Where do we go from here

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by GoM, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. GoM

    GoM TPF Noob!

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    The hobby has progressed. I'm not ready to dedicate my professional life to it or anything like that (christ, I'm 20...the only dedicating I'm doing is to girls, alcohol and sleeping in), but I'm definately considering making it..well...more than a hobby.

    I'm at school, second year History and Geography, with a view to becoming a teacher. I love teaching, have done quite a bit of it actually, and as I get more comfortable with it, enjoy it more. However, this photography thing is really biting me..hard. My entire family's artistic (dad, mom and stepdad met through advertising (mainly the creative side), my uncle's in movies, cousins are in tv, stepmom's a documentary filmmaker), so it's definately in my blood, and I know I have an 'eye', and as I've grown comfortable with my camera, I know I can take a shot and make it appear more than a snapshot, which I figure is a good first step for anyone.

    My problem is that I know that outside of the very, very talented (and lucky), 'street' or 'on your feet' photography is not the way to make it. And even if it is, you need to have a fairly solid grasp on the concepts, technology and technique of lighting, studio setups, etc...none of which I have, mainly due to circumstance. I've built myself a 'macro studio' in a box (using wax paper, scissors, tape, the aformentioned box and some printer paper....primitive, but it works surprisingly well), so I can nail down the basics, but if I'm to see if this is something where I feel I can develop in the 'production' sphere as well as the 'on-the-go' sphere, I need to work with people, etc.

    Which brings me to my question. Of where I go from here. I have pretty much literally $0. I do have some powerful lights that I can improvise various accessories for, but I don't really have the space...I have a basement, but it has a low ceiling and gets almost no light. So, I dunno. I feel kind of stuck. I'm not sure if I want to devote myself to this or not. I do know that I have to do more work outside just the urban/street/adaptive environment to see if I can develop more to the point where maybe I can. So who knows.

    Don't even know if I'm asking a question, or just kind of ranting. Thoughts?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    How about trying to apprentice or assist with a professional photography of some kind? It may give you an idea of what it's like, actually working in the field...without having to actually get there yourself.
     
  3. GoM

    GoM TPF Noob!

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    Possibly...there is a little community newspaper for my part of Toronto I can't imagine would have any problem letting me tack on for a bit for the hell of it in the summer...hmmm
     
  4. ladyphotog

    ladyphotog TPF Noob!

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    Being a gopher at a newspaper and assisting or being a gopher for a photographer is two completely different things. Find a photographer that has a studio and see if they need some free help so that you can learn. Photojournalism is an animal all it's own. Just take it a step at a time and learn some lighting and basic posing and composition. Good luck.
     
  5. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    have you taken any class at school?
     
  6. GoM

    GoM TPF Noob!

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    Jeff - Not yet. Considering a summer course in photography (they also have digital photography, but I can imagine that that would be filled with people who only want to learn how to snap-and-shoot better) at one of the colleges in Toronto.
     
  7. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't think you should dedicate yourself to photography just yet. The teaching is a sure thing. It will earn a living for you.

    If you work your butt off during the year, you'll have the summers off for photography. Apprentice to someone or try to start your own business at that point. For now, learn all you can, and shoot all you can. Read books on photography and photographic lighting. It seems like you're interested in portraiture specifically. To me, that is not really an art. You figure out the formula, and with few deviations, you just march people through. click click, ka-ching. Click-click, ka-ching.

    Figure out what kind of photography you really want to do. An option with $0 would be outdoor, on-location portraits. You could work the background into the portrait, if it is interesting enough, or throw it out of focus.
     
  8. GoM

    GoM TPF Noob!

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    Not so much an interest in portraiture so much as, if I want anybody to actually pay me for something (a long-ahead pipe dream, mind), I need some kind of basic grounding in the studio. Thanks though, I have a couple books and haven't looked into any mags yet (any suggestions?), but I mostly do it all by practice.
     
  9. I disagree re. your assumption about he digital course, it might be full of film shooters looking with help during their transition to digital.

    Stick with it as you photograph now. Life has a tendency to make doors available if you keep your eyes open and an interest going. Just because there isn't an obvious next step does not make it a "keep it or abandon it" proposition. Keep your skills up - be they technical or creative.
     
  10. GoM

    GoM TPF Noob!

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    Hmmmm I think I was mis-displaying myself a little bit. I don't think I'm at any kind of huge crossroads, in terms of a make-or-break deal between teaching and photography. Pretty much no matter what, I'm sticking through with this degree, because not only is the coursework interesting, but it's alot easier to fall back onto a teaching degree if photography doesn't work out as opposed to vice versa or something. Rather, I'm just kind of...aware of the fact that, while I do think I have progressed since I picked up a camera nad started shooting, I'm aware that I need to round myself off a bit just to see if I *can* make the next step, if I so choose. It's an ultra-competitive world out there, and while I think I may have the right 'eye' for it, the drive/acumen/neccessary talent? Who knows.

    So for now, I'll just keep shooting and maybe set up some summer shoots (jesus christ, aliteration much?) with some friends of mine and see how that progresses. There's a couple options I'm looking at in terms of just applying for 'work'/funsies that apply to photography, and I've never really thought of whoring *cough* offering myself out as an 'apprentice' to a pro. Hmm....interesting....
     
  11. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Reading and shooting are certainly a beginning. The process will be greatly accelerated in classes and assisting. Course descriptions are thorough and I doubt you would choose the wrong one. Assisting is a great path. Whoring is a bad way to put it, but yeah sometimes it stinks. All in all I found it a lot better then sitting at a desk.

    Photography is an amazing field. Never consider that being a doctor, lawyer or teacher or whatever is more lucrative or "safe".

    Do as you feel and never follow.
     
  12. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Ah hell be a teacher of photography
     

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