Questions for the experienced photographers

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by lee380, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. lee380

    lee380 TPF Noob!

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    I have a goal that I would like to start a small business doing photography. However, I am a beginner at all the pertinent things that need to be learned. Yes, I can use a point and shoot, but I want to have a heck of a lot more talent than that, and rightly so if I want to do it professionally.

    My questions for you are:

    How did you learn the skills that you have acquired? Did you take courses, offline or online, or did you do something else?

    What was it that made it all click in? Honestly, right now, I am confused. LOL

    How long did it take you to acquire the skills and before you got into your profession?

    Anything else you can add would be great.

    Books you can recommend that may help a confused person like me, etc.?
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Okay, first of all, don't confuse "professional", "experienced" and "skilled". While they should, very often those three terms do not go together. All "professional" means is that a person gets paid for the job they do. How much paid work they have to do to call themselves a professional is purely subjective. Talent is not something that can be learned. Skills and theory can be learned, talent is something that you either have or don't have, 'though you may not be aware you have it.

    I gained my knowledge over the course of some twenty-five years through almost all of the methods you suggested with the exception of on-line. When I picked up my first Miranda back in 198...*cough* there weren't no "on-line"! As for the question of time, while I'm not a professional by my definition (I do make a little money at it, but it ain't what pays the bills), I'm still learning.

    What I'd suggest here is head down to your local library and get some books on basic photographic theory; even if they're old, it doesn't matter. The rule of thirds hasn't changed and an 'f' stop is still an 'f' stop. The technical side of operating your camera you can learn from the manual. I'd also suggest spending time here, and looking at the pictures people post and reading the critiques. You may not agree with some, but they will all give you insight into how other photographers think. Lastly, look toward a local camera club. You will almost always find someone who is willing to work with you, and coach you through the basics.

    Oh and the 'click' thing? I'm still waiting for that to happen!
     
  3. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like you need to go to college to learn the trade. Unfortunately for this career field you dont need a degree to be a photographer you could work under a professional for years to learn the trade but dont expect to make much money. Now its also equally important to have knowledge in business management. So many good photographers go out of business because they dont know how to budget and price their work to stay in business.
    For me,
    1)Took college classes in a classroom type setting and on the job training
    2)Practice, practice, practice. Watch and ask questions from your mentors and study other people work.
    3)Not long
     
  4. Kegger

    Kegger TPF Noob!

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    I agree with TiredIron, read til your eyeballs blister, then read some more.

    I learned a lot from a local renowned photographer, who has been doing this for decades. And she is still learning.

    And the only click I have heard is the shutter right before "Damn, not again..."
     
  5. lee380

    lee380 TPF Noob!

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    :lol:
     
  6. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know saying "I know how to use a P+S so I want to start a business" smells a little trolly (is that a word?) to me. I mean really are you serious? I think there is a whole lot of stuff between "my first P+S" and "Opening a studio" and the first step might be to learn a DSLR. My journey to being a pro started with an interest in photography at like 10 years old when my dad gave me his Canon TL. I shot for mysef for many years before I even considered a job in photography.
    I say why don't you shoot some pictures for a while, and yes take some classes. After that you might try working for someone mabye even for free. Actually I have heard recently of people actually paying for internships now but I don't think that was in photography.
    I imagine this like other threads like it will change when details flesh out but right now this post kind of smells to me.
     
  7. lee380

    lee380 TPF Noob!

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    I'm one of these types of people who want to learn it right now but don't have a lot of time. I help my hubby run two business from home and have 3 children 4 months, 5 years and 7 years. So quite busy.

    But I do so want to do this. Creative...yes, I am. Do I have a talent for this...maybe and maybe not.

    I'm unfortunately at a standstill. Received a beautiful Sony a350 for Christmas. But where to start. Do I read about photography, about the camera and take pictures later or do I go and experiment with the camera? Sounds stupid but I take things in step and like to be organized and knowledgeable before going out and practicing. But it's probably the practicing that is going to do it.

    I am so at a standstill that what I've been doing for a good week is look at all the lovely photos people have taken on this forum, the critics on them, read a tiny bit...but having a hard time figuring out what to do to learn it all. LOL

    Would you say an online course would be worthwhile?
     
  8. lee380

    lee380 TPF Noob!

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    I think you've taken my whole post all wrong. Read and you will see that I acknowledged that a P&S is quite a bit different from starting professionally.

    Did I acknowledge that fact as my quote above?

    All I am asking is for some help. Yes, I have been on many a forum and even moderate a pregnancy forum and I know all about trolls. But to blatantly say that when I think I've explained myself well.
     
  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes!




    Okay, in detail: First, read your camera's manual. When you're done, read it again. Then, go back and ask for assistance with the bits you don't understand. As you read, practice, practice, practice. Remember, this is digital, the film is cheap! As you shoot, seek critique. Once you understand how your camera works, and what the controls do, and their effect on the image (and this will likely take a while) THEN start reading in-depth about composition theory, advanced exposure techniques, lighting, etc...
     
  10. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    I guess one question is what type of photography are you planning on getting into? we have a wide range of photographers on here, portrait, wedding, landscape etc. etc. so the people in the area you are interested in can probably help you out better.
     
  11. lee380

    lee380 TPF Noob!

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    I've sat here for a good 10 minutes really angered by one person's post on this thread.

    First of all, I want to say thank you to those that replied in a helpful and kind manner. I truly do appreciate it. But I won't waste your time any longer.

    Because of a member's post on this thread, I am angered and actually surprised that I've been treated in such a manner. I've made a few posts on this forum and that one post has now made me not want to be a part of a forum where I cannot even ask a question. Why would I frequent here if I feel that I am going to be treated disrespectfully.

    I am 39 years of age and not a stupid idiot. I know what it takes to make a business and the fact that things don't happen overnight. I know I need skills and knowledge before going from Point and Shoot cameras to setting up a professional studio. I am not 2 years old and thanks for treating me as such.

    Thanks for your time to everyone else who did give me respect. I do sincerely appreciate it!
     
  12. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, I don't think he meant it in a rude manner. The fact of the matter is that most professionals start out with it as a hobby then develop into a business, and the way it was stated it does read a bit as "so, I have decided I am going to be a photographer!", which is always a bit surprising, but it can of course be done!

    Perhaps just look at his response from a different light. There is absolutely no point in becoming upset and/or angered because of what a person you don't even know said online.

    I would recommend sticking it out. TPF is a great resource
     

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