I Want to be a Photographer

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by sin_d84, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. sin_d84

    sin_d84 TPF Noob!

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    Hi all I'm new here and I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do I want to be a photographer, but some people say i should go to school others i hear never went and are doing well and personally i don't want to end up 30,000 dollars in debt by going to the Art Institute of Atlanta just to drive 4 hours a day there and back round trip and to be overloaded with extra work I don't want.

    ANY advice on getting started I'm 25 and finally got my g.e.d but this is something I have been interested in for a long time im saving up for the equipment I need but i have been making due with my sony camera.

    I'm interested in doing wedding,portraits,maternity,etc. basically if i see something that catches my eye i shoot and my camera is always with me PLEASE HELP!
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    there are no quick ways.

    if you are scared of debt, then do it as a hobby and take some night classes to learn. or read on the interwebz and practice. shoot for friends and build your experience and portfolio on your own time. After a few years, see where you are at and when you feel you have a client base, a business plan and the skilsl to take images and be a successful business person, then go for it full time
     
  3. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    what BT said. you can learn a lot using just a P&S.
     
  4. sin_d84

    sin_d84 TPF Noob!

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    Did you all go to school for it? My plan is to take digital photo editing and photography at the technical college and maybe some photo shop class
     
  5. Eco

    Eco TPF Noob!

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    Look on craigslist for unpaid gigs as an assistant and build your way up to a second (photographer)= getting experience & building a portfolio.

    Then take a 1 in 100 chance of starting a business that does not fail.....and actually makes money.
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    +1, but the probability of failure is far worse than 99 times of 100.
     
  7. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    Professional photography has nothing to do with that. There are many talented people who are not making enough money as it is. There are way too many wanna-be pros.
     
  8. IlSan

    IlSan TPF Noob!

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    Well, to school I did go ;)
    In my humble opinion I still believe that taking some classes on photography benefits a lot. I know, many will disagree (or not...) but it's just, that going to school you can learn more about the technical aspects of it all (granted, this could most likely be done online as well).

    Look at it this way - if you have the financial means and the time to attend some classes of interest to you - why not. :D
     
  9. bushpig

    bushpig TPF Noob!

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    I took classes in high school, but nothing past that. You don't need to go to school to be a photographer.

    However, I'm not telling you NOT to go. I'm sure that you would learn a LOT about photography in a classroom setting, but I can also tell you that all that info is available on the internet as well. The only difference is that you'd be paying to go to school. But some people find it much easier to learn with a person actively teaching them. It can be hard for some people to sit down and learn stuff on the internet. There's a lot of distractions. Buying a basic photography book will teach you the basics as well and you can't watch funny videos or get on facebook using it.

    As far as saving up to buy yourself 'the equipment I need', that's not as important as you'd think. You don't need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to be a photographer. In fact, I believe that if you do that with no experience, you're making a mistake.

    Here's my suggestion which I add to what everyone else is saying:

    Buy yourself a manual film camera. You can get a cheap slr for next to nothing. Then, shoot like a crazy person. Buy cheap film and shoot a lot. Take time to adjust your settings. Don't bother with a variety of lenses before you can master the basics. Most slr cameras are going to come with a basic 50mm lens (or something close to that). Once you have it down, figure out what you wanna do with your photography: hobby, wedding, portrait, art, etc. Figure out what you'll need to do that, and then you can worry about going gear crazy. But I'd start with a cheap, film slr to start with.

    Try to learn through experience. Don't be discouraged by mistakes early on. Learn from them and improve. But above all else, keep shooting. A better camera won't make you a better photographer.

    Also, don't be afraid to ask for help.
     
  10. Morpheuss

    Morpheuss TPF Noob!

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    I would say pick it up as a hobby surf the forums for a good SLR digital camera and a couple lenses and just practice practice practice and I agree with the people before just work on building a portfolio. Look around craigslist for no paying photo jobs and also go to different free events around and see about taking pictures. I would also see about finding a professional photographer in your area and see about being his apprentice or something along those lines. I wouldn't expect to be making good money enough to make a living off for a while.
     
  11. VJS

    VJS TPF Noob!

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    I can see both sides of the 'school or no school' argument. Paying to take classes when the option to learn for free is a pretty easy choice IMO.

    However, anyone can 'be a photographer'. Anyone can drop the money to buy the most expensive camera and lenses. Anyone can also, drop alot of money to take courses only to find out, they just take bad pictures no matter what.

    You can't be taught what makes a good image. You just can't be shown how to take great shots everytime, no matter what you see/hear/read. If that were true, then not one photographer in the world would ever sell an image because everyone could do it. You can be taught to 'standards'. A pro thinks outside the box... consistently. A pro delivers something truly different everytime ( think wedding shooters - they don't do all the same poses over and over for every wedding they do ).

    A pro is someone who can make a living, equal to if not more than their previous job would. Consistently and continually making your business grow. Not something you do overnight.

    Bottom line? You have to be somewhat decent before you can even think about charging money. Most of the guys here I'm sure will tell you ; the first, any maybe up to the third, gig they did was for free. Do everything asked by anyone - gets your name ( along with reliability ) out there.

    Learn to shoot outside your comfort zone. Learn to shoot when you or your clients are 'not feeling it' - it happens. Spend every free second you have shooting something. Even if we're talking DOF practice with your coffee table and the change in your pocket : work it and work it every chance you get.

    Long reply, I know, I'm sorry. I've been where you are, in the beginning stages. I don't want this to sound like it's coming from a pro. I still work, I shoot every day if I can, I sell 4-10 prints a week + family / kid stuff average 2 times a month. I'm amazed it's gone this far to be honest and I'm truly thankful people like my work enough to hang it their homes/offices.

    You can have it if you work for it....
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  12. henkelphoto

    henkelphoto TPF Noob!

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    Most people will tell you that making a living in photography is 10% photography talent and 90% business talent. Go to school to get that business talent.
     

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