Is becoming a landscape photographer right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do landscape photographers do?

Still unsure if becoming a landscape photographer is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a landscape photographer or another similar career!

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How to become a Landscape Photographer

Landscape photography does not have strict educational requirements in terms of formal degrees or certifications. However, obtaining a solid foundation in photography through education and training can significantly enhance your skills and prospects in the field. Here are some steps you can take to become a landscape photographer:

High School Education or Equivalent
Begin with a high school diploma or equivalent. Courses in art, photography, visual arts, and computer skills can provide a solid foundation.

Acquire Photography Equipment
Purchase a good quality camera and lenses. Landscape photography often requires wide-angle lenses and a tripod for stability.

Self-Study and Practice
Self-study is a crucial aspect of a photographer's education. Familiarize yourself with your gear. Experiment with your camera and lenses. Learn specific techniques relevant to landscape photography, such as long exposure, composition rules (e.g., rule of thirds), depth of field, leading lines, and using filters for different effects.

Spend time practising photography in various outdoor settings. Experiment with different lighting conditions, compositions, and settings to understand how they impact your photographs.

Study the work of renowned landscape photographers to understand their styles, techniques, and the stories their images tell. Analyze what makes their photos exceptional.

Online Photography Courses and Tutorials
Take advantage of online platforms offering photography courses and tutorials. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare, and LinkedIn Learning offer courses in landscape photography, lighting techniques, composition, and more.

College Courses in Photography or Fine Arts
Consider enrolling in a college or university offering photography programs or degrees. Pursuing a bachelor's degree in photography, fine arts, or a related field can provide comprehensive knowledge and skills.

Photography Workshops, Seminars, Immersive Experiences, and Online Communities
Attend workshops, seminars, or short-term courses, as well as immersive experiences like photo tours or photography retreats, especially those focused on landscape photography. All of these provide hands-on learning, exposure to various techniques, and insights and mentorship from established professionals.

Join online photography forums, groups, and social media communities dedicated to landscape photography. Engage with other photographers and participate in discussions to expand your knowledge and network.

Develop Your Style and Vision
Define your unique style and vision as a landscape photographer. Consider what aspects of landscapes resonate with you and how you want to express them through your photography.

Participation in Competitions and Exhibitions
Submitting your work to photography competitions, art exhibitions, or local fairs can earn you awards, recognitions, and sometimes certificates of participation or achievement.

Portfolio Development and Online Presence
Develop a diverse portfolio showcasing your best landscape photographs. Showcase a variety of landscapes to demonstrate your skills and versatility. Quality over quantity is key. Build a professional website or utilize social media platforms to share your portfolio, connect with a wider audience, gain exposure in the industry, and market your services.

Internships and Assistantships
Seek internships or assistant positions with professional landscape photographers. Learning from experienced photographers in real-world settings is invaluable in understanding the practical aspects of the job.

Continuing Education and Certifications
Stay updated with photography trends, new techniques, and industry advancements. Consider obtaining certifications to enhance your skills and credibility. The following are some of the certifications offered by reputable professional organizations in the field:

  • Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) – To earn this certification, offered by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), you need to pass a written exam on photography principles and techniques, submit a portfolio, and adhere to a code of ethics.
  • Master Photographer Certification – This qualification is offered by the Master Photographers Association (MPA).
  • Google Street View Trusted Photographer – Google offers a certification program for photographers interested in creating 360-degree virtual tours for businesses. This certification allows you to join Google's trusted photographer network.
  • Drone Pilot License (Part 107) – If you plan to incorporate drone photography into your commercial photography services, you'll need to obtain a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States.
  • Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) – While not specific to landscape photography, becoming an Adobe Certified Expert in Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom can enhance your post-processing skills, which are essential for landscape photographers.
  • Nikon School Certification – The Nikon School offers a certification program for photographers who want to enhance their technical and creative skills using Nikon cameras and equipment.
  • Canon Professional Services (CPS) – While not a certification, Canon Professional Services (CPS) is a service and support structure designed to provide working photo and video professionals with a wide range of benefits and services, including hotline support, loaner equipment during service episodes, rental equipment, free or subsidized shipping, service discounts, and online access to the CPS member service page.

Also supporting the landscape photography community are these entities:

  • International Landscape Photographers’ Association (ILPA)
  • North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA)
  • British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP)
  • Royal Photographic Society (RPS)
  • Outdoor Photographer Magazine
  • Landscape Photography Magazine