I Want to Start a Photography Career - Need Help

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by timeshadowed, Jul 29, 2010.

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  1. timeshadowed
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    timeshadowed New Member

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    Hi

    I just found this forum today and started reading. Boy, is there a lot of information here. Thanks!

    I'm in a position now of trying to find a new beginning in life. I've always loved photography and taken many, many landscape photos on the yearly vacation trips to the mountains. But I've never owned a camera other than the real basic ones - the point and shoot kind. I just bought my first digital about a year ago - real cheapy. I Know, I know, but right now I'm not able to afford the nice pricey ones.

    What I would like help with right now is how to begin to learn how to make photography a career. It is something that I've always wanted to do, but never really knew how to start to break into the field. In other words, I'm not looking for information regarding equipment needed just yet. I need to do the foundation learning before I buy expensive camera equipment - also no money to buy it with.

    Can you help with some ideas as how to start?

    Are there any free classes that one can take?

    How about finding information posted on the internet - any links to share?

    Where does one find jobs within this field?

    Can one start working for someone and learn the trade that way?

    Feel free to ask questions that will help me find the answers that I seek.

    Thanks
  2. subscuck
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    subscuck New Member

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    I would suggest a couple of good books first. "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson or "The Digital Photography Book" by Scott Kelby. There's 3 volumes of the Kelby book. Also look for books on composition. I think Kelby gets into composition in his books, but there are entire books dedicated to it as well. These will teach you the very fundamentals of photography. As far as the pro side, I can't help, I'm not a pro. But if you don't understand the basics, you can't take pro photos. And remember, it's more about you than the camera. Granted, a point & shoot without any semi-auto modes, or manual mode will limit you to an extent, but your knowledge of the process and your camera are what takes the pics. Tutorials on line are OK, but if you don't know what you need to know, how do you know what to look for? Books teach you in a linear, logical order. Once you know your basics, tutorials for specific technique and effects can be useful.
  3. MohaimenK
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    MohaimenK New Member

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    There's a video called "The perfect pictures" where it teaches you how you can take an ordinary photograph in different angle/style to make it professional looking. You should look into that.

    Here's a link, looks like it's not available but at least you have more info on what to look for: [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Picture-Bryan-Peterson/dp/B000DCP5YG[/ame]
  4. Bryce
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    Bryce New Member

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    Nothing is going to be free. Photo jobs start as apprenticeship normaly non paid. You have to take some proffesional pictures for credits not money get them published then you might get paid at some point. Photography starts as fun and passion then turns to education then upgrades on the cameras and equipment. Equipment cost money and you don't make that back for a long time. Photo clubs may have free classes but junior colleges also have them from 40 to 100 dollars.

    If you have passion and wish to succeed you will work hard and sacrifice.

    If you want free classes and jobs just given to you then you will fail.

    I am not a proffessional but I have been around plenty to have gotten this speech over and over.

    I have been published in Europe and have won contests. This is the first steps to geting somewhere.

    Here is a link to a youtube page I think you will like.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/PhotoGavin

    Also go to Welcome to Flickr - Photo Sharing and join the group getty images.
    Flickr: Getty Images Call for Artists

    Flickr: Getty Images on Flickr

    You can also be your own proffessional by creating T-shirts, posters, and other products with photography. My aunt puts flowers in her printer and copies them out and makes things with the prints and sells them at art shows. If she can do that anyone can do somthing with images.
  5. MohaimenK
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    MohaimenK New Member

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    ^^^PhotoGavin is the man! Love his videos!
    Oh, forgot to mention earlier "PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!!" :)
  6. IceEateer
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    IceEateer New Member

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    So much text and type. Just go out there and take some pictures. Post it here for brutually honest criticism. Take it. Grow.
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  7. white
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    white New Member

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    Step one: Sell your soul.

    Step two: Buy expensive L glass because they take teh best pictorz.
  8. Petraio Prime
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    Petraio Prime New Member

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    Please don't. There are thousands of half-starving pros out there with vast experience and talent. The world doesn't need more photographers. I would do nothing but discourage you. Successful pros don't ask for help. They are successful because they already know to answers to the questions you are asking.

    Trust me, professional photography is nothing like you envision.
  9. timeshadowed
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    timeshadowed New Member

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    Thanks for all of the helpful information so far. Keep the comments coming. I'm here to learn.

    Don't get me wrong - I do expect to pay for some type of education down the road. But right now, I can barely pay all of my monthly bills and still eat. Times are really tough for me now. I do have a full time job, but the pay is not that great. I thought that I could start learning now what I can for free and later pay for some college classes when I can afford them. The apprenticeship thing really sounds great - even if you don't get paid for it. However, what I had in mind, was working for someone doing office type things for pay and learning the photography things along the way by just being in the studio. The only problem with this idea, I don't know where to look for this type of job.

    I should add that I'm not young any more, either, (almost retirement age) so time is short for me.
  10. timeshadowed
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    timeshadowed New Member

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    I do understand what you are saying here, but I still want to do this sorta like a retirement hobby/job. I need to keep working even after I apply for SS. So thought that I'd explore something that I really enjoy for a change. My dream job would be something in the nature realm, like maybe working at a nature magazine publishing place. Just something to add to my SS check when I retire.
  11. Petraio Prime
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    Petraio Prime New Member

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    So would 500,000 others just like you, who are younger, stronger, have more drive, talent, time, and motivation.

    Get in line.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  12. timeshadowed
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    timeshadowed New Member

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    I would love to post a few of my vacation pictures that I have taken through the years, but sadly they are all in 35mm slide format. I've been exploring how to convert them to digital format, but I can not afford to buy the scanner nor have someone do it for me.

    ps I have somewhere around 10 thousand slides to convert.
  13. Bitter Jeweler
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    Bitter Jeweler Well-Known Member

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    :popcorn:



    I am amazed at how many people have a "passion" for photography.
    What is the romantic attachment to taking pictures that so many people believe this to be an achievable dream?
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  14. bentcountershaft
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    bentcountershaft Well-Known Member

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    I can think of no better way to suck all the passion and enthusiasm out of my soul for any given hobby than to make it my job. That's just me though. Some people it doesn't affect like that.
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  15. rickabobaloey
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    rickabobaloey New Member

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    I think there's a misconception out there, especially in the digital age, that anyone can take quality photos. That there's nothing too it but just pressing the shutter button.
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  16. timeshadowed
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    timeshadowed New Member

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    I will agree with you here, rickabobaloey. Photography is first and foremost, a highly skilled form of art. One must learn the fundamentals of the art form before one can be accomplished in this field.
  17. Bryce
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    Bryce New Member

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    I have pictures that have taken me hours to get it just the way I want it. Pictures are like peoples kids. No matter how stupid and ugly that kid is the parent wants the to be in the movies, be a doctor, lawyer, or whatever. No one wants to admit the kid is not going to meet the standards they set. Same with pictures. I see pictures on here that have so much artistic thought thrown in to them that nothing is thought about technical quality. If you are going to sell a picture no one is going to use a picture of your kid because you like the picture or an artistic picture that won't sell a car. Just enjoy taking pictures then make money if you can. Fun first money last. It is a camera not an ATM. I am using my camera to create a T shirt line. If the T shirts don't make it then I have some clothes for a while to wear.
  18. rickabobaloey
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    rickabobaloey New Member

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    I do believe that if someone has the passion for photography and that they can convey that passion through their photographs, they will find a way to market themselves. You've got to have more than passion just for photography, you've got to have passion for what you're shooting as well.

    I will use something as an example that was floating around my head the other day. I work at a small ice cream shop in Michigan. We make our own homemade premium ice cream. Around here in Michigan, there's hundreds, of little mom and pop ice cream shops. Almost in every small town and dotted along every major highway.

    I thought it would be interesting to go around and visit these shops, taking pictures of them and their customers. I'd also go and visit the shops during the winter when there's snow on the ground and add those for the winter months when most mom and pop ice cream shops are closed. I'd collage these photos together and sell them to these other ice cream shops (I know a lot of owners from various ones, the ice cream world is a small one), and they could either sell them to their customers or give them away as a customer appeciation gift.

    Would this idea generate a sustainable income for myself? Not likely. I'm unsure if I was able to convey my full thoughts with that long windedness :lmao:. I guess the gist of it is,

    Like any business, especially if it is a small one, things are pretty cut throat. You've got to be adaptable, and also find ways to market yourself in which others haven't, or in the least, aren't as popular as trying to get a landscape photo into a travel magazine.
  19. timeshadowed
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    timeshadowed New Member

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    I have one picture that was taken in Colorado, that I spent a lot of time just walking around to get the right composition which ended up to be standing in the middle of an icy cold creek on a rock, which of course I slipped off and fell into the cold water! ;D

    I can never forget taking that picture. ;D
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  20. Bryce
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    Bryce New Member

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    You almost have to get alot of money for that one. Hazard pay.
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