I need opinions on this comment

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by LBPhotog, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. LBPhotog

    LBPhotog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Ok, so I was talking to someone who I used to consider a 'mentor' now I just find him to be more of a pain in the ass; and his photography isn't what I initially thought it was (see, I am learning ... :lol:)

    So I am trying to market myself as a "portrait" photographer and I feel that under that 'umbrella term' the categories include: engagement, weddings, pregnancy, infants, children and families. When he looked at my site and saw the areas I was marketing he said to me, "You need to pick like two of these things and master them, or you will only be mediocre at all of them. You should come shoot a wedding with me so I can turn you into a REAL photographer."

    Now, I understand the logic behind his statement; but, am I spreading myself too thin? Am I taking on too much, or am I right on point with the areas that I am looking at and it's just HIS short comings that don't allow him to excel in multiple areas?

    As for the second part of his comment about making me a "real" photographer it pissed me off due to the fact that I am still trying to battle my "self-doubt" issues that I feel are weighing me down (personal battle, I don't expect anyone here to be able to help with that).

    So, is this guy just being an ass and trying to bring me down, or am I ok with what I am doing? Thanks for any feedback you might have.
     
  2. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,694
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    NYC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The definition is subjective. I consider my self a wedding freak and include same categories as you do. Perhaps portrait, you only limited to in-studio portraits. Who knows and really WHO CARES :D

    Real, not real - if the guy's a jerk, drop him. But do remember this that as a professional photographer when taking on an assignment you are required to deliver the product thus don't forget your backup gear. It might sound elementary but you'll be surprised how often folks come out saying that they are getting into photography, charge clients $ and have no back-up.

    Self-Doubt - comes from lack of experience
     
  3. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    16,062
    Likes Received:
    2,813
    Location:
    Chesterfield UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Where are the mediocre photos he saw ?
     
  4. LBPhotog

    LBPhotog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Have the gear (and the gear I don't have personally, I have unlimited access to until I can afford the gear that I need) that's not an issue.

    I've been working in a studio for someone else for over three years now, it's not a lack of experience that creates my self doubt, it's my fear of complete and utter failure that creates it ... I think I need personal help on this one ... :lmao: I think what really pissed me off about the comment was that I was just starting to feel good about myself and he cut me down like that ... I have considered dropping him, and another crack like that and I will.
     
  5. LBPhotog

    LBPhotog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    He didn't really see anything, it was a general "blanket" statement that he said.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There is nothing wrong with keeping your photographic interests/subject broad...and there is nothing wrong with becoming very specialized (as long as you have enough work in that specialty, or get paid enough that it's worth it).

    I don't think you are even spreading yourself out very much with just what you have listed. Many photographers would add things like real estate, landscape, commercial, product etc.

    Of course, you will find some very, very good wedding photographers who don't do portrait shoots and even more very, very good portrait photographers who don't shoot weddings.
    There are those who bring a portrait style to weddings, and there are those who bring a journalistic style (often used in weddings) to portrait shoots.

    I think a good way to do it, would be to develop a style that works for you....and then being able to adapt that style to whatever you shoot. Many of the good photographers that I know, have a style that I can pick out...whether it's a wedding, a portrait shoot, or family, kids etc.
     
  7. jubb

    jubb TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    texas
    I think especially in this economy, you shouldn't limit yourself to a certain kind of photography unless you have more clients than you know what to do with. Even if you have more clients than you can handle you should raise your prices.

    I wouldn't take any of his comments to heart. People always say "come work with me and I'll turn you into a real insert whatever job you want here'".

    If you can learn something from him I'd take him up on it. If he's just going to be destructive ignore him.
     
  8. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    5,394
    Likes Received:
    405
    Location:
    An American in Europe
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Not everyone expresses themselves in the best manner. Now, I don't see much wrong with what he said but I have the skin of a rhino :lol:

    If his photos are not all that, it's another story all together. You need a mentor whose work you admire. If you don't admire his work, it is time to find someone else.

    He may have mentioned doing a wedding with him because weddings have nothing to do with portraiture. It's a totally different animal even though there are some portrait type shots done at weddings. Weddings are part of what is called event photography.

    Also, I agree with his "pick two and master them." It does not mean however that that is all you will ever do. It just means master those two and, when you have, add another. When you've mastered this new one, add another one. Etc.

    This is like if you were going to get your very first computer and you're also going to get Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Quark, etc. All software related to design but there is a very good chance you will get further faster if you only try to learn one of them at a time.

    What I'm telling you, btw, comes from personal experience. After 12 years of PJ work, being published all over the world, I decided to quit and go into commercial photography. I probably could have gotten clients just because of my name but I don't think I would have lasted very long. Very different animals, very different ways of dealing with clients, etc. So, I spent 2 years assisting a couple different photographers before I opened my own studio.

    Hope that helps.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,255
    Likes Received:
    5,010
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    A good wedding photographer has to have all the skills and a good working knowledge of the technical side so they can improvise when things go wrong, break, or quit working.

    Unfortunately, today there are many out there, calling themselves wedding photographers, that give you a blank stare when you ask them things like, how to drag a shutter.

    Like the wedding photographer being sued on that court reality show that did not know the speed of her lenses. At least she didn't wing it and say "30 seconds per minute" or something.
     
  10. LBPhotog

    LBPhotog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    KmH - trust me when I say I see a lot of the $h!t that get's passed off as "professional" ... I work in a fairly busy photo-lab (at least a fairly reputable one ... the lab does not end in "mart" if you know what I mean) and I get to see some decent stuff and some downright atrocious stuff on a regular basis.

    I know that I have a lot more that I can learn (and will) but I'm willing to say that I shoot better than like 85% of my clientele in my lab (hell, I spend all day making their $h!tty work look good).

    All my glass is 2.8 or better, my bodies are not as good as they should be; but until I can spend more cash to upgade them I'll have to either borrow, rent or make due with what I have ... Or, I could just shoot film, my F5 and F100 are really expensive book ends and need to have the dust taken off of them.
     

Share This Page