"shadowing"?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by lucki85, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. lucki85

    lucki85 TPF Noob!

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    I was considering calling photographers around my area to see if I could "shadow", help out, carry their stuff whatever. I really learn better hands on than reading books, but it would help to have someone that really knows what their doing. Do photographers usually do this? Should I even ask? I don't know, I guess I am just looking for some suggestions. I really want to get out there and do something!
     
  2. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    I too have been wondering about this - like an apprenticeship. I posted the same topic in a local photography forum I go to, but didn't get many replies.

    I am thinking most photographers are going to want someone who is somewhat experienced and has a good grasp of the fundamentals of photography, but I am really interested to see if anyone has any thoughts on this subject?

    I'm really interested in apprenticing with a portrait photographer.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, this does happen. It could also be called 'assisting' or even mentoring. If you are lucky, you could even so some 'second shooting'.

    Some photographers are open to this and some don't like the idea of training people who may become their competition.

    If I were taking on an assistant, I would expect them to have a pretty good base of knowledge, I wouldn't want to be teaching them the most basic type stuff.

    If you are still learning the basics, it might be better to take a course, maybe at a community college or something like that.
     
  4. lucki85

    lucki85 TPF Noob!

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    I'm also interested in portrait photography...I guess I should've mentioned that!
     
  5. lucki85

    lucki85 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah that true....I guess maybe after I get the basics down I could look into it. (Hopefully that will happen someday...).
     
  6. lucki85

    lucki85 TPF Noob!

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    ....and how about finding people in your area that would just go out shooting for a day or something? Please tell me there is some simple way to find others in my area also interested in photography.
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    Most cities/towns probably have photography clubs or associations.
    And there is always this...http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=40
     
  8. molsen

    molsen TPF Noob!

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    you should find out if any of your local newspapers have internships....that would be the best way to accomplish your goal
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    It would really depend on the type of photography that you are interested in. If you want to do portraits, assist a portrait photographer. If you want to do photojournalism, assist with a photojournalist etc. Sure, there may be a lot of overlap between different types...but the little things that are different, are the things that you will learn best from a mentor.
     
  10. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It really all depends on the competition in your area. In soome areas you might have everybody and their brother interested in the same thing you are going to want to do and in that case someone with no experience or education can forget it. There is no harm in trying though and I think the forum and club idea are excellent suggestions as I think something like this might work on a more personal level rather than taking in strangers for this kind of thing.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Your enthusiasm is a great thing... however, get your basics down thoroughly BEFORE you go ask to shadow. You don't want to be lugging stuff around, you want to be taking pictures.

    I got the chance to shadow a pro for a wedding gig once. He called me back 2 more times. Not becuase I could carry his stuff, which I did help with, but because I took some darn nice pics that both he and his clients appreciated. He asked me to shadow becuase we sat and talked for about an hour, chatted, I offered up all that I knew of a wedding gig and the related challenges. He was impressed enough to ask about my equipment, which is ok for that and then with not a lot of confidence asked me to second one gig. The pat on the back for me was when I was called back to do 2 more and the compliments from him and the B&Gs and families.

    If you are a fast learner like me, you could be doing this in as soon as 5-6 months (if not, it could be a little longer, but do NOT get discouraged).

    Consider taking an online course on photography. www.proudphotography.com has an excellent internet based course for beginners for a VERY reasonable price. Buy some books on photography and psot processing of pictures, I consider these investments in myself.

    A good way to know if you are ready is to go into the more advanced areas of this board here, and if you are still lost when people are discussing ISO, aperture, shutter speed and basic lighting techniques while doing a critique of someone's pictures, *and* don't know how to apply it to your camera quickly without thinking... you are not ready to go play with the "big dawgs" quite yet. If you have not gone through all of lighting 101 and 102 on the strobist board and are not comfortable with the info there... you are not ready to assist a portrait photographer. Now those are my opinions, they may not be someone else's. I think they are a fair indicator of someone that is ready to take the next step.

    Take this time to learn! Practice, practice, practice and then practice some more. Make a small portfolio and then go start knocking on a few photography business doors and see if they could take in a "little to no pay" apprentice with a big desire to learn.
     
  12. lucki85

    lucki85 TPF Noob!

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    Great advice! Thanks so much....I've got lots of work to do!:D
     

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