Family photography can be one endeavor that you can engage yourself in not just to pass the time but also to earn extra money on the sideline. As long as you have the equipment and you believe that you have the skills to compose a good photograph, then you can get yourself started.
If you are a beginning family photographer, start with this by asking first the people that you know to schedule a shoot with you. You can opt to do it for free or for a discounted price. The goal here is for you to exercise your skills and to build your own photography portfolio. If your schedule will allow it, do around two to four shoots in different locations: for example, you can cover a photo shoot in a beach then another in a studio. This will aid you in expanding your technical know-how in photography, since each location requires different setups. Once you are done with the shoots and the post-processing, show your portfolio to your friends and/or to a professional photographer and ask them for their opinions. This will serve as a good opportunity for you to know which areas you should improve yourself on and also to brainstorm for more ideas.
Once you’re ready to break through into this field, know first the rates of professional photographers. You can do this by canvassing photo studios and asking the personnel about their professional fees. You can also look through their catalogues to determine how studio packages are usually priced. Also, if you can still afford it, invest in good camera equipment (i.e. lenses, tripods), most especially if you’re planning to make this a career in itself. It might be quite heavy on the budget at first, but once you’ve established yourself in this field, you will be able to gain back your losses in no time.
Working as a professional photographer doesn’t mean that you should stop studying and brainstorming. Always allow yourself some room for improvement. Update yourself from time to time about the latest in photography. Subscribe to magazines and newsletters. And also, don’t limit yourself to family photography alone. If you’ve already built a reputation in the field, then dabbling in other types of photography shouldn’t be that much of a problem since by that time, you’ve probably got the skills and equipments needed already. Explore other photography genres to open yourself to more opportunities.