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Photofinish with Tam Williams

Photos from Cosmo Photography, Tam Williams' business.

Once upon a time, photography was seen as a hobbyist' pursuit, rarely hitting the radar for top career lists. Today, with the rise of social media and our digital presence, everyone wants to know a photographer.

We spoke with our Futures Fund Tech Academy Dean of Photography, Tam Williams, on her thoughts about how photography is changing from an art form to a profitable job for just about anyone.

To see more of Tam's portfolio, click here.

How has photography become a lucrative career in the digital age?

The digital age has made photography lucrative for me because of all of the resources that are so readily accessible. It has made it easy for me to master new skills fast and apply them to my work and reach an audience I would be able to reach on my own.

How easy is it to get into photography?

I tell people all the time, it’s super easy to get into photography! You don’t have to have a certain type of camera or spend a bunch of money on gear. If you have a smartphone, you have a camera!

Is photography a flexible career path? What other areas could someone who enjoys photography pursue?

Photography can be a very flexible career path. If you decide on a niche and create a solid business around your work, you can be your own boss and set your own hours. Another great thing about photography is the number of different ways you can bring in income. You can sell your photo prints or stock images online. You can venture out into videography and filmmaking, and you can also take advantage of the boom in the need for aerial photo and video with drone photography.

When/how did you determine that photography was your passion/career?

I was originally in school for electrical engineering, but once I realized I picked up my camera more than my calculator, I made the tough decision to take a break from school and pursue what was clearly my passion. I’ve never regretted that choice. And now I can build a life around doing exactly what I love.

What hurdles did you have to overcome as a new photographer?

When I first started out, I didn’t really have any mentors. Although I was an excellent, naturally talented shooter, I didn’t really know much about running my own business and finding clients so I probably made a lot of mistakes that could’ve been avoided. I always encourage people who are new to shooting to shoot daily to hone their skills and find a network or groups of creatives that can inspire and motivate you to always bring your A-game. Find a photography mentor. If you can find a business mentor, that’s even better! Master your technique and always be open to critique.

If photography is a passion of yours or you would like to see your teen learn photography with our industry professionals on Saturdays, join our Futures Fund Tech Academy!

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