Hi all!! I am new here, look forward to "meeting" you as I do my rounds through the forum over time! I am a novice/amateur/hobbyist - call it what you will! I love to take photos of my friends and family! I am a creative type - I see what something can be, not what it is! I scored the Pentax istD and gear as a gift from my brother who feels he has "outgrown" it and needed something better - no dramas at all - I suppose I can cope with such a freebie! Lol. I am seriously considering formal education in portrait photography as it's the one big passion in my life, I am always looking for ways to better the last shot, and am always on the lookout for some new location/prop! I have read online so many times that education can not compare to real experience behind the camera - I imagine this would be a matter of personal preference - some of us learn better in a classroom - some out on the field - and formal education does offer both! Some argue that a portfolio is all you need to get a job, that so long as you can take a great pic, the degree is unnecessary - my question is then - where do you learn the rest? Where then, do you learn where to send your photos to be developed or how to archive your photos properly? Where do you learn the do's and don'ts of the real world? I might think I have natural talent - but a client might not... So how does one decide whether formal training is necessary?