Silly Newbie with some most likely silly questions

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by lizerdbaby, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. lizerdbaby

    lizerdbaby TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I'm hoping that there is someone here who can answer a newbies silly questions....(I have read through the numerous posts but didnt' see any answers to my questions)

    I got into photography about a year ago as a hobby...my hubby bought me an HP Photosmart 945 Digital camera. I swear I have taken over 4500 pictures in the last year.

    Here is where my questions lead.....What is the general populus' opinion on this particular camera?

    Now my second question...I have always wanted to get into photography, selling pictures, (landscape, do weddings, other things like that) how does an beginner get into trying to branch out? (Preferably without the expence of college again...took chef training, can't afford school again)

    :hail:Thanks:hail:
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    If you hire any 'professional' to do a job then you expect them to have a certain level of competence. Whether it be the mechanic fixing your car or a surgeon about to operate on you, you don't expect them to turn around at the last minute and say ' I never trained to do this, you know, I just fancied having a bash at it'.
    The same goes for Photography.
    It may sound snobbish and superior but I'm an ex professional and I have friends who are still working in the business and we believe that, like any profession, being a professional photographer implies a certain level of ability and expertise. There are far too many people out there who think that owning a camera is all there is to becoming a 'pro' - they give the business a bad name.
    I therefore believe that it is an absolute requirement that all professional photographers have some training. Whether this be through a College course or as an apprentice doesn't matter, just so long as they have had some training in the essentials and know how to take a competent picture and how to run a business.
    If you feel that the College route is not for you then that leaves the apprenticeship path. Find a local photographer who is willing to take you on as an assistant. That way you learn how to do it properly.
    I've heard too many horror stories of people entrusting their weddings to a 'professional' only to find that they have paid a lot of money to a 'weekender' who has made a complete hash of it.
     
  3. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, what Hertz said plus.... When you do your first wedding everything will fail. The cameras will run out of batteries you didn't even know they had. The weather will suddenly change, making your lighting unpredictable. Stuff just stops working - maybe some kind of empathic camera response to all the stressed people around?

    Forget wedding photography unless you can hang around as an assistant to a very good photographer. It's far too stressful for a beginner!

    As for your camera, quite frankly the pictures on the review sites taken with it didn't look very promising - lots of purple fringing and digital zig-zag edges. It'd probably take a nice landscape scene with no depth-of-field, but I would consider upgrading to an SLR, if only to get fully manual control back and a faster lens. They're getting very affordable now as well.

    Rob
     
  4. binglemybongle

    binglemybongle TPF Noob!

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    No offence but im sorry, it does sound snobbish.

    If you have the experience and you can maintain a high level of quality and you can provide a port folio of work to your prospective client, then I dont see why you cant be professional, if the client has faith in you.

    The only thing I would say is make sure you can maintain a high level of quality.

    If not, then wait.
     
  5. lizerdbaby

    lizerdbaby TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for your advice....I have been working with a professional friend for over a year now, but only on an on and off basis.


    As for my camera, I have had nothing but good luck with it so far, (again I haven't had the experience many of you have....I only know that here, our local police use the same camera, and said that it is excellent. I have taken a few pictures with it that are just phenomenal (if I may develop an ego for a moment)...my chickadee avatar is just one of the ones people have said they liked. When I learn how to post my pictures I would be appreciative of some serious opinions....

    So, yes, thank you for your advice....and when I can afford a good SLR I plan on looking into it, but for now, $1.78 isn't going to get me a whole lot...lol
     
  6. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Well the reviewer was probably trying to take a crap picture to illustrate the weaknesses!

    If you get a hosting site such as Photobucket then you can brave the critique forum and I'm sure people will be pleased to feed back their thoughts. If you're looking for a camera for $1.78...
     
  7. alexecho

    alexecho TPF Noob!

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    I have taken photographs of friends weddings on several occasions, just for 'practice', to see if I could do it for a living. On two occasions I've had the friend come to me very upset with the professional quality and have had to make up an album from my photo's.
    Those albums got me other jobs. That is how this 'weekender' publisised herself. Really, what's wrong with that?
    Should I have refused someone who told me that the quality of my work was the best they'd seen because I wasn't a pro, or because at the time I was only 16/17 years old?
    Ten years on I won't do it - I now find it too stressful! But everyone was very happy with the quaility, I made shure I got all the expected shots, so I don't see your point. I know there are weekenders who give pro's a bad name, but there are just as many pro's who give pro's a bad name.
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Keep shooting, keep learning, and keep assisting your pro friend. Get some good books, and study them.

    Taking college photography classes doesn't mean you have to go back for a degree. Take them as you have the time and the money. Classes aren't just about the technical know how, they are also about completing assignments on schedule, talking to other photographers, and looking at their work, using new equipment, hearing different opinions, and so on...

    Look at photographs, and not just in books and on the web. Take the time to visit galleries, museums, and shows and look at the photos (and other art). I took lots of college classes, professional workshops, worked at a pro lab for years, and I've read, and read, and read some more, and I keep on reading about photography, but the study that I've found most valuablre has been looking at lots and lots of real prints of photographs. Not just famous ones, but local amateurs too. I think this is an aspect of photography education that many photographers neglect.

    Your camera is a typical point-n-shoot style digital camera for it's price range. Most reviews I've skimmed rate it average compared to similar cameras; not as good as some, not as bad as others. The requirements for police evidence photography are much, much less than the creative photographer.

    The more you learn, practice, and develop a passion for photography the sooner you will most likely be dissatisfied with your camera, and your early "phenomenal" photographs, but that's okay, because it just means you are reaching higher. I have my favorite photos from my Photography 101 class ten years ago hanging in my darkroom. Back then they were masterpieces; now they make me smile, and demonatrate how far I've come. They still have a place in my heart, but none get hung in my living room, let alone somewhere in public. :)

    Selling your landscape and fine art photography is easy to get into, because the client is purchasing a finished product. They know what they are getting, and they are either willing to buy it or not. Check out art and craft fairs, auctions, etc... Many people even sell their work on Ebay! Put together a portfolio of a doxen matted prints, and see if you can get them hung in banks, hospitals, coffee shops, book stores, and so on.

    Selling your services as a photographer for weddings and portraits is a little trickier, because the client needs to place their trust in you before they get the finished product. I've think there are three things most clients consider important: portfolio, credentials, and price. With one client/project a great portfolio may matter more than a full resume, with the next credentials and experience could be manditory, and there is always someone that's looking for a bargin. Creating the perfect balance of all three insures you'll get jobs.

    Good luck, and keep shooting.
     
  9. montresor

    montresor TPF Noob!

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    Just the thought of shooting a wedding scares me... The pressure! My friend asked me would I consider shooting her wedding if her first choice for wedding photographer couldn't, and I told her I'd say yes only if she could guarantee that I wouldn't actually have to do it.

    I've been shooting for a little less than 2 years now, and I can't imagine that I'm even ready to move on from stationary, inanimate objects. But if you could get that chickadee, maybe you're already way ahead of my slower-than-molasses skills.

    If money's an object, even a reduced-price digital SLR will put a crimp in the pocketbook; check with ksmattfish for interesting and hugely affordable non-digital recommendations. He knows his stuff.
     

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