The phases of progressing as a photographer

Today I want to tell you about my different phases of progressing as a photographer, sort of like the steps and levels of growing. Not directly in skills allthough it is a huge factor in moving up in the ladders, but more in growing in opportunities and having more control over what, whom and how to work.

Not sure how many of you know this so let’s very quickly get started with my start with the photography journey.

I had my own clothing brand and ecommerce site which I ran alone. I worked by myself in every area of the business., including taking the product and lookbook pictures for the site and social media (and yes I was also modeling them myself to save time and funds and that is also how and why I started my outfit picture journey in social media). At that time I did not know a thing about photography, I just needed to get my clothes seen to create business. You now might be wondering why I didn’t I learn this stuff before going online with my business? The answer is that I had no plans going online but were supposed to open an actual store space in Helsinki. As one, two, three, four and five months went by and I still didn’t have a store space I had to make a plan B and that is when I built my ecommerce site to get things running. If your plan A is not working out you have to find an alternative route.

In photography at this time, for me the main priority was not the picture quality but to show the clothing in right spirit. Somehow I managed to create a certain look in my photos that people seemed to like. It was not about the quality like I just stated, but the tones, mood, fits and attitude. It was an urban thing that was just getting started in social media sites like Instagram.

What happened next is I got an opportunity to shoot with one of Finland’s top artist, who contacted me herself. This was the first turning point for me in photography and I could so clearly see myself taking more promotional photos of and for artists. From that day on I started practising first with a friend and then simply contacted people on Instagram whom I found to have an interesting look, determined to learn about photography and capturing my vision to portraits.

During the first year I only did 3 promotional photoshoots with artists, but it was a start, and I appreciated each fukkin’ opportunity I got. No money was involved during this period and that was more than okay for me - those opportunities were more valuable to me than any amount of money. This is the same mindset I still live by, but am now determined to create more business too.

Now let’s get to the part where I explain my phases and hopefully you can get started or start progressing as a photographer too!

Contact people whom you’d like to shoot with.

If you want straight visibility, contact those who are high in following. In this case try to create something that is their style and beneficial for them. If you want to have a certain type of look in your photos, contact those who have that look and brush aside the following part, and create something you are dying to show. (The second option is what I have done.)

Be prepared for NOS.

If you haven’t got much to show for people will be hesitant, and that is not something to be taken personally. Use it as fuel to create more content and repeat the first step after a while.

Create your own look and vibe.

After you’ve done more shoots you will start to learn about your own liking, style and vibes. You will also learn the areas you shine and areas you’re not that good at. Work on the areas you are better at and improve those, don’t try to master every-fukkin-area, this will only slow you down. There’s the right time and the place to unfold those other areas, but it’s not this current time nor the place.

If you are any good you will start getting more YES replies.

Every single yes is to be taken as a victory. I remember how fukkin excited I was when I realized I’m at that stage where I can choose my models and that is such an amazing feeling! It directly meant that I can create more of the type of content I want to show.

If you are any good people will start to contact you, not just the other way around.

Appreciate this moment, Homie. You’ve worked for it.

Of the people you’ve worked with before, they will start trusting you and giving you the freedom to create whatever the hell you want.

You will get here by working with the same people you’ve worked before, as you don’t have to convince strangers over and over again to step in front of your lense. “I have complete trust in your skills and vision, let’s create whatever you want” is the most beautiful sentence one can say to you (or to me at least!).

You’ll find actual customers who are willing to pay for your time and work.

If you are persistent and have skills, you will get here. No problem. It’s only a matter of work and time.


Customers are not only willing but actually want to pay me for my time and work.

Customers want to pay me for my time, work AND VISION.

I have total freedom on planning and execution, customers crave for my vision.

If I am persistent and have skills, i will get THere. No problem. It’s only a matter of work and time.

Thank you for visting and feel free to leave comments and start a conversation!

For daily updates follow me on Instagram!

Feed the fire! / Eeva

PHOTOS: Joanna Suomalainen /

EDITS: Eeva Roots

TOP & PANTS: Maniere De Voir


CAP: Gina Tricot