I'm young but want to do something serious photography-related

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by naaaach, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. naaaach

    naaaach TPF Noob!

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    This is going to be my little asking-for-help/rant, so bear with me. I'm 16 and very intrigued in photography. Like really, and it's not just a passing hobby...I've been interested in photographs since the age of 10. My dad handed me a cheap digital camera and I would always go around taking pictures and showing them to my friends.

    Then when I said I wanted to learn the fundamentals, my dad handed me his old K1000, and I began borrowing library books, and pursuading my dad to let me take classes. That's when I learned all the basic fundamentals of photography...how lights worked its way into the camera, different lens types, how aperture/shutter speed pair together, DOF, etc. I developed my own negatives with chemicals. I was 12 then.

    Since then, I've taken many advanced photography courses and learned heaps of techniques. I spent all my savings on rolls of film, and saved up soooo long before I finally purchased my D90. I also purchased a Nikon 18-200mm, a few filters, a trusty tripod and now I'm saving up to buy more lens and accessories. My uncles handed me some old analog lens that I'm also using. I'm out of money for the time being, but I still improvise (making homemade diffusers, umbrellas, etc.)

    The thing is, I want to turn this hobby...my favourite hobby into a job. I know there are people out there that appreciate my photography, as I've had people ask me personally if they can buy prints of my photos.

    But when I turn to something professional, such as photos for an online brochure or a small event (that needs no professional), they look down on me because of my age. I have no experience, maybe, but I'm just frustrated that they don't even consider me, not for a second. I try to have them look at my portfolio, and their reaction is almost always the same..."Yeah, yeah, okay." And they never even look.

    So...I don't know, maybe I DON'T have real experience with this. I was hoping someone on TPF could guide me. :hugs:

    /rant

    Thank you for those who read this, at least I know someone out there can understand my frustration.
     
  2. Geaux

    Geaux No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't have much input on going pro, as I'm an amateur myself, but I'm interested in some of your shots. Mind posting a few of your favs?
     
  3. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    When I was in my 20's and went into business, most people thought I looked like a teenager. I would hear all the time, "you don't look old enough to do this".

    Get used to it, it will not change. Perseverance, being creative, and help from others will get you through it.
     
  4. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    At 16 your still a "kid" to many people, even though you may not think it. My son in high school had friends who were interested in photography and got very expensive Nikons (brand really doesn't matter) and what they did was volunteer to photograph the sports teams and functions the HS was having, and even put up photos on the school's website. I think at one point they may have had a link to buy photos as well but they were able to gain experience and I believe they are planning to try and make a career out of it (he's lost touch with them). That would be my suggestion to you.
     
  5. carvinrocks2

    carvinrocks2 TPF Noob!

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    Grow a beard! ;)
     
  6. Infidel

    Infidel TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like you've definitely caught the bug. I too remember taking photography classes in high school and really enjoying it. In fact, I also started out with a K-1000 (although I had played with my Dad's old Kodak Retina prior to that).

    Surely your school must have some form of student-run publications; yearbook, newspaper, literary club, website, or otherwise. If you haven't already, why not become formally involved with one of those? Alternatively, look for photography clubs outside of school. At the very least, you may begin to form some relationships in a professional network. Should you want to receive formal training in photography after high school, these types of activities could help strengthen your application.

    At your stage, any work experience is a good thing, even if it's not as a professional photographer. It'll help you develop some references (never too early to start thinking about that).

    I'm sure there are several forum members who have been in your position who can offer better advice.

    Good luck.
     
  7. IceEateer

    IceEateer TPF Noob!

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    I'm not much of a photographer, but I do know how to run a business.

    1. Make sure your pictures are genuinely good.
    2. Join your high school yearbook organization.
    3. Internet presence. Create a facebook group for your "Name" Photography.
    4. $$

    Photography is a very merit based profession that does not require any artificial barriers outside of owning a camera. If your photos are good, and they're genuinely good -- you'll get your much deserve praise and profit.

    With today's viral marketing, the current "in" thing being Facebook, good pictures will sell. Don't be afraid to set a higher price than you'd think would be normal. Young kids tend to lowball themselves, because of their inexperience. If you underestimate yourself by setting a low price, people will treat your work product as such -- cheap.

    One last important thing. If you REALLY REALLY know that photography is the thing for you, I largely wouldn't recommend college for you. Again, photography is a very merit based profession. Nobody cares if you have a degree in photography or such. College will take away too much of your time and your parents money.

    There are many other reasons for going to college. If it's cheap. You want to "hang" for a few years. You want to meet new people and learn interesting things. However, I don't recommend it for this type of work. You have to make this difficult decision yourself, but I wouldn't want you stuck with student debt and realizing that you didn't need school for this profession.
     
  8. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I would recommend perfecting your photography skills through practice, workshops, and working with a pro.

    I would recommend college to get training in business.
     
  9. naaaach

    naaaach TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    This is one I took about a year back. I put it in an essay titled 'City Gloom'.

    [​IMG]

    I took this one about a year back also. One of my photos that's really popular, with people buying prints of it.

    Looking back, my photos aren't too special at all but they aren't bad...

    And to the others, thank you for the suggestions. This will be my last year in high school before I move on to uni, so I will definitely see what I can do with high-school. My school is a new non-profit private school so they really have no budget for student publications. I've been doing websites for other small businesses but that's just design/developing. Photography-wise, they're not letting me touch on it. :/

    I'm trying to have my photography put on these smaller businesses, it might be my only chance. But having them take a thorough look at my portfolio and convincing them to let me do it is the hardest part.


    I don't think I'll consider photography my primary job and education field. I'm applying for several unis in digital arts and film production...movies and production effects/mastering and whatnot. But photography is my passion, for sure, and I just want to make something so much more out of it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2010
  10. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    I totally disagrre with the college comment. I wouldn't get a degree in photography but a business degree. It will be very important to know how to run a business. Also, if the photography career doesn't take off - what to do?

    naaaach, If your that good in photography I would say go for it but go to college and get your degree in something useful just in case. If you're just average my advice would be to forget photography as a first career and go to college, get a degree and work at photography in your spare time. If it works out quit the day job and go into photography full time. My son's a drummer and he's just average, it's the same advice I gave to him.

     
  11. naaaach

    naaaach TPF Noob!

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    I just edited my last post, but I agree with you. I don't think my photography is great and professional, but again, I'm pretty confident that I can make something out of it...

    As for your son, I'm assuming he's going after something else in college or uni, but I'm sure that he plays gigs and cashes a bit of pocket money with his drumming.
     
  12. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Since your young my advice is to practice, practice, practice. I believe that with sports and the arts that you need to eat, sleep and breath your passion in order to make it. There has to be something in what you do to make you better than the 1000's of other people who want the same thing as you - more advice that I gave to my son!

    Unfortunately my son has only been in two bands and both were were pretty bad. I did support him somewhat but told him the truth about the bands. And he didn't make any money from his gigs. But he didn't (and doesn't) have the passion for success as a drummer. He really never wanted to practice and IMO it was just a hobby and a dream that he'll be the next greatest drummer of all time.

     

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