From Hobby to Career

From Hobby to Career

I found this article by Paul Arthur about how photography started as a hobby for him and then it ended up as a career, he talks about how he changed photography from a hobby into a career and what he did to get to where he is today and what he does as a professional photographer. I think this article could help me a lot in my decision of making photography a career and how to go about making it happen.

“This hectic business lifestyle and the 50 hours a week spent living it meant that I didn’t really have any time to devote to my landscape photography. In the end, the only time I had to make landscape images was when I was away on holiday, or the occasional free weekend when I was able to leave early on Friday night and work my way over to Wales, or down to Cornwall. This isn’t news to anyone. As landscape photographers, we all have trouble finding the time to get out in to the landscape, struggle against the conditions and, especially if you live in the Midlands, the long journeys you have to endure to get there.”

Taking this quote from article, I understand what he means as a lot of the time I find it hard to photograph landscapes, due to the weather, not having the spare time or not having the transport to get the certain places. Also, most of the landscape photography I’ve been doing has been whilst away on holiday or on a weekend, if the weather is good. This is partly why I’d like to travel to different countries to do my photography, because the weather is pretty much guaranteed to be good and I think that there’s a lot more interesting subjects and sights in different countries. Also, because of being on holiday, you’ll be able to commit all your time to photographing.

“So in order to survive, my first few years as a professional photographer were spent struggling through day after day at a desk, travelling to meetings with clients, attending networking events and above all, attempting to persuade people to spend their money with me instead of with all the other photographers around doing exactly the same thing.”

Taking another quote from the article, I feel that this is something I’d have to work on before making a career of my photography, getting my photography out there and making people interested in my work over somebody elses’ sounds as if it would be difficult for me, as I’m not very confident in my own work and therefore would feel as if other people’s work would be better than mine and they would get more interest and sell more than I would. Also, attending events and meeting clients is another thing I’d have to work on if I were to make a career out of photography as I’m not very confident and a lot of the time shy away from public speaking.

Overall, I think this article has helped me gain an understanding of being a landscape photographer as a career as it’s informed me what you need to do, how you should do it and what to look out for whilst being a professional photographer.


To be able to make a career out of Landscape and Documentary photography I’d like to speak to different Landscape and Documentary photographers to ask for guidance and advice on how to get myself out there and known by the public, as well as advice on how to kickstart the career and be able to get the opportunity to travel to different countries. With this in mind I wanted to interview landscape or/and documentary photographers only as they are the photographers that would be able to help me out the most, although any other photographers would have a good idea of what I am interested in, I think landscape or/and documentary photographers would be the best to go to for the advice and guidance that I am after. Ultimately, I’d like to assist a landscape or/and documentary photographer to gain the understanding of shooting landscapes and how to go about documenting through photography, as well as the techniques used.

My goals are to have interviews with photographers, go out and shoot as much as I can to become better and extend my interest in landscape and documentary photography. Also, if possible, another goal would be to find myself a job assisting a photographer. An obvious goal that I’d set myself would also be to do my best in the degree and pass the three years so that I’d then increase my chances of getting an assistant photographer job or even a job as a main photographer by having the degree, as at the moment, I haven’t got the experience needed to become an assistant photographer or persue a job as a photographer.


Since leaving school I’ve never really knew what I wanted to do as a career, I left school and went on to do a BTEC in Production Arts, lighting, sound and scenic construction for theatre and various events. Whilst doing this course I realised that it wasn’t really for me, I found the course quite difficult and didn’t really understand the written work side of the course, it all seemed too technical.

I’ve always been interested in photography, I’d be out with my phone camera as a kid photographing everything and anything and would use my mum’s camera whilst on holiday to photograph different landscapes and sights. I think it’s probably photographing whilst on holiday, in different places like Spain, Portugal, Turkey, France etc that got me into photography. Whilst the rest of my family would be sunbathing, swimming or whatever they may be doing, I’d be walking around taking photos and enjoying the sights.

This is what started my interrested in Landscape photography, since then I’d borrow my mum’s camera and spend my time out in town photographing different landscapes and also take the camera to different place, like museums and photograph various subjects there. Because of using the camera so much my mum decided it would be a good idea to buy me a camera so that I could experiment more with photography and become better. Once I had my own camera I’d spend days out with it, trying out different techniques and experimenting. I took every opportunity I could when it came to photography, taking my camera everywhere I went.

I once went to Bristol and photographed a graffiti project there, I have always been interested in street art and wanted to document the project that was going on at the time, before that I’d photograph graffiti around where I live, Glastonbury. I wanted to photograph the project in Bristol because the graffiti there was done by professional street artists, I wanted to show the different between professional street art and the street art that you see all over the streets, which is seen as vandalism.

This is where I became interested in Documentary photography, I wanted to document many different things that happen and change in the area or historic subjects or/and events. I went to Fleet Air Arm museum and documented the many different war planes from the falklands war and world war one and documented the planes themselves, the engines, the model number and many different parts of the planes and information about them. From this I also went to other musuems and documented what they had there, for example; extinct animals, old fossils and crystals.

As well as photographing landscapes whilst on holiday, I’d also photograph landscapes in the local area, photographing Glastonbury Tor, Chalice Wells, Wearyall Hill and also, whilst in Bath visiting my dad, I’d photograph different sights there. I’ve also took trips to Dartmoor and photographed different landscapes there, for example; Lydford Gorge, and also photographed the different architecture in London, looking at the modern business buildings and different views of London, from the top of The Shard and The London Eye. Whilst in France I did a similar thing, photographing from the top of the Eiffel Tower and Arc De Triomphe whilst in Paris, afterwards I’d look through the Paris and London photos and look for comparisons in the sights, doing this I managed to find quite a few.

Although I’m still about what career to do in relation to my photography, I’d like to travel the world and photograph the different landscapes and document the various sights and subjects, comparing the streets, cities, towns and villages to one another as well as capturing the landmarks of those different places. My interest in Landscape and Documentary photography has continued right the way through to now and I’d possibly like to continue it further, into a career.

Although I still don’t

Stock Photography

Stock images break down into two main types, royalty-free and rights-managed.

For royalty-free images, you get nearly unlimited use. You can use the image in virtually any application, for as long as you like, in as many different projects as you like, as long as you comply with the terms of the license agreement. The image is available to use from when you purchase a license. Following payment of the license fee, no additional royalty payments are owed.

With rights-managed images, your right to use the image is typically restricted, with limitations placed on things such as duration of use, geographic region, industry, etc., as established by your license agreement.


Royalty-free means that once a license fee is paid, the images may be used many times without paying additional fees, but the initial license is necessary to protect yourself and your clients. When you license a royalty-free image, you can use it in nearly any application, for as long as you like, according to your license agreement (although some kinds of uses do require an extended license). The cost is often based on file size, the number of permitted users as well as other factors.


• Goods in trust
• Public liability
• Indemnity

Goods in trust insurance
‘A room set photographer working with a stylist in a hire studio, completes a shoot and the set is broken up. The stylist returns some of the good personally, leaving the rest of the goods in the loading bay of the hire studio awaiting pick up. A number of items go missing’

Who is responsible? Stylist oversees safety of goods and returns them. Studio hire provides storage space and is responsibly for
insurance. The delivery company collected after stylist left. Client now wants to know why there is an extra £500 on invoice. Each supplier should have ‘goods in trust insurance’

Public liability
Public Liability insurance covers any awards of damages given to a member of the public because of an injury or damage to their property caused by you or your business. It also covers any related legal fees, costs and expenses as well as costs of hospital treatment (including ambulance costs) that the NHS may claim from you. Generally speaking, PL insurance is not compulsory; however I would strongly recommend that if you re working with models, memebers of the public and move around on location you look into this insurance.

Indemnity Insurance
Advisable if you are in the business of selling your knowledge or skills, public liability insurance protects your business against claims for loss or damage by a client or a third party if you have made mistakes or are found to have been negligent in some or all of the services that you provide for them. Public Iiability insurance will also cover legal costs. An indemnity clause in a contract ensures that the client is not responsible for any problems which arise from the use of anyone, or anything within the image. Indemnity insurance will cover any such problems.

Late Payment

You can charge interest when invoices go over 30 days. (Late payment of Commercial Debts (interest) Act 1988). Right for every business regardless of size. Suppliers can also charge you if you pay late, the law is optional you do not have to enforce it.

‘Contracts and licensing, combine the most important aspects of copyright law’


Property Release Form

In the event that a house or other property is photographed, you need to obtain a release from the owner of the property to
photograph the property. A property release is a legal release signed by the owner of property used in a photograph or video granting permission to use or publish the photograph or video in one form or another.

When is a property release needed?
If you are including the depiction of a recognisable private property in photograph, authors do not need one for public property,
such as government buildings (although you may run into problems just from photographing/videoing them, for security
reasons). Most animals in zoos are the property of the zoo and usually cannot be used for commercial purposes without the consent of zoo.