Learn The Photography Business From A Pro
4.7 (8 ratings)
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Learn The Photography Business From A Pro

Mentor Program
4.7 (8 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
59 students enrolled
Last updated 6/2017
Price: $150
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 4 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 22 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Learn firsthand the pros and cons of being a professional photographer in today's competitive world.
  • Learn income sources for professional photographers and understand how one earns an income from photography. The answers may surprise you.
  • Learn how to effectively market yourself and your photography - both online and offline.
  • Learn the best way to build business relationships that will benefit you as a photographer.
  • Learn how to set yourself apart from other photographers with a no nonsense approach to staying at the top of your game.
  • Learn how to prepare yourself and your photography for success.
  • Set your realistic goals so you are a part of the 15% of photographers who succeed and NOT the 85% who do not.
  • Realise your potential as a photographer by defining your own unique photographic style.
  • Be mentored by world-class photographer and best-selling author, Mark Paulda.
View Curriculum
  • None. No Pre-Requisites
  • Open mind to learning what it means to be a professional photographer but also a better photographer.

Ready yourself for a rewarding photography career.  Set yourself apart from fierce compettion - and I really do mean FIERCE.

The photography industry is one of the most challenging, difficult and competitive for start up businesses.  The statistics prove it.  Today, only 15% of photographers make it to the third year in business.  15% means that 85% of photographers give up their business within two years.  The number is staggering.

So, you want to be a photographer and enter the business?  I want you to succeed and be a part of the 15% who build a business that lasts.  You must know now and understand completely, this is a business.

There are countless photographers today and the field continues to grow by leaps and bounds.  In fact, almost everyone who owns a camera calls themselves a photographer.  Don't let this discourage you or put you off.

You might feel as if you're in the wilderness - the middle of nowhere - without a clear path to success.  This can be both scary and frustrating.  You have the camera.  You have the skills to create remarkable photographs.  But now what?  

Learn what it takes to not only be a professional but also market yourself and photography effectively.  Challenges await you at every corner.

I've been a professional travel photographer for many many years.  I know what works, what to avoid and who to avoid   I will share this plus a whole lot more in a comprehensive, no nonsense way.  

When just beginning, mentors are important though not always easy to come by in our fast paced world.  Join  this to the point discussion, participate in constructive exercises and ask many questions along the way.  As your online mentor, I am here to help you gain an advantage over the competition and help you be a part of the successful 15%.

Know what it takes to be a professional photographer by the end of this course.  Do what you love - photography.  Follow your passion and be on your way to a rewarding career in photography.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone keen to earn an income from photography or any creative field.
  • Any photographer want to be a professional photographer.
  • Any photographer wanting a to the point discussion about the photography business. Nothing is ambiguous in this course.
  • Anyone wanting a behind the scenes look at what it takes to be a pro.
  • If photography is only a hobby for you, this course might be interesting, though not entirely beneficial.
Compare to Other Photography Courses
Curriculum For This Course
45 Lectures
So, You Want To Be A Professional Photographer
6 Lectures 28:03

Let's introduce ourselves to each other and discuss the reality of professional photography.  The statistics of those who succeed and don't succeeed are mind-boggling.  Begin the journey in the photography world.  Together, we are going to make you shine.

Preview 04:43

Do cameras make a photographer?  No.  But, your goals will determine which camera you need.  Discussion about cameras and how not to fall into the "I need the latest and greatest camera" trap.

Let's Begin At The Beginning

Have you ever heard the saying, "Do what you love and love what you do?"  I will share with you a few stories about interest, enthusiasm and passion.  They all play a role in your photography and how others percieve your work.

Preview 02:52

In photography, your unique style is everything.  It is golden!  Your own style also shows clients you are indeed a professional.  Learn the importance of style and how it will set you apart from the rest of the photographers in the world.

Grow Into Your Style

Practice, practice and practice.  Then practice some more.  This will make you a better photographer, but feedback plays a key role in your growth.  Learn how to take the good feedback with the bad.  You will receive both in your career.  Know how to deal with each in this lesson and the best places to seek feedback.

Practice and Feedback

No dream or goal is too big, but it is smart to be realistic about your goals.  I will take you step by step in the process of setting goals that you can successfully achieve.

Think Big and Dream Big
Let's Examine You and Your Photographs
6 Lectures 17:09

Learn self-editing techniques so when you show your photographs to clients you are 100% certain the details in your image are perfect.  You want to make a good impressions with clients and be a step above the competition.  With a little time and effort, you can put yourself in the running for some brilliant jobs.

Self-Editing: Become Your Own Best Critic

In the previous lesson we discussed the importance of becoming your own best critic.  An 8 Point Photo Quality Checklist was also presented to you.  This checklist is a guide to use to be certain your photos are technically perfect.  Now it is time to put your understanding of the checklist into practice with this exercise.

Photo Quality Checklist - An Exercise

Your photographs can be stronger and more meaningful for clients by including a compelling back story, or behind the scenes glimpses to your process.  Often, this can make the difference between being chosen for a job, or not.  In this lesson we discuss the notion of a good back story.

Good Back Story

A photo with a good behind the scenes description versus a photo without a caption could be the difference between being considered for a photo assignment and being told no thank you from a client.  Choose a variety of your photographs and practice writing a good back story description for each photo.

Create A Good Back Story For Your Photos - An Exercise

What was not good yesterday, may be splendid today.  Let's explore your archives - the photos you set aside because they were not so appealing?  Is the same true today?  Learn the importance of re-visiting your photographs with a new set of eyes.

Your Archives

Summary of the lessons from Section 2 - from becoming a self-editor to preparing emotionally for the photography business.

Section 2 Re-Cap
The Importance Of Style
2 Lectures 10:02

For you and your photographs to be given the attention they deserve from clients, being original is so very important.  This lesson takes you through an exercise for you to see firsthand how much of the work produced today is similar.  You will also reflect on your own work and determine how your photographs are different than every other photographer's photos.

Be Original. Be Yourself.

Clear up the definition of style and why it is important, especially when a client receives your portfolio.  We will take time for you to define your own style and clearly state how your images are different than every other photographer's photos.

What Is Your Style?
Photography IS A Business
9 Lectures 24:03

Photography is a business and you will need to play many roles in order to succeed.  Understand there is more to the business than clicking the shutter button on your camera.

Preview 03:12

Your success depends on you.  This is a scary thought of sorts but you are in control of where your photography career goes.  Understand how you can determine how successful you can become as a photographer.  

Your Success Depends On You

No matter how small or large, a success is a success.  Learn the importance of starting local and how each success is a stepping stone to the next success.

Start Little and Start Local

Mark shares his own experience about starting little and starting local.  We all begin in the same place.  With creative thinking the possibilities are (almost) endless.  Keep a keen open mind and anything can happen.

A Story. Starting Little. Starting Local.

Let's Stop and make a list of every single local business that could hire you as a photographer.  If needed, take a walk around town or drive around with a pen and a notebook.  There are more businesses needing your services than you realise.

Go Local

Gain experience locally before launching into the vast world of photography.  Understand why and how small successes are important for the next step of your career.  Everything counts in the photography business so don't think small successes don't matter.

Be Pleased With Small Successes

Building a business takes time.  Three years to get established as a professional photographer?  Yes, it's true.  Understand the role of marketing in your photography business.

Results Don't Happen Overnight

There are 3 P's of marketing you must apply to your photography business in order to succeed.  We will put into practice the three key elements of marketing for your own photography business.  Be sure to open the "Three Questions" PDF to complete this exercise.

Practice The Three P's of Marketing

Just beginning a photography business, or any business, can be overwhelming when all you really want to do is take cool photos.  Let's discuss how to keep everything in perspective and simple in your mind so you're not overwhelmed.

Keep It Simple
Social Media
1 Lecture 18:24

We have all been told social media is a must in order for our photography business to succeed.  If you want to be noticed, then a Facebook page, Twitter account, Snapchat, Instagram, etc are necessary.  BUT, are these social media platforms really going to advance your photography business?  My aim in this lesson is not to tell you to not use social media, but to question their effectiveness.

Social Media Myth
Anatomy of a Photographer's Website
5 Lectures 59:23

An overview of the essential elements of a photographer's website such as Home Page, Portfolio Pages, About Page, Contact Page.  The page names are obvious, though how the pages are constructed is important for the best possible impact for a viewer and search engines.  Also, understand why incorporating a blog into a website will help a photographer build a business.  

Essential Elements of A Photographer's Website

The Portfolio Pages of a photographer's website are the home for the best of your images; the images that best represent you as a photographer.  A discussion of the most effective ways to present images for the most impact.   The Portfolio Page(s) is/are where you impress your clients and/or potential clients.  It is important to make the best impact possible.  We discuss how to do just that.

Photographer's Website | Portfolio Pages

The Home Page is your most important page of your website.  Understand the importance of the Home Page not only to your viewer but also search engines.  Also discussed are key elements to include for easy navigation.  The home page is the place where you need to impress visitors so they mover further into your website.

Photographer's Website | Home Page

Is the About Page all about you, or is there more?  This lesson will take you through the important elements of a photographer's website about page.  There should be a benefit to your viewer throughout your website including the bio page.  Additionally, we discuss including contact details so clients can find you.

Photographer's Website | About and Contact Page

There are a host of reasons why incorporating a Blog onto a photographer's website is a wise idea.  A blog is where your personality, interests, behind the scenes stories and even your photographic process can shine.  Is a blog only for you to keep a journal or are there other benefits?  Will viewers of your website like a blog?  If so, why?  What role does a blog play with regard to search engines?  These questions and more are discussed in this lesson.

Photographer's Website | Blog
3 Lectures 33:33
Take Your Marketing Offline

To succeed as a photographer, building a strong client base is essential.  Your client base is built through relationships you create.  You introduce yourself, then consistently stay in contact.  This lesson is all about the importance of client-photographer relationships and how to begin creating them.  Here is a secret - consistency is key. 

Open Your Doors To Success

Taking photographs and preparation to promote your photography is a lot of work.  The work, however, does not stop here.  You must show up consistently to be noticed and remembered by the clients with which you want to work.  An introduction to building relationships, which is the key to building a business that lasts.

Show Up To Be Noticed
Income - Where and How Do You Make Money?
3 Lectures 05:15

The photography world has changed significantly over the last 10 years, though the photography community is stronger than it has ever been.  Traditional forms of income generation are dying, but the evolving world has opened up many more doors of opportunity.  Get prepared for the journey ahead.

Income: An Introduction

As a photographer, expect your income to come from a variety of sources.  A discussion of eight viable sources of income you can expect.

A Photographer's Source(es) of Income

As a professional photographer you must rely on a variety of sources if you want to earn a reasonable income.  In the PDF attached to this lesson, Mark shares and describes eight viable sources of income for photographers.  If you are a creative thinker and great at self-promotion you can expand your opportunities well beyond the norm.  Also included are travel companies that are actively looking for your photographs and stock photography trends.

Descriptive Guide To Earning An Income From Photography
Words of Wisdom From an Old Pro
8 Lectures 44:36

If you are just beginning, shadowing or working with a mentor can be a tremendous help to you as a photographer.  A mentor can offer you a real world valuable education as you can experience firsthand how the photography business works.

Find A Mentor

Some days might seem like it's you against the world.  Prepare yourself for these times and make the most of them.  Turn the dark days into bright ones and we will discuss believing in yourself.  

Believe In Yourself

Your camera is merely a tool - that's all it is.  You are the one in control of each and every photograph you take.  You are the one with the knowledge and you share this knowledge with your camera.  We will discuss your power and ability to make your camera do what you want it to do.

You Are In Control

We are all prone to making mistakes.  Some mistakes are minor.  Some mistakes are costly.  Know and understand it is ok to make mistakes; the world will not end.  Also know when you are making mistakes when working with a client to keep them to a bare minimum.

It's OK To Make Mistakes

When you put your photographs into the public forum (online) or show them to a client, be ready for unsolicited comments about your work.  Some commentary you receive will be good, though you might receive harsh criticism when you least expect it.  Understand everyone is a critic and know how to deal with the good and the bad.

Everyone Is A Critic

Go on location with a professional photographer and learn firsthand the approach and techniques a pro uses to get "the" shot.  Though shot at night, the approach can translate to any genre of photography.

On Photography

In almost every genre of the photography business it is very possible for your life to change.  Often photography can be more than simply taking photographs - if you open your heart and your mind.  As a travel photographer, Mark has had many life changing experiences.  He shares behind the scene stories proving photography is an education of life.

Photography Can Be More Than Photography

One of the first questions you may receive as a photographer is - What camera do you use?  Does it matter which camera you use?  No, not really, though Mark shares what is in his camera bag from his lass assignment.

What's In The Bag?
What Else Can I Do?
2 Lectures 05:59

When you are not working with clients, personal projects can strengthen your skills.  Additionally, personal projects can lead to income generation.  I share with you various personal projects I worked on during my spare time that led to some of the greatest successes I've had as a professional photographer.

Personal Projects

Discussion of the importance of practicing your photography skills even after you think you've mastered the craft.  The technical bits of photography are important though mastering composition is the key to great photography.  Trends change, and with so much competition in the photography world, it is best to stay on top of curve.  Attached are seven creative exercises to challenge your creativity for you to do at your leisure.

Practice. Practice. Practice.
About the Instructor
Mark A Paulda
4.7 Average rating
8 Reviews
59 Students
1 Course
Travel Photographer, World Traveler and Best Selling Author

Mark Paulda is a curious minded Gentleman Wayfarer, and international travel photographer, who thrives on challenging everything he knows as a Westerner.  Having two best-selling books on the market, Mark's publisher, TCU Press, calls him an author, though he is unsure about that title.  "El Paso 120," Mark's latest book, was named one ot the Top Books of Texas for 2015, and he was a featured author at the Texas Book Festival.  There are a few more books in the "pipeline," as they say in the publishing world.


That said, Paulda has flown well over a million miles around the world - mostly with his camera.  He has walked over 120 miles with a Nomadic Berber Tribe in North Africa, co-hosted First Lady Laura Bush's visit to El Paso, was nominated for a Grammy for CD Cover Art (Recollections by Asia Featuring John Payne), discovered that Happiness is indeed a place in Bhutan, and is teaching a young Balinese man, Gede, the "art of photography" so Gede can tell the story of Bali from his perspective.  Oh!  And, London is one of Mark's most favourite cities (in addition to Venice).   For more about Mark Paulda, and his great experiences around the world, please visit his blog - The Gentleman Wayfarer.

Creative Learning Classes
4.6 Average rating
13 Reviews
92 Students
3 Courses
Realise Your Potential. Study With The Masters.

Enrich Your Life.  Learn New Skills.  Realise Your Potential.  Study With The Masters.

Your new beginning starts here.   Discover Songwriting with John Payne, lead singer of the progressive rock band ASIA; Get the Whole Picture of Photography with Mark Paulda, best selling author and travel photographer; Learn the Art of Cooking with Cardo, a champion in the kitchen; Seize a Happier Life with I Gede Arya, an expert in Balinese Hinduism; Steal the Spotlight with Satya, a YouTube/Instagram superstar.