how to get first paid photography gig

2 Simple Ways To Find Your First Paid Photography Gigs

Photography as a hobby is an absolute joy for millions of people around the world. The thought of being able to pursue this passionate hobby as a full time profession is a dream for many. The reality of the photography business is that it is very hard to find consistent work especially consistently high paying gigs. Making things even harder is the lack of a professional portfolio most photographers start out with. When competing against industry veterans it is important to show clients a solid work portfolio and possibly references they can contact to verify your work.

Here are 2 Simple Ways To Find Your First Paid Photography Gigs:

Local events

Attend a local annual event that will be promoted each year. Take photos of the main attractions, the large crowds and event organizers. Really take the time to create a great presentation. Once you have put together a few photos you think the organizers might like try to contact them. Say that you attended the event, took photos and were wondering if they would like to see them and possibly use them for promoting the event next year.

I know a few photographers, even seasoned pros, that will do this for a bunch of local events each year. They build relationships with the event directors and each year they get a paid gig. Not to mention the publicity of having your work featured to so many event goers and the vendors at each event. This tactic may take some time to develop but the long term gains are well worth the wait.


You are probably pretty familiar with Craigslist. Right? Well let’s just assume this to be the case. You know you can search for jobs and gigs around your area. That’s pretty simple stuff and can be fruitful if you keep searching each day and try to hone your message to convert more clients when emailing.

The way to truly scale with craigslist is to expand your search. Try searching for other gigs like web design etc. If someone looks like they have a decent budget and are looking for a web designer they are probably going to want professional photography. Put together a basic website showing your photography and also state that you offer web design.

When someone views your site they will probably be impressed with all the original photo content as most web designers use crappy stock photos for everything. If someone contacts you looking for both web design and photography find someone of UPwork to complete the web design work for less money than you charge your client and complete the photography business yourself. This can be a great start to not only your photography business but also the start of web design or even full digital marketing company.
There are tons of ways to find your first paid photography gigs but these two are pretty unique and both could lead to fulltime work if done properly.

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