new here have questions

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by jodyv0928, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. jodyv0928

    jodyv0928 TPF Noob!

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    I have read some great questions and answers for awhile and I wanted to ask some of my own questions. I am finishing up my bachelors degree, not pertaining to photography though.
    I want to start my own business and I plan on getting some new equipment in about a week and a half. I don't want to start to large but a bit under 1,000.00 this first time around. What is the best camera to get for 600.00 or less and enough supplies to start with? I would like to know if I would call my self an on location photographer or a freelance photographer? I want to be able to do events, go on location, I would like to be able to do assignments as well. Can I do assignments, on location and events together in my business? Can I specialize in nature, people, and landscape at the same time, or is this all to much? I have a good computer and adobe photoshop elements plus others. Can I also print out my photos? I am working on a portfolio as well. Any advice will be great.
     
  2. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    First of all, welcome to Thephotoforum

    Well, I have never seen your work, so purely from a business aspect... I really don't think that you could possibly get the necessary equipment to do an well that you are being expected to pay for starting with only a 1000 dollar budget especially with what you want to do.

    To quickly answer your question I would say the best way to spend your 1k might be to get the canon 20d used for about 400 then you could get the tamron 28-75mm 2.8 for about 300 and then you could get the canon 430ex speedlite for about 200-225. this would allow the rest of your money to go into getting memory cards a flash modifier and a tripod/monopod.

    This wouldn't be too bad of a setup, the problem is that what happens if something breaks down while you're on set. You always need some sort of a back up and not having that wouldn't be a good idea particularly if you're getting paid for it and it can't be re-shot. You can generally be held liable, and you don't want that to happen.

    You asked about assignments, on location, and events. To the best of my knowledge many times those will all be together (meaning many assignments will be on location events).

    Now as far as specializing in nature, people and landscape (this is different than nature how?) sure you can do it... but if you are honest with me are you really "ready" to specialize in all of those. It would probably be ok to do them all, but to specialize means that this category is what I am best at. If you are asking what kind of photography equipment you need because you're thinking of getting into the business I have a feeling you might need to get the equipment and really practice a lot with it and figure out for yourself what you want to and are capable of specializing in.

    As to printing out your photos. Yes you can print out your own photos. However, if you are selling these photos, I probably wouldn't recommend it. Especially if you are asking the forum about it. I would have it done through a local print shop or through a reputable online printer. You don't want to make your awesome photos look worse because of poor printing.

    While you are here please submit to us some of your work and allow us to help you improve your shots (again I have no idea how good they are, but constructive feedback is always helpful, yes?). Then we will be able to give better advice about "going pro"?
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wow, full points for ambition, none for budget. Leaving skill and technical knowledge aside (You don't mention your current abilities), to cover all of the areas you mentioned on a PROFESSIONAL level, you'll need to look at a budget of somewhere in the region of $50 - 60,000.00 (Yes, that's fifty thousand dollars).

    You'll need at least two pro bodes ($5000+ each) pro glass from ultra wide to super-telephoto (~$20,000.00), a high-end computer with a lot of software ($10,000.00) a S**t-load of memory cards and batteries, filters, multiple tripods and heads, lighting, bags, etc.
    Sure you can do all of those things, but you'll need to be amazingly talented. Nature photography is one kind, people is another, weddings another, sports... you get the idea. While they're all types of photography, they all require different subsets of skills and knowledge. As a nature & landscape photographer, I don't much care about say the intracies of the Jewish wedding ceremony, or the rules of football, but as a freelance events photographer, if you're hired to shoot one of those, you have to know...

    My suggestion? Start small. Start really small. Buy yourself a Nikon D80, or the Canon/Pentax/Sony equivalent and take some nature shots, attend some local beer-league ball games/high-school sporting events, shoot them for practice. Joint a local camera club and gain more experience. Photography is a hugely competeitive business, and there aren't all that many people who make their living at it.

    However, GOOD LUCK!

    Just my $00.02 worth - your milage may vary.

    ~John
     
  4. jodyv0928

    jodyv0928 TPF Noob!

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    I would be more than happy to show you some of my photos, It is not letting my upload any. Thanks for your opinion but it sounded a bit scarcastic to me. I have been taking pictures as a hobby for a long time now. I have hundreds of photos saved in 4 different places and more than that have not been scanned in yet. To you I sound silly but I have spoken with other people in forums, chats, photo business owners and they did not tell me the way you did. They may or may not have what it takes in your eyes but they seem to think it is worth it for me. I have 5 software programs to edit my photos, 900.00 dollar laptop, I have a company already that I am registered with to be a my lab and another one for a back up. I will have a bigger budget in 2 weeks but I wanted to work with this fiqure until I found the appropriate equipment. My nature, lanscape are the type of photos I want to sell for stock. So I am going to go with all the material, my gutt and what all the others have discussed with me. I wasn't going to go in it with my eyes closed and end up being liable! I could go on.
     
  5. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so, I'm a bit confused if you were responding to me or to tirediron.

    Anyway...

    Why do you have 5 different editing programs and what on earth do you use them for. I mean, really, one should do the trick (photoshop/gimp) for most everything you'll need. Lightroom can be awesome, but five programs is definitely not something I would be bragging about.

    For putting the photos online, go to flickr, or photobucket, or imageshack, or a website like that and upload your photos there. Then save the link to the photos and insert the photos into a post here. That way we can see your photos and give advice.

    As far as having the appropriate equipment. Both what I am saying and what Tirediron are saying is that 1000 is not enough money to "appropriately" cover any of the things you want, let alone all of them. For nature/wildlife you are looking at an incredibly huge budget when you start hitting those super telephotos (we are talking 5000 - 7000 dollar easily for one lens).

    For weddings and stuff like that the cheapest I can see getting into it appropriately is probably about 2500 and that's stretching it (which is why I'm not doing weddings yet, down the road yes, but not till I get the "appropriate" equipment).

    For assignments that you could reshoot you could probably go cheaper maybe what I suggested to you in the post above, but that would still be majorly stretching it and you would have to make up a lot with great creativity etc. The problem though would be that one lens wouldn't necessarily work for all assignments. In which case you would probably want to start renting glass which works, but is difficult because most glass has a learning curve to it and is difficult to pick up in a weekend.

    I would suggest the same as tirediron said. Start incredibly small. Get the equipment I suggested to you, and shoot senior portraits. It will work for that, and you can reshoot if something happens. Then go from there.
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Okay, first off, if my reply sounded sarcastic, that was totally unintentional, as I know was Nate's. With respect to your photographs, if you're having issues uploading them, by all means post some links here, I would very much like to see them. I don't know how long Nate's been 'in the game' but I've been doing amateur and semi-professional work for about 25 years now, so I know a little of what I speak.

    The questions you ask in your post lead me to believe that while you may have had a camera for a long time, and taken many pictures, you are not yet experienced in the business of photography. While you can get a very nice camear for $600, you cannot get a professional camera. A D60 for instance is a nice camera, it takes great pictures, but it's not a professional camera. Why not? The build quality is very light, it won't stand up to continuous or rugged use, and it lacks many of the features which would be considered essential in the 'pro' world today.

    As Nate and I both indicated, glass is going to be your biggest expense. Each discipline of photography requires specific glass. Landscapes will require wide angle zooms, primes and perspective control lenses. Nature photography (Your big expense) Fast, super-telephoto primes. The Nikon 400mm f2.8 VR runs over $8000. For 'everyday' work, the Nikon (I'm not familiar enough with Canon to quote their prices, I'm sure Nate can) 24-70mm f2.8 is ideal. This little beauty will chew about $1700 out of your wallet. Why not just the 18-55mm kit lens? For the same reason you don't want to use a D60. It won't hold up, optically it's adequate, but the build quality is less than ideal, and it's too slow.

    Don't forget about the appearance factor. If you and I are both being interviewed for an upcoming shoot and have similar portfolios, but I'm toting two D3s and a bag full of Nikon gold-ring glass while you have a D60 with a kit lens, 9 out of ten editors are going to higher me, soley based on appearance. It's a sad fact of life, but it is a fact, appearances count.
    None of the comments made here are designed to turn you off, but rather to perhaps open your eyes a little. Modern professional photography is a hugely competitive business, and while I don't know the statistics offhand, I doubt very much that one in a thousand who would like to make their living at it can.

    Start small, gain experience, get your name out there, and keep building. Rome wasn't built in a day.

    Just my $00.02 worth - your milage may vary.

    ~John
     

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