! Going mad! Can you please help!

  2. I love your podcasts and tips. I am a pet photographer and people love my work ; however people don’t want to pay for it. I have had a few paying clients though many people don’t reall want to spend the money and use their own camera. I am working on trying to get photos that no one can take with their own camera. My pricing is within reason and I do not want to sell my services for cheap as we as photographers should never under sell – I market through rescue group, website, yearly calendars, and FB. What else can I do to increase my biz and get people to want to pay for quality photos and forget about the iPhone pics that are not quality? Thanks!

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