Wanting to go more professional

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Sardine, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. Sardine

    Sardine TPF Noob!

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    Hello

    I've been taking photos for about 2 years now, and I love it. I have over 20GB of photo's on my PC, and I'd like to start showing them to the world (more people in my area, but you know what I mean). How do I do this? I've tried companies that make calenders, but they only want professional photographers to submit photos.

    I take a large variety of photo's, but they're mostly aviation-related, and stationary objects (super-macros etc). But they range from sunsets and multi-coloured clouds to shoes and abstract shots.

    How do I get into the photography business? When are you considered a 'professional photographer'?

    Please, please help me out here!
    Thanks :)
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    By definition, a 'profession' is an undertaking for which you receive payment. Ergo, if someone pays your for it, you're a pro. Note however that professional does NOT necessarily have anything to do with the quality of your work.

    Things to do: Keep submitting your work. Try magazines, especially those in related fields. Calenders, postcards, etc are often done with stock photos now because companies can buy mediocre images so much more cheaply there than good images from an individual. Enter contests, get your name out there. Look around town for galleries which do 'open displays', the photographic equivalent of jam sessions. Join up with local photo clubs... Advertise your services; head out to the airports and flying clubs, offer to provide photographic services at reasonable rates for their advertising and insurance purposes...

    Getting into the photography business is a whole different thing. As many have said, it's little to do with photography and all to do with business. My personal opinion is that the best way to go is start small, and if it matures into a business by which you can support yourself full-time, great, but don't give up that job flipping burgers just yet! ;)

    Good luck.
     
  3. Sardine

    Sardine TPF Noob!

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    I live in South Africa, so it's been hard to find calender and postcard companies. I'm well-known at the local flying club, and loads of guys have seen my photo's and said that they like them, but there's also loads of other awesome - experienced - photographers at the same club. I have tried chatting to them, but they're pretty snooty.

    I'll try the magazines and some local papers :)
    Living in SA also makes it difficult to find clubs, and if you aren't the best, you aren't getting in. It sucks. But hey, I'll keep on trying. Thanks for the tips :)
     
  4. colinrayner

    colinrayner TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    Like Sardine, I'd love to be doing more professional photography. Briefly, here's my story so far.


    • Made redundant (with company pension :D) at age 52 and rediscovered a passion for photography which I had in my youth.
    • After about a year, submitted a picture to the BBC web site which they used and subsequently had emails asking to buy copies.
    • This made me think there might be something in this and when I spotted an Art Market starting up locally decided to give it a try.
    • 2 years on, I'm now regularly attending Art Markets and Craft Fairs and having great fun getting my 'stuff' out there.
    • Selling enough prints to buy new kit occasionally without having to justify it to the wife. (Just bought Nikkor 18-200 :wink:)
    • Have also picked up a few small commercial jobs and commissions.
    Question is "How do I take this to the next level ?"

    Colin.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would say in your circumstance, "WHY do you want to take it to the next level?" Your position sounds ideal, however if you do, one word: Advertise!
     
  6. colinrayner

    colinrayner TPF Noob!

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    I guess because I just enjoy taking photographs so much, that I want to be doing it every day and if I can get some payment for it as well .....

    I've tried some advertising - all the free stuff I can find, plus I did Yellow Pages for a year and got a couple of things through that.
     
  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Interesting; I like photography so much that I don't want to have to do it every day. One of the things (aside from total failure, by far the most likely) about attempting do this time full time is the fact that I would no longer being doing it on my terms. I love photography, there's nothing I like better than being somewhere just as the sun rises and and capturing that perfect golden glow over the land; unfortunately, expcept for a very, very, very lucky few those sorts of pictures don't bring in a lot of money.. I don't want to get into the position where I can't or don't have time to shoot what I want, when I want.

    That aside, Good Luck!
     

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