Advice for a young photographer looking to gain experience.

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by anubis404, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I am a young photographer that is looking to gain experience, and maybe one day become a wedding second shooter. My question is, where do I start? I enjoy shooting events and shows, however I do not like studio work. I am OK with interning. Should I email local schools and offer to shoot their events for free? Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Offer nothing for free, nobody gave you the equipment, you work hard to learn the craft which also costs money so dont offer freebies. Schools etc over here take a cut from their student shots/events etc so try contacting them to see if they have any upcoming event/sittings, work out a package price for prints and haggle over the % the school wants to make, remember, everything is negotiable. H
     
  3. guitarkid

    guitarkid TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    chicago
    Flash Harry, great advice!
     
  4. CanonSnob

    CanonSnob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denver
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Harry is right. Don't sell yourself short. You may not be the lead photographer, or even 1st or 2nd assist. But there is a reason that wedding photographer has you along. And that is because you will be offering more shots for them to sell to their client. They are making money off of your services, and as such should be charged for it.

    Even if your not shooting and your just a VAS (voice activated stand) for the photographer. Your service is reducing the amount of time they spend moving gear around and tweaking things, in turn allowing them to get more shots to sell.
     
  5. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    In a way, I agree with you. However, after much research, it seems that wedding photographers don't want to train their competition. And at the rare times that they did, it was someone with a lot of experience and working for free. Its a little dismaying to see people around the internet writing "Jeez, I dunno. I only have a degree in photography and have been only shooting for about 5 years. At 25 years old, I'm way too young and to inexperienced to assist, even for free. Besides, I don't even have the proper gear. A $2000 body (and a backup) and multiple 2.8 zoomes and 2.8> primes just won't do."

    After reading lots of informative articles and posts which affirmed that, I figure I'd be lucky to get work for free, let alone actually getting paid. As of now, I need something to build a resume and get experience. Pay would be nice, but again, I'd be lucky if anyone allowed me to shoot even for free, so I'll take what I can get.
     
  6. JE Kay

    JE Kay TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SW Ontario
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Why on earth would you want to aspire to that?

    There is only one way to gain experience - Shoot everything! Learn the fundamentals of photography, lighting, composition. Learn the fine details of your equipment and then shoot your ass off. Learn to edit your files fast and properly as well. Develop a reliable and clean digital work flow, until you've got so much work you can hire someone to do it for you. ;)

    Keep tabs on events going on in your area, sports, public appearances etc. Show up and shoot. Use your personal contacts, you'd be surprised what avenues open up that way.

    Just shoot. :thumbup: Don't get sucked into the void a lot of new photographers fall into, looking for the perfect opportunities, just get out there and shoot everything.

    In saying that, it does help if you can figure what area you want to work in, sports, fashion, PJ, commercial etc. While it's good to shoot everything for a while to feel it all out at some point most photographers usually fall into something they are comfortable with and that suits their shooting style.

    And just remember, a lot of the 'working' photographers you're going to meet are paranoid and insecure little creatures that will view you as competition even though you're just starting out.

    Most importantly, if you want to be a pro, act like a pro. Treat every client professionally, set your prices, stick to them, deliver quality and on time. Never sell yourself short. If you can produce quality it doesn't matter if you've been shooting 20 years or 20 weeks this business isn't about putting in time, it's about producing images your clients will buy and pay for.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  7. smn_xps

    smn_xps TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sturgis, Michigan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I don't know squat about being a professional photographer so maybe I am out of my gourd, but here is something I have seen done.

    a retired guy who likes sports lives right by the high school where my wife works. so he started going to every athletic event he could an took shots. he started giving 4x6's of his best shots to some of the coaches to give to parents. before long the coaches arranged for him to get onto the field and into event for free.

    did not take long for him to get better at shooting and for the parents to find him. now he sells many photos each week to parents and some to the local papers who pay him as a free lancer.

    might work for you?

    good luck
    jerry
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
experience for a photographer
,
getting photography experience
,
how to gain experience in photography
,

how to gain photography experience

,
how to get experience as a photographer
,
how to get experience in photography
,

how to get photography experience

,
photographer experience
,
what experience do you need to become a photographer
,
where could you gain experience for photography