cost to become a photographer
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Cost To Become a Photographer

Last Updated on August 15, 2020 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on December 12, 2014 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

Being a photographer is not for everyone. Although there are many who can afford a professional digital camera, or who can get contracts and customers in a short time, if you don’t have talent, dedication, passion for photography, patience and an artistic clear vision regarding a photo composition, all the world’s equipment are useless. As a photographer, one must express in a simple photo a mood, an emotion, a state of mind, even if you’re starting with just a landscape. Everything must perfectly and harmoniously blend, with no discrepancies; a photo’s composition shouldn’t be very conglomerate so that it won’t disturb aesthetically the viewer. All this is gained in years of study, work, and thousands of photos.

A professional photographer does not relinquish the camera not even for an instant; sometimes from the moment he gets out of bed until night, he sees everything through a photographic composition that he could overtake. Photography shouldn’t become just a job, shooting at different events, based on a contract, after which you consider you’ve done your job and there is nothing more to do. Practice makes perfect. Photography must also be your hobby, your second nature.

Buy a special handbag for your camera and accessories so you can capture everything you want and you have the chance to capture important moments. As a matter of fact, people will consider you to be a serious photographer and very dedicated to your work and passion if they see you always with your camera. You can also post daily or at least occasionally on your social network accounts, or even better, on your personal website or blog, your best photos because the world will appreciate this.

So exactly how much will becoming a professional photographer cost?

An average cost for an Associate’s Degree is around $3,000 or more per year;

A high cost for a Bachelor’s Degree starts from $8,200 to $28,000 or more per year.

Typical costs:

If you are an aspiring photographer you should know you can obtain your degree from a four-year university in photography, fine arts or another field related to photography. Last year the average cost at a public college for a four-year bachelor’s degree was around $8,250 for an in-state student and around $ 20,800 for an out-of-state student.

Instead, at a private college the average annual cost for a four-year bachelor’s degree reached $14,500 last year, at profit-based universities, and $28,500, at nonprofit universities, but of course the prices can go much higher.

If you want just an associate’s degree in photography, the cost for a two-year course is around $3,000 per year.

If you are not willing to obtain formal education you can always opt for continuing education in any other area.become-a-photograher

In order to have good performances, one must purchase the necessary equipment. First, you must buy a camera, but be aware of what you need because the price starts from $500 up to $3000 and more. Another expense is the lens, which may cost from $60 and up to $2000.

Additional costs:

Many aspiring photographers become members to some groups, to learn new skills, like the National Press Photographers Association, the Professional Photographers of America, or the North American Nature Photography Association, for a price between $25 and $350.

For a professional photographer, a portfolio material is needed and may cost from $100 to $1000 or maybe more.

Aside from the camera and the lens you sold take into account some other gadgets like camera bags which cost around $100, tripods with prices between $100 and $1,500, memory card for about $15, and so on.

Creativity is a necessary thing in being a great photographer. Of course, talent and technical skills are important, but creativity is essential. Just as a painter creates a picture composition on a white cloth, a skilled photographer should combine the elements from a frame in a more creative, more fun and more dynamic way, in order to create a simple and yet so rich in content composition.

Should the average working Joe afford these expenses?

Although prices might seem high for some of the materials and courses needed to become a photographer, if you have talent, all these expenses will give great returns in time, because we all know that professional photographers earn a lot of money. Start small, get yourself a simple camera, and give it a try. Before investing more, ask friends and close ones to give sincere feedback about your pictures.

If everyone reaches the conclusion that you could become a professional photographer, then you should definitely give it a try.

Alec Pow
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