5 learnable skills every professional photographer must have

As photographers, we often get bogged down in what equipment to buy, which lenses to choose, better specs, etc. To everyone’s satisfaction or disappointment, these will only create slight difference in most cases. As a photographer, you need to have more skills than just equipment. I’m here to tell you five the most important ones.

The skills you need as a photographer may sound like the old list of possibilities for exposure, composition, and removing people from landscape photos in Photoshop. While these are undeniably all valid things you need to do as a photographer, they are very basic and to really gain a competitive edge and differentiate yourself. , you need to acquire additional, non-industry-specific transferable skills. This list is the skills you need to hone over and over to master photography.

Learn and discover quickly

I don’t believe in art education. However, I think that everyone with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree should get one, not because knowledge is particularly useful, especially for innovators, but because learning Going up is an important time in your life where you learn how to learn. The ability to take something, wrap it around your head, and then use it is something people underestimate a lot. Shooting something is as simple as a new camera: the faster you can learn it, the more advantageous you are. The “Old Guardians” filmed well into the digital age because they didn’t want to learn new technology that went out of business. The same applies to undivided. Just because you’ve been doing something one-sided for 40 years doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. One of the great things about pursuing a career in the arts is that there is always something new that comes out every day. Being able to keep an open mind and not learn the old ways will definitely make you a much better photographer.


In an industry where keeping up with trends is a way to stay afloat, productivity is key. You need, really need, to hit deadlines on time. No one will wait for you to make it perfect. Done is better than perfect in this case.

Being able to sit down and go through a quick selection or draft a contract quickly for dispatch is important. On the day of the shoot, you also have to be productive and have a high standard, as most people don’t want to sit around all day waiting for you to set up the softbox. This comes with practice and a lot. Take a test shot, try to limit the number of shots you take, and create an environment optimized for the effect. It will certainly go a long way in helping to create more jobs.

Tools that have helped me be productive in the past are timelines, schedules, to-do lists, and goal-setting documents. In a nutshell, every ad I do has a timeline, every day a schedule and a to-do list, and every month, like every year, a somewhat vague list of goals. This helps me to know the “what” to do well the “how”.


There is no way you can become a successful business owner if you cannot market your products to customers. Have you ever wondered why the guy next to you takes the worse pictures but is reserved for everything? Well, they are probably very good at marketing. Don’t think it’s all flyers and billboards, much of marketing comes from being a people person or having someone do it on your behalf. Photography for private clients will rarely come from a sponsored Facebook ad or Instagram post. That’s because most people already know a photographer who works for them. The only way to get more jobs is to make sure your name is trusted and known. By far the best way to get to that point is to have your friends refer you over and over again. For commercial affairs, it is much simpler, but also emphasizes long-term relationships with customers. However, it is much easier to attract commercial customers (as long as you are good at it), as you need to email a lot of people over and over again.

Business and Accounting

Let’s talk business, you need to be able to run a business. This starts with a knowledge of how to register, how to invoice, how to file taxes and other paperwork.

For accountants, hire a good accountant, and let them be the actual accountant of the business. At the same time, be alert to everything. You need to analyze your spending and see where it went. Call it personal accounting. For example, you need to know how much your property will depreciate in the future to make a more educated purchase. Want that new lens? Find out how much you will pay and what the return on investment will be. Customers not satisfied with your work? See if you need new equipment or better education.


For me, style is something that can be considered a skill, as it involves a long process of learning, developing and eventually being conceived and perfected for automation. I believe that no one is born with good or bad style; Their style and aesthetics are summed up by countless everyday experiences. Perhaps one of the best ways to learn style is to be exposed to the arts as much as possible. Not just photography, but sculpture, painting, theater, etc. If you are a fashion photographer, like me, you should immerse yourself in the genre: fashion. Instead of looking at fashion photography, look at fashion design. That way, you’ll both see fashion images, as every book has pictures in them, and really research your genre.

Stop thinking

These skills are some of the most important that have helped me progress faster in my career as a photographer. From basic things like sending invoices to more complex things like analyzing the performances and aesthetics of different towns around the world, these skills are irreplaceable.

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