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How to Get Started

You've been to the clubs and you've seen these guys with "big" cameras approach some of the hottest babes in the crowd. You see the guy chat with the hot babes for a little bit and then a few quick bursts of flashing lights illuminate the room! Everyone smiles and it's over in seconds. They chat some more, the guy with the camera shows them the pictures and hands them a card. He goes on his way and approaches another set. What you've just witnessed is a nightclub photographer at work.

Obviously you've been wondering how to get started in nightclub and nightlife photography. You've got your camera gear, but how do you get started in this exciting world of nightclub and nightlife photography? I'm going to help you figure that out.

Important Note: you need to have the appropriate equipment. Please see the checklist below.

Camera gear list:
digital SLR
zoom lens
external flash
memory cards
extra batteries for the camera and flash

1) Postings on craigslist.org

The first thing you should do is check out the creative and event gig postings in craigslist for your local area. Do a search on "nightclub photographer" or "nightlife photographer" or "photographer". You may have to keep searching through the postings on a regular basis till you find something. Note that this is how I got my start so I know that it works.

2) Network with DJs, club promoters, and club managers

Do you know any DJs, club promoters, or club managers? Are you friends with any of them? If so, they're also a good way to get your feet wet in nightclub photography. Ask them if they need photos taken at the party they're hosting. You may have to provide your services for free at first, but it's a good way to get started and build a portfolio.

3) Websites that hire nightclub and nightlife photographers

Go to their contact page and inquire if they're hiring nightclub photographers at the moment. If not, ask if you can shadow one of their nightclub photographers at an event and offer your services for free. If your pictures are good enough, maybe they'll call you when they need an extra photographer at a future event. Good luck!