a few career questions

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by seisky, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. seisky

    seisky TPF Noob!

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    I want to become some kind of professional photographer. I am most interested in sports, wildlife, and portrait photography. I would most like to be a sports photographer. But anyways, I have a few questions on careers involving those kinds of photography. I'm hoping someone will have experience with these things.

    Sports Photography
    1. How much money do sports photographers for newspapers make?
    2. Do they get paid by shot? By hour?
    3. What would be good equipment for this?

    Wildlife Photography
    1. What kind of jobs are there for wildlife photographers?
    2. How much money can be made in wildlife photography?
    3. How are they paid?
    4. What would be good equipment for this?

    Portrait Photography
    1. How much money can be made doing portraits?
    2. Charge by hour, or by session?
    3. What would be good equipment? cameras, lenses, lighting, backdrops, or anything good for portraits.


    If anyone could help me with these subjects, that would be great.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It really depends...some make a lot and some make very little.
    It depends
    It depends on what you are shooting etc.
    The equipment for shooting sports is very expensive. Some places will have equipment for you to use...others will require that you have your own.

    It depends. (are you seeing a pattern here?)
    I don't know if there are many actual 'jobs' shooting wildlife. I would think that primarily it's something you do, then sell your photos to who ever is buying them.

    It depends :er:
    There is no right or wrong answer to any of these questions.
    Annie Leibovitz probably makes a ton of money shooting portraits...while some 17 year old kid is making $6.00 and hour to click the camera at a Wal-mart portrait 'studio'.

    You have asked some good questions...by which I mean that it's good that you are thinking about these things. But the questions are much to general to have specific answers. Photography is an art and a science...the way and the amount of money that can be earned...is infinitely variable.
     
  3. seisky

    seisky TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the help! I guess I'm just looking for anyinfo on those careers. I'll do some research.
     
  4. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You really could go on for pages and pages answering these questions but I do agree with Mike it depends on your skill level as a photograper and who you work for. As far as gear goes you just need pro gear generally the PJ gear and the wildlife gear is going to be the same i.e. wides super-wides mid range zooms long fast zooms. As far as wedding/portraits 70-200 2.8 fast wide. All you have to remember is fast lenses are key. But again your potential earnings depend on your skill level as a photographer.
     
  5. seisky

    seisky TPF Noob!

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    Well I would most like to work as a sports photographer for a small newspaper or something. I'm going to try and contact the local paper to see what the job is like.
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think more pertinent questions would be how can I get the results like *fill-in photogs name*. What education, skills and experience will be required. With my current gear, how close am I getting to those examples.

    Once you get really good at taking your chosen field, the money may or may not come. Are you passionate about it?
     
  7. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do you have any training?? any education?? any experience?? A camera??. I don't know how big/small of a town you live in but newspaper photography is a very competitive business and don't be surprised if all they want are stringers to pay $25-$50 a job.
     
  8. seisky

    seisky TPF Noob!

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    I don't have any education on photography, but I read a lot about it on the internet. My town is very small, about 8,500 people. I have some photography experience, and I'm getting a new camera soon to help me improve.
     
  9. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And you are getting what camera???
     
  10. seisky

    seisky TPF Noob!

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    My old camera won't turn on anymore, and it wasn't a very good camera. I'm getting a fujifilm S700 to start. I've seen some amazing pictures that came from the S700 on a different forum. Then save up for Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT and some other lenses. I'm only a sophomore in High School too. I plan on going to college for photography.
     
  11. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    I can't offer any answers to your questions, but I commend you for doing research. Knowing what you want to do as a career at such a young age provides you with plenty of time to grow, learn and prepare yourself. Good job dude.
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with DigiJay, good on ya for doing the research at this early stage.

    JIP brings up a good point...photography can be very competitive. There will always be someone out there who has more & better equipment than you, or someone who has more education and experience than you. You really need to be passionate about it and you need to sell yourself.

    In this day and age, I doubt whether a small town sports photographer can make enough money (just doing that) to earn a living. That might be a good starting point...or maybe a good supplemental gig...but I don't think it should be a long term goal. Aim high.
     

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