How does it all work?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by placeonthecorner, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. placeonthecorner

    placeonthecorner TPF Noob!

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    hi folks...
    So today we had some 'Professional' photographers come into the college to give us some lectures on what they did and how they got there. Im at the very begining of my first year on a degree coarse so i was looking forward to getting a little insight. There were 3 lectures in all - 1. A guy who owned his own photography company who specialised in weddings but also did portraits and still life 2. A guy who worked in photographing buildings and then transfering them into stone for the visualy impared 3. A girl who finished my coarse last year and who has gone on to start her own buisness.
    The girl was extremely pleasent and had done some great work for local magazines and businesses but didnt really have direction. She had attempted to get an agent in london but they said it was too 'early' for her so she's just doing local stuff now.
    Theres not alot to say about the 2nd guy coz his stuff was REALLY left field and not really applicable here.
    Now the first guy, and this is what im trying to get at, seemed to really have his head screwed on - in a business sense. I wont mention names coz i dont want to get any heat, but he said his work had won every commercial award going and that he only had one award left to get this year. He kept telling us how much money he'd made and how he was spending it on his house ( really annoying ). So i dont think any of us were impressed with his personality. He also got VERY defensive when someone pointed out that alot of his work was heavily photoshoped. But anyway, i waffle.
    What i was wondering is, is it posibble to be a photographer and just stay in one field of the genre, and still make a decent living? This guy and alot of others we've seen seem to dabble in all kinds of genres and dont seem to stick to one type. I know this is the best way to make money, but after he said that he was getting all these awards for all his different kinds of work, it got me wondering if my artistic and more origional sense of picture taking was gonna have to stay a hobby rather than something i could do fulltime? My plan , even tho its early days, was to travel and take photos along the way, and go up to the highlands to photograph places and things no one had seen before. But if i want to do this is it realistic that im going to have to fund my style by doing more commercial photography?
    If anyone makes it this far thanx for reading - im not good with words :confused:
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    IMHO....

    I think photography is like most other 'art' in the sense that...to make money, being a talented salesman is more important than being a talented artist.
    I think that a lot of us fantasize about doing what you mention...being able to travel around and take photos of what we want...and to make a good living off of just that.
    I'm sure there are some people doing that...but I guessing that it's very few.

    Some say that you must diversify your career to make money...others will tell you to specialize. I guess it depends on what you do and if there is a demand for it. I recently read an article about a lady who specializes in underwater photography. She shoots in everything from swimming pools to the open ocean. I'd say that is a pretty specialized field...but she is in demand and doing quite well in the commercial market.

    I really have no idea how hard it is to make a career in commercial photography...that probably depends on how good a salesman you are.

    It's always been my opinion that if you want to be able to travel and photograph the world...you will have to fund that with some other career. Become a doctor or a dentist and then you might have the time & money to photography what you want. :roll:
     
  3. placeonthecorner

    placeonthecorner TPF Noob!

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    sound advice.. i guess i was just getting a bit carried away with myself.. theres a ton of photography exibitions around the city at the moment, and im feely overly inspired.. well i have 4 years of coarse work to do, so when i get to the end il see how i stand.. i think i would slant toward jounalistic genres more than weddings etc.. shooting the same thing day in day out doesent fill me with joy... but then its mullah i guess... thanx for the response!
     
  4. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Quick point here. In '04 I finished earning my AAS in Arch. Eng. Drafting. I was hoping to work for an Arch. Eng firm doing Arch/Eng. construction drawings. Instead, I am working in the planning dept making maps. (Civil drafting). Problem is that if this company for some reason is no longer here, I get fed up, or fired, where do I go to do the kind of work I do?
    So I have to keep my Arch. drafting skills up to snuff even though I am doing civil. Same with most other people. Whatever trade they may be in, they do need to specialize, but cannot remain bogged down in just one spot. So having diff. genres is healthy, and helps the creative aspect of it all. Don't let bad/arrogant attitude direct your course of life. It only affects him, and those he works with. It should never have a barring on your work unless you allow it too.
    Business sense comes with experience. Experience is another way of saying mistakes. First timers/newbies will always have little direction, but can have a 'new blood' aspect to them. You fall in this category. Don't worry about the things you haven't done yet, but take the advice of those who ARE SUCCESSFUL! Your best bet is to hang out with SUCCESSFUL people to network, learn tips from, and as Euripides said.."a man shall be judged by the council he keeps".
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Ultimately photography will be your journey. Absorb all you can. Soon your direction will become clear.

    Currently I shoot everything except for weddings and landscapes. When I was in NYC I shot only Home Fashion. I say Be flexible. Consider the market that you want to pursue. Determination, perseverance and luck will get you there.
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Do it because you love it, and the fame and fortune will follow.

    Is this a bad thing? Apparently not to the paying client.
     

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