Looking to purchase semi-professional camera

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by LindseyC, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. LindseyC

    LindseyC TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southeast US
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm somewhat new to photography, looking to purchase a camera where I can start to build experience and a part-time business in event photography. I'm looking at the Nikon D90 with 18-55, 70-300, 50mm Lens.

    I'm researching how to build a home-based photography business and have emailed a few photographers in my area with no success. Any tips for a new photographer?
     
  2. 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
    Welcome to the forum.

    The camera you're looking at is fine, but the lenses, not so much. The 50mm will be OK, but the 18-55mm and the 70-300mm are 'slow' consumer level lenses that could hold you back, especially in event photography.
    You want to look at 'fast' lenses...that is, lenses with a large maximum aperture. You also want lenses that are built tough and have great image quality...but most of these things go hand-in-hand.
    I'd suggest looking at the 17-55mm F2.8, maybe the 24-70mm F2.8 and surely the 70-200mm F2.8 VR.
    They are not cheap, but they will likely last you for a very long time and not need to be upgraded.
     
  3. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,820
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Montreal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    What Big Mike said for the lenses. Great camera, so-so lenses that you will be looking at upgrading rather soon.

    As for the photographers, if you are just asking about how to make a business successful, not sure why any one of them would give you the secret to their success.

    If you are looking at getting an apprenticeship, I would highly suggest gaining some basic skills and a small portfolio prior to approaching photographers. I would never expect a mentor to teach me from A to Z. They are there to hone your skill and help you progress to the next level, but you have to start with some basics.

    Some people are naturally gifted and can pick up a camera and shoot. Others need some classes (whether online or in a classroom). Others can just read a book. Whichever you chose, aim at getting some good skills and knowledge about not just the technicalities but also composition and artistic ideas, and then go out and shoot...shoot alot.

    Get a portfolio of your best 10-15 images and then go see photographers (or email with link to online portfolio). If you like to shoot portraits, find a photographer whose work your admire and approach them. Make sure your portfolio has some good portraits in them, as having a bunch of landscape shots with no portraits might not encourage the photographer from saying yes.

    Often times, you will have to be an assistant helping out. Bring a note pad, write things down, find the right time to ask questions and never forget that the photographer shooting is being paid to do this and your apprenticeship comes in second.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,797
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If you really want to be a people photographer, drop the entire DX idea and buy a full-frame, professionally capable Nikon camera body like the D700. Buy a professional quality, f/2.8 zoom lens, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. Purchase a quality medium telephoto like a Nikon 85mm f/1.8 AF-D. Purchase studio lighting equipment and remote triggering systems, light stands, and light modifiers. Buy a good on-camera speedlight model like SB-900 and a quality flash bracket for it. PLUS a backup flash, identical in model. Learn how to process your photos in Lightroom. Develop a working relationship with a professional quality printing lab, like Miller's or White House Custom Color. Study photograhic theory and practice for at least two years. Shoot,shoot,shoot. Show that you are serious and develop your skills. After two years you might,or might not, get a response back from local photographers; but response or not, after acquiring the right equipment and some experience, you will at least have the *basic* equipment to be an event photographer.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,237
    Likes Received:
    5,008
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The equipment considerations have been covered.

    A ton of people are looking at starting a part-time home based photography business. We get this type of post almost daily here at TPF.

    What so many new photographers don't realize is that photographic skill has little to do with having a successful photography business. What is needed is business skills: promotion, marketing, salesmanship, cost controls, accounting. Businesses run on paperwork. A substantial amount of your time will be devoted to business processes and maintaining the paperwork, rather than photography processes. You may already have a head start by having business skills.

    The majority of these new photographers find that running a part-rtime business is a lot harder than it looks and takes skills most don't posess. It's no wonder that 90% of them fail in the first few months.

    Many don't make any money from their photography, instead they are out-of-pocket from another income source every month, so they can keep the business open.

    Here is a list of resources, if you need them, that will help you get started on the right foot, business wise.

    www.score.org
    www.sba.gov
    www.copyright.gov
    www.ASMP.org

    Good luck to you. Being successful at running your own business can be very rewarding.
     
  6. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Downtown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Indeed, those lenses are going to be your bottleneck. The camera will suffice for now. I would suggest, if your serious, to invest instead in the D300; they are on the surface the same camera, but the functionality and ease of use of the D300 compared to the D90 (as well as other tweaks) is what warrants its price cost compared to the D90.

    What kind of event photography are you going to be trying to do? There are serious differences between sport events, wedding and social event photography. An idea of what you intend to do will go a long way in helping folks tailor responses.

    Also, do not get caught up in the "gear trap". Gear is important - without it you can't do anything obviously. But recognize that much of what is out there, far outstrips what can be done with it: and by that I mean the latest iterations of cameras don't take a particularly "better" picture. As always 90% of the work is going on behind the camera, in your head. You've the motivation, now go out and do it. As to you contacting local photographers, unless you have some body of work (much like a resume) they probably aren't going to be too interested in responding as they no doubt get these kinds of emails all the time. If your new to photography, you've got to get the terminology and technique down first before anyone will even consider bringing you on (even for volunteer work). Will it take you two years - goodness no; especially in this digital age where the financial buy-in to be a photographer is so low. But it's not going to happen tomorrow. Go to as many "events" as you can with your camera and start getting some experience (and as said a portfolio) of what you can do.
     
  7. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,032
    Likes Received:
    165
    Location:
    San Diego, CA (RB)
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Can you please go into more detail about what exactly is the benefit of the D300 over the D90, especially the part about ease of use...?

    I have read through reviews of both, gone through the DSLR comparison on Nikons site, and I've spoken with Pro's in the shop, and I have been told the biggest benefit of the D300 is the magnesium-alloy construction w/weather seal, and the increased durability of the shutter.
     
  8. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    2
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'd love to know this as well... other than what's mentioned above and the increased focal points, where does ease of use fall into play?
     
  9. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Do what Derrel and Big Mike said.
    But, they forgot the first step.
    First.....you win the lottery. ;)
    The lenses you are considering will do you fine. Later, when circumstances allow (and demand), you can upgrade to the expensive stuff.
    Then, KmH said, in part, "........photographic skill has little to do with having a successful photography business."
    I couldn't disagree more. It is ALL about the quality of the photography. Those who hire photogs do not call back those with fancy promotional literature. They call back those who have produced great photography previously. That is how I got calls from Women's Wear Daily, Greyhound, magazines, and others. They called me, I never solicited.
    And, those here who are gadget happy would be shocked to know just how basic most of my equipment was.
    I had access to some real high end, specialized equipment but rarely used it. Fisheye lenses occasionally when I wanted to get weird and some ultra-long lenses on special built tripods for professional sports.
    The best piece of equipment you need is that gray stuff in yer skull.
     
  10. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Downtown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I simply am referring to the utility of the layout of the D300. The D90 is based on the D80/D70, and as such there is a lot of "digging" involved when changing settings on the fly. On the D300, a lot of it is integrated into your mode dial up top, where on the D90 it might be placed on the back of the camera, or in a menu somewhere. This allows a person to change anything from white-balance and their ISO setting as their shots are being taken, without removing their eye from the viewfinder. I suppose a person could simply get "used" to the placement on the back or in a menu, but the D300 streamlines all of that for you. Utility.

    That combined with the sturdier build and reduction in cost on the used market make it a fine upgrade for someone thinking about purchasing the D90.
     
  11. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,032
    Likes Received:
    165
    Location:
    San Diego, CA (RB)
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well, it would make sense that a photography business needs both. Here in Socal if you dont have connections, marketing skills, or a keen business sense, you probably are going to be left out, that hidden gem if you will :)...
    On the opposite side, if you are a marketing guru and get a ton of clients, but take crap photos, they will out you, burn out, and you may even come out of it owing.



    Another plug on equipment. The local shop here rent's everything, they even have a studio with all the lighting you could need available ($45 an hour) to rent. They're stuff is reasonably priced and would probably be much easier to utilize then to outright purchase everything right away. With a shop like that you are technically outfitted for anything.

    I also use it to test out lenses to see if I enjoy using them, prior to purchase.
     
  12. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,032
    Likes Received:
    165
    Location:
    San Diego, CA (RB)
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    No way bro.
    The D90 is incredibly easy to change setting on the fly. The functions/sub-functions of the buttons on the back, are pretty easy to get to, and you have really no reason to go searching through a menu to set up shots. Besides your command dial, the camera body is very very similar.
    Not to mention the fact the D90 is superior in high ISO performance, I'm not sure it truly is a smarter choice.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

looking for professional camera

,
semi pro photography equipment