One of the biggest challenges an aspiring professional photographer will run into is marketing. I always told my students (I taught Wedding Photography for several years at Cypress College) that you can be the worlds greatest artist alive (or be the Best Wedding Photographer in Orange County), but if nobody knows about you they will never see your work and talent. If you're in it to make money (and I bet you are) you need to learn how to create demand for what you do. Taking pictures, no matter how good you are, costs money. You will have expenses in gear, travel, schooling, and countless miscellaneous things along the way. In order to keep you passion alive, you must feed it. You must create a demand for your work. People must see what you do, love it to want to pay you for it, and be happy enough to willingly tell their friends about you. You have the supply, now go out and create the demand through smart marketing. Simple right? It's never simple when it comes to marketing yourself. There is a huge world of opportunities out there, especially in cyberspace. And this online world is ever changing at a fast pace. Marketing is a beast that you must conquer in order to succeed.
The newbie "professional photographer" will be overly eager to get out into the world and make lots of money while doing what they are passionate about. Becoming the best wedding photographer may even be the ultimate goal. Graduated or self taught "artists" will be excited to get out and create masterpieces. They will reach out to friends and family for photography opportunities. At no charge. While anybody just starting out in any field must start somewhere, this is one trap that is difficult to get out of. In the next article, I'll tell you how to avoid such pitfalls as this. So stay tuned.