Asking a pro to 'tag along'

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by igloopants, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. igloopants

    igloopants TPF Noob!

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    I'm about to email a bunch of random local photography companies to see whether I can tag along for unpaid work or something (I'm not sure what you'd call it) to basically pick up on things and to learn.

    I'm wondering what sort of things I should be saying in this approach?

    Did anyone here use this process when they were starting out?

    What things would be good to know about approaching this sort of thing?
     
  2. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Do you have a portfolio? How long have you been shooting?
     
  3. igloopants

    igloopants TPF Noob!

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    No and not very long..
     
  4. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well... you'll need to get a little experience under your belt, and something to show where you are before you go approaching anyone to tag along. Not to discourage you, but you want to appear more as an asset than a liability. Try looking for a Photo Club in your area. This can give you great shooting opportunities, and access to a bunch of people with some knowledge to help you get where you are going. Google photo clubs in your area or check on Flickr, they often have localized groups as well. To give you an idea, the main photoclub I belong to is 140 years old, with more than 300 members, they have regular field trips and excursions to photograph of many different genres, also many professional helpful members. While that one is a formal club, I also belong to a club that meets in a bar once a month. Less formal and also has field trips or "group shoots" with a great mix of skill levels. Yet another I belong to is internet based, and spans a large area, but still allows interesting things in my area and if I want to travel 2-3 hours. Just to suggest you look at all your options for learning, build your skills, and portfolio, then go after an apprenticeship.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  5. igloopants

    igloopants TPF Noob!

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    I've been looking for clubs like you suggested, there isn't much to choose from but I'll check into the only local one I've found.

    I'm also looking for courses but there seems to be a large number of 'colleges' that provide courses etc.

    I'm a bit unsure of what qualifications are going to help me, when in the end all I need is know-how and experience (technically you can still take good photo's without either of those.. lol)
     
  6. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

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    Good advice from Bitter.
    Another good place to start is your locally owned camera store, the one I go to has a club that they sponsor and they offer classes at the store.
     
  7. igloopants

    igloopants TPF Noob!

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    The local camera stores here have terrible service and even worse prices.

    I'll stick to checking into the local club.
     
  8. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    :thumbup:

    Meh, if you have enough drive and determination, you can learn on your own with books from the library. Combine that with feedback from friends you make in the local club. ;) You also need to look at books on composition, and not just geared towards photography. Look for books geared to art in general. Look for books on graphic design, painting, illustration, etc... this will give you some well rounded information. Look at tons of books about photographers and their work, look at images on Flickr, take what you learn and spot the elements of design and composition. Learn what makes an image successful, and where they fail.

    The qualifications that are going to help you would be:

    A decent understanding proper exposure and how to play with it to achieve creative exposure.
    Basic control of and how to use light, in various forms.
    A basic understanding of composition.

    That is the "know-how". Being able to show you understand the basics should open some doors. The terms 'experience' I used relative to using the camera rather than in the field. Although when breaking into a career field there is always that catch 22 of "you can't get your first job without experience, and you can't get expirience with your first job." But here you are learning a skill you can show, so....

    I disagree that "technically you can still take good photo's without either of those."
     
  9. iskoos

    iskoos TPF Noob!

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    Another great source of help where 99% of it is free is: www ;)
     
  10. igloopants

    igloopants TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Bitter Jeweler!


    I'm not sure whether 'I surfed teh nets' will get me the job I need in this field. :)
     
  11. Annamas

    Annamas TPF Noob!

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    Couldnt' find a photo club in my area. So I searched my city name on Flickr. Found a group of people that take pictures in the area. Took some work but got them all out a couple of times. What I've learned from them has been quite helpful. Some of them own their own business doing wedding / portraiture / environmental add work. I've learned from them and networked.
     
  12. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your welcome. I hope it was encouraging, not discouraging.

    Honestly, in a creative field like this, most employers don't care how you learned. Your portfolio will show what you learned and what you can do. Even in my career as a jeweler, while I did have a few years at Uni, I don't have a degree, and nobody has ever asked me for one, and to my recollection, nobody has even asked me where/if I went to school. Now I just opened my own business and am doing quite well. Why? My level of quality is known throughout the Jewelery community. I have taught myself a lot, using books, and the internet, and I have had years of experience to hone my craft. But it took me almost 20 years to get here, and still have not reached the top of my game. I am still learning, and still honing my craft.

    Good luck to you. You'll get there. Maybe not as fast as you would hope, but you'll get there. :thumbup:
     

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