I have decided to go PRO

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by rjackjames, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. rjackjames

    rjackjames TPF Noob!

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    I have been in photography for 2 years and I have decided to go PRO. I am working on to get $7K to finance my equipment. I already have a great assortment of lens. I thinking of purchasing a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and prime telephoto lens i.e 300mm F4L, because living in TX you have access to alot of Sporting events, where I live have alot of schools and I could get paid to take pictures for various school events...which should be a good idea to help pay for my equipment also I am in into Landscapes photography,I do quite a bit of travelling too. Would this be great venture for a 23yr who has little experience in photography. What equipment should I get if I decided to go pro with the metion of the 2 itmes listed earlier?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You already have more equipment than many professionals start out with. I recommend that you focus on the business aspect of going professional and start with a business plan. Perhaps find a niche and focus on it rather than doing a little bit of everything. A portfolio and some business cards is a start. A successful professional photographer is not defined by the tools they have in the toolbox.

    If you want to break into the more mainstream professional market, a study in a related field plus experience (internship) with a strong portfolio (and a little luck) is required to get your foot in the door.

    If you are still wanting to upgrade your equipment, move up to a 5D and bank the rest of the money. The 5D will meet most requirements of potential employers or internship opportunities AND you will need the funds in the bank to get started. THe idea is just to meet the requirements.... opportunities are more concerned with your ability to deliver a product rather than how nice of a camera you have in your bag.

    A lot of successful professional photographers (independents) are better at business than shooting

    good luck to you.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would see if you can ghost or work under an existing photographer in your area and pick up some business and people handeling skills.
    Also your current kit is definatly enough to get you started before you need the 300mm f4 and 1D - infact I would be tempted to say go for the camera body before the lens (!!) since your current linup of lenses is more than enough to get good sports (during the day), school, landscape and people shots.
    Also I would take a big look at your editing skills and software - especially for portrates - make sure you have a good powerful editing program and know how to use it to get the right effects
     
  4. rjackjames

    rjackjames TPF Noob!

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    @ usayit.....thanks for the reply....an internship would be difficult since I am active duty military it would be more like a side job or weekend gigs. I had in mind of the 5D but I was looking with more fps for the action photography. I know Sport photography would be a good mainline venture do to the fact there is alot sporting activities in the area around the military base.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I seem to recall someone saying that the army might have call for photographers - or photography relaited jobs - a member here in the army, though I can't think who
     
  6. rjackjames

    rjackjames TPF Noob!

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    Yes the army does have photography related job...which I am planning to switch too....they let me.
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    best thing then is to make sure your portfolio is really up to standard
     
  8. rjackjames

    rjackjames TPF Noob!

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    Once I return I hope to have a portfolio created using few images I took.....or take different pictures for my portfolio. Any ideas or tips???
     
  9. freelunch

    freelunch TPF Noob!

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    Well, talk about turning a negative into a positive: you are in a location and a situation that people are interested in, yet not many will experience. I don't know how in-depth your photojournalism can be before it gets you into trouble. You would have to be the judge, but you are in a unique situation. Use that.

    The landscapes must be pretty dramatic around there? Do you know about "magic hour?" It's a term in the film industry for dawn and dusk and the dramatic lighting effects a low sun creates. Take a tripod.

    Can you photograph Afghans without causing a fuss? Tea rooms. Smoke rooms. Markets. Candid shots rather than portraits.

    What about photographing your mates – tell their stories in words and pictures.

    For a pro, lighting and composition are just as important as subject matter. We're not talkin' snapshots here.

    I hope this is some help ... good luck! :)
     
  10. rjackjames

    rjackjames TPF Noob!

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    @freelunch.

    I would love to go about and shoot...there are alot of great scenes and stuff around in kabul.......and for us soldiers we are not allowed to venture without the big guns we call it due to the fact its Ramadan. So being around the city is dangerous plus my job wont allow it. So when ever i get out i try to take as much pics as I can get....
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok, I could write a book about this, but the reader's digest version is... professional photography is NOT about photography... its about running a BUSINESS.

    You need to ask yourself a very important quesiton... how good a BUSINESSMAN are you?

    Also, **any** business that starts off without a business plan that covers a minimum of 1 year in advance (mine covered 5 years and I followed it to a "T" unless I attained a goal faster, which happened often), has a 90% chance of failure within 6-12 months.

    Where is yours?

    Other quesitons people will ask you:

    - Did you do a competitive analysis of the local market?

    - Who did you mentor under or what degree in photography do you possess?

    - What experience do you have that would make a client choose you over your competition?

    Or how about:

    - Local laws, do you need to have a specific license?

    - Have a good accountant?

    - Insurance, not just equipment, but liability insurance. In the USA, it is common for a photographer to be sued for not delivering (Texas leads the USA in letigious actions more than any other state. I lived there 2 years and saw it daily!).

    - Should you incorporate or just register a business?

    - Are you aware of local/state/country tax laws?

    -----------------------

    Those, and a thousand more questions should *ALL* be answered in your business plan.

    Before I started out my consulting business, I made a business plan that answered ALL of these questions and more... it was well over 300 pages in length. Because of it's thoroughness, it took me 20 minutes to get a 6 digit business loan. Without it, I was questioned... and refused.

    Just a little food for thought. ;)

    Many people are drawn into the glamour of becoming a professional "anything", but soon find out that it is a damn lot more complicated and involves a LOT more work than they every imagined. Being prepared or not equals failure or success on your part.

    In any business, its usually 10% the event (in your case taking pictures), 40% understanding/following legalities and 50% sales/marketing/customer service.

    How much of this did you REALLY consider? No need to answer here... but answer it HONESTLY in your head. ;)

    I wish you great success! :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  12. henkelphoto

    henkelphoto TPF Noob!

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    Rjackjames,

    As for the equipment you mention, I wouldn't worry about the 300 f4L, if you need long glass during the daytime, you already have it, and if you are shooting night football, you are going to need a 300 2.8 (I did a lot of h.s. football without a 300 at all).

    Jerry
     

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