Many times, I meet budding photography professionals who often want to build a portfolio. These young people are looking for an audience to market their services to and often ask me what should they shoot to draw customers.I too, at one time had similar questions. However, after much contemplation this is the conclusion I arrived at and actually worked for me.
1. First I decided what kind of photographer I wanted to be. I wanted to capture life! I wanted to find meaningful moments for my customers. I felt that by focusing on milestone events in the lives of people I would be fulfilled as a photographer.
2. I built my portfolio by shooting events, people or landscapes that I enjoyed. This not only gave me a sense of achievement, I also had the opportunity to explore my creativity.
3. I took classes and found other creative photographers who were passionate about their craft. They became my mentors, my friends and colleagues.
4. I reminded myself of what I loved most about photography and this is important. Photography is a huge time and monetary investment. It's a seasonal business that requires discipline and patience to develop a thriving business.
5. Lastly, I found my motivators. My motivators are the things, people and additional activities that continually inspire me to keep shooting. The personal fulfillment I have from these endeavors keep me balanced and grounded.
My last bit of advice for myself was this: LOVE what you do even if it is not photography. If you're now in love with what you do, it'll be a job as opposed to a fulfilling career. If you dread any occupation, eventually you'll abandon it.