cameraperson wrote in post #15680968
I just like rags to "riches" stories. They are inspiring. I have no illusions about what a real pro does. it is not any easier a business than any other type. Yes, I know many that have a camera thinks they are photographer because they just pushing buttons. That's not what I mean at all. I mean someone that started meager and did not give up. I do not mean they still use the kit lens today, necessarily.
Well, I'm not a pro, but I've been in this for a few years.
Sure, you see people who "start meager", and a few make it, although without a good solid source of income, well, most new businesses just don't make it.
1) As has been said, a "serious" photography business should have backups, both with reliable cameras and lenses and other needed gear (flash and lighting equipment). This can be a "make or break" deal for someone who is jumping into a "serious" project for a paying customer. That new camera an/or kit lens goes bad, and all of a sudden you are not a "pro"!
And then, there is the image of the qualities that come from your gear and your skills at the craft. For instance, the kit lens will be challenged in lower light and so a "working" pro would not want to have a kit without a lens/lenses that can better handle various lighting conditions. Of course if you have good lighting equipment that can help a lot, but at that point you are already moving beyond a "starters kit" expense-wise. Another quality since you mention "portraits" is having control of depth-of-field, being able to "master" the "look" of softer backgrounds and such. You'll find the kit lens to produce less-that-satifactory results in that regard.
Let me tell you a story. A long time ago, back in the '70s when I was less than 30 years old, I wanted to take on a "specialized" craft that some acquaintances were succeeding in operating out of my location in the Seattle Metro area. I figured that I could run a business out of Seattle and have a large "unopened" territory that I could cover.
But, how to get started? Well, I didn't want to be "sloppy"! So, I went to work with one of those acquaintances, he both had the skill set I wanted and he let me use tools/materials/supplies as I worked to learn and save and invest in my own "stuff".
And then, I set my goal, my "aspiration", which was to be the best craftsman in these fields in the Seattle area. So I worked and worked...eventually, we decided that I could handle my own customers, and then the "real work" of doing my own sales began. Out, visiting commercial businesses to offer my services, doing demonstrations, day in, day out, taking "spare" time to spread some flyers, back to the grindstone!
Well, guess what? My aspiration to become "the best", well, it came to be, I was quite "loaded" with repeat and referred customers and as a result was pretty successful!
That business came to and end after a few years because I had to leave Seattle and locate to a small town without the customer base, although I was able to open and run a shop doing a variety of things with a partner, we kept fairly busy, although in the process I went "back to school" to learn about the emerging tech fields and ended up with a career in the high-tech industry, oh well!