Photography Careers....

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by rawrmonster91, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. rawrmonster91

    rawrmonster91 TPF Noob!

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    First off, let me introduce myself.
    I'm Kacey, and I'm 17. I start college this Fall, and I desperatly want to major in photography. Nothing else interests me as much as taking pictures (not much of a people photographer-I have issues with "posing") ...however, I just recently had a baby girl, and I have to have a steady income. I don't want to have good paydays some days, and then no money come in another...if you know what I mean. It just can't happen. The father isn't in the picture, so it's just on me to support her financially.

    I enjoy working with Photoshop as well, I just recently got into it though.



    What I want to know is if anyone can suggest any good careers that I can try out, research, consider, anything...that consist of PHOTOGRAPHY.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I can't say for sure, but from what I can tell...photography careers are not the most stable occupations. Schooling and education is a good thing, but that doesn't guarantee you a job when you are done. Really, you don't need any sort of formal education to work in photography...so even if you did have a degree, you would be competing with people who don't have any formal education...and your degree might not even be an advantage for a lot of potential jobs.
    It's not like a doctor, lawyer, engineer, electrician...where you need to have education and certification.

    The more common advice that I hear, is to apprentice with a pro photographer and learn on the job.

    What kind of photography are you thinking of doing? What you would like to do?
    A lot of money can be made shooting weddings or portraits, and to be successful doing that, you need to know how to run your own business. That might even be more important than being a good photographer. So in this case, you might be better off taking business classes, rather than photography classes.

    There are photography jobs where you work for other people...photojournalist or studio/commercial photographer for example...but there is a lot of competition for those jobs and the pay probably sucks until you can work your way up...and that might mean moving to where the jobs are.

    No matter what type of job, the ability to be a good salesperson...to be able to sell yourself to potential clients or employers, is the biggest key to success.

    My personal advice (take it or leave it) would be to get some schooling in something that you know can get you a job that pays well enough to support you (& baby etc). Then you can keep photography as a hobby and maybe a part time way to make money. I have a good day job, and I shoot weddings & portraits on the side. It would be a lot harder to make a living on photography full time and it certainly wouldn't be steady work all the time.
     
  3. *Mike*

    *Mike* TPF Noob!

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    I'm with Big Mike on this one...

    If stability is most important, then photography is a tough road to make work. But, it can be a nice supplemental income, and many people love keeping it that way. I'm a full-time wedding and portrait shooter - and I wouldn't recommend it. The odds are just too stacked against you being able to make a living at it.

    Focus on developing a marketable skill set that you can rely on, and continue to develop your photography as a personal interest aside from that. Eventually you may be able to join the two... I just wouldn't bank on it. :eek:)
     
  4. rawrmonster91

    rawrmonster91 TPF Noob!

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    I apprieciate the honesty, and that was my original plan...to major in something that brings in good income and is stable...and do photography on the side, I was just hoping maybe there was something out there... hm. :/ Darn.
    Alright, back to step one, of finding the "major" career......
    *sigh*

    Graphic design, or something like that...would those be stable? Or no?

    My major interest is scenery photography. Wildlife, outdoors, stuff like that. Again, I don't do well with the "posing", so people is outta the question.
     
  5. *Mike*

    *Mike* TPF Noob!

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    Don't write off shooting people just b/c of posing! Posing is a skill, just like a lot of other things in photography. It is learned. :eek:) People are where the money is - usually. Landscape, fine-art, etc., is incredibly hard to profit off of...

    Education? I'd suggest business or communication. Both offer a lot of flexibility in ultimate application, and they can both be applied to your entrepreneurial endeavors.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with *Mike* (great minds think alike ;) )

    Business or communications are a good bet.

    Landscape and nature shots are probably some of the hardest ways to make money in photography. Firstly, there are millions of other people shooting these things and much fewer people buying them. Unless somebody hires you to shoot some specific landscape, you would pretty much be relying on selling the image/photo. That is a hard way to make money. A better way to make money is to sell the service of professional photography. When we sell a wedding or a portrait session or cover an event...what we are doing is selling the service...and yes, a big part of that is the images, but the big part of the income is from the service.

    And yes, don't discount shooting people. Posing people is a skill that can be learned, probably easier 'on the job' than in school but either way, it can be acquired.
     
  7. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    Me three!! :lol:

    Great if you can earn a living doing something you love.
    But from what I've seen and read, photography is a VERY competitive field. You need to be a salesman, diplomant and an artist.

    "best" career field I can think of is "nursing" - supposed to be big shortage of nurses in next 10 years - maybe all current nurses going into photography field? :) My wife is a nurse so I know this as fact.

    Accounting positions also supposed to be in demand - I do not see this though.
     
  8. rawrmonster91

    rawrmonster91 TPF Noob!

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    Y e a h . . . .
    My mom thinks I should consider majoring it accounting...since I did/do all their companies bookkeeping and online banking and stuff. I don't know though... Sit in an office all day punching numbers and such? What a drag...
     
  9. Renair

    Renair TPF Noob!

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    Hi Kacey, firstly welcome to the forum and congratulations on your baby girl, reading the above posts, I am surprised no-one said it before! he he. Well a good one to start with is portraits of children, you have your model already. Also Mike's idea about working with a PRO is good for experience, but not as a new mother, maybe later down the line. You need to think of something you can do from home at the start. Maybe admin work for a photographer, learning the business side of things first so you can spend time with your daughter and also get a good insight into the business end, this will also allow you to make some contacts. Then later you can go into your wildlife, landscape etc. You will probably end up taking photos the rest of your life, so there is loads of time to learn.

    In the meantime, the New York Institute of Photography offer professional photography courses that are correspondence, this way you work at your own pace and learn the skills. The initial outlay is $178 up front, then $50 a month for 19 months, but its affordable..... I hope this helps a little and again, congratulations on the baby.
     
  10. NMLHaley

    NMLHaley TPF Noob!

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    I just checked out the New York Institute of Photography website. Has anyone here used this program? Something about it sounds too good to be true. I'd love to hear more if anyone can speak about it.
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know about any 'current' members, but there have been a few who have signed up for those courses.

    Unfortunately, from what I remember, most of them drop out/don't finish.

    From what I gather, a person needs to be really self motivated. If you aren't accustomed to that type of 'distance' learning, it's really hard to stick with it.
     
  12. JaimeGibb

    JaimeGibb TPF Noob!

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    I have to agree with the above.

    I am an education major and almost switched my major to photography. But the more I looked into and thought about it, the more I realized that that wasnt the best choice.

    First of all, with an education degree, Im almost guaranteed a steady income teaching. Also, Photography is somehting that can be mastered without formal schooling. Apprenticing with a pro, reading books, practicing...and then, once you really knoe what you are doing, and maybe if you are making enough money from it, the "main" job can be dropped. But, youll always have that degree to fall back on.

    I still have 2 years of school to go, and im 23, I learned the hard way :)

    Would you be interested in getting a teaching degree? That way you could have your summers and weekends free to practce and master photography, and stay home with your daughter.

    Good luck with you and your baby girl, I wish you all the luck in the world!!
     

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