Beginner tips & advice

RoxxieRAWR

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Hi everyone, I'm 19. I've recently decided to become a photographer. I've already got a fuji film camera, the motivation, the creativity. I just need to know what I need to do to get started.

I'm planning to start going to school for it & earn a degree. But what else could I do?
I currently work at wal mart as a cashier & I'm miserable. But I need the money to get by. Anyone have any advice in how I could make money with photography without having a degree or experience yet?
Photography is my passion & I have no kids, no responsibilities, & I'm as young as ill ever be. So, I figure now's the time to chase my dreams & work towards my goals.
Any advice whatsoever, with anything about photography & what to expect that you could give would be greatly appreciated.
What's the average pay? How do you get to work with businesses? What all is needed? How did you do it?:) give me all the mental tools ill need to really pursue this.

Thanks so much everyone! xo 🌸
My Instagram below ⬇📷
Instagram.com/roxxierawr

Sent from my iPhone using PhotoForum
 

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The best step you could take toward becoming a successful photographer would be going to business school.
 

MetroRuss

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Hi,

I wish you luck in your pursuits of self improvement.

Reading up on how to write a business plan or even googling "photographers business plan"
Could possibly give you some future visions of what type of commitment, investment and knowledge will be required to start up your venture.
 

Designer

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The best step you could take toward becoming a successful photographer would be going to business school.

Why's that?

You can't pay the bills and put food on the table with "good intentions". A business degree will open lots of doors for you.

Meanwhile, continue learning about photography so that when you decide to quit an $80,000 job to start a photography business, you will at least know where to start.

That's why.
 

manicmike

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You can learn photography from reading books and practice. A business degree would be the best thing for starting your own business.
 

o hey tyler

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Being business savvy is as important as being a good photographer. They really go hand in hand.

Learning photography is relatively simple, but being good at it is another skill entirely. Having a creative vision and being able to execute what you see in your head is the most challenging part.

Don't expect to get your first DSLR and to start a business the next day. You really should hone your skills for at least two years, plus or minus. There are a plethora of people that think that they can start a business the second they look through the viewfinder of an entry level body. This is the wrong way to go about it and will ultimately set you up for failure.
 

480sparky

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cgipson1

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Hi everyone, I'm 19. I've recently decided to become a photographer. I've already got a fuji film camera, the motivation, the creativity. I just need to know what I need to do to get started.

I'm planning to start going to school for it & earn a degree. But what else could I do?
I currently work at wal mart as a cashier & I'm miserable. But I need the money to get by. Anyone have any advice in how I could make money with photography without having a degree or experience yet?
Photography is my passion & I have no kids, no responsibilities, & I'm as young as ill ever be. So, I figure now's the time to chase my dreams & work towards my goals.
Any advice whatsoever, with anything about photography & what to expect that you could give would be greatly appreciated.
What's the average pay? How do you get to work with businesses? What all is needed? How did you do it?:) give me all the mental tools ill need to really pursue this.

Thanks so much everyone! xo 
My Instagram below ⬇
Instagram.com/roxxierawr

Sent from my iPhone using PhotoForum

Just keep in mind that there are millions of "semi-professional" Photographers out there (yes... they get paid, so they meet that "Professional" requirement, but they have entry level equipment, and very little knowledge, hence the "semi" since the work they put out is not professional in quality).

Many of these "semi-professionals" actually don't support themselves (their spouses are the real breadwinners).. so they can charge outrageously low prices and actually think (pretend) they are a successful business, even though most of them have no clue what running a business is about (and how do you compete with someone like that?).

But the "low prices / poor quality" are starting to affect the overall market... and people are less willing to pay good money for professional photography, since the last "professional" they used.. delivered CRAP for a very low price! So why should they pay more? (Most non-photographers don't know anything about image quality, composition, exposure, color, etc... and can seldom tell a good image from a bad one! That is why facebook and Instagram are so popular... so many BAD images out there... ugh!)

Even in the Marketing / Sports / magazines / newspaper realms... the quality of the photography has dropped, because they can always find a semi-pro (low-priced crap)... or a total amateur (who will GIVE their images away), instead of paying a "real" professional to get the shots they need.

You are probably making more money at Wal-Mart in a month then most of the "semi-professionals" make in six months! So think about that....

IF you go to business school... and learn HOW to run a business, that is much more important than being a great photographer (especially with the quality standards being so low!), then you might have a chance of making it... but photographers typically don't make what I would call "GOOD money" unless they get very lucky!


There is an old joke that is very pertinent here: What is the difference between a Large Pizza, and a Professional Photographer? (A Large Pizza can actually feed a family of four!)
 
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IByte

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There is an old joke that is very pertinent here: What is the difference between a Large Pizza, and a Professional Photographer? (A Large Pizza can actually feed a family of four!)

Mmmmm foood, going to order me one riiiight now...wait what were we talking about again? Oo
 

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Don't expect to get your first DSLR and to start a business the next day.

Say WHAT? :(

Aw, MAN! I had 1,000 business cards printed up, too!
 

480sparky

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nola.ron

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There's 2 types of degrees in the world:

Ones worth paying for (engineering, IT, business, law and med, etc)

Ones that won't get you a job worth a crap (english, history, art, photography)

What type do you think my multi-million dollar company hires for?

So many young kids go after degrees that DO NOT MAKE THEM HIREABLE!! Those are those jobless graduates you hear about so often. Med school, engineering, etc graduates get a job.

Get a business degree while you teach yourself how to be a pro photographer. Dont waste your time in college to go no where. Then when your photography business doesnt take off or you learn you want to make more money then you are not starting over from scratch at 30 - you take those business skills into another market or company and get HIRED.
 

cgipson1

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There's 2 types of degrees in the world:

Ones worth paying for (engineering, IT, business, law and med, etc)

Ones that won't get you a job worth a crap (english, history, art, photography)

What type do you think my multi-million dollar company hires for?

So many young kids go after degrees that DO NOT MAKE THEM HIREABLE!! Those are those jobless graduates you hear about so often. Med school, engineering, etc graduates get a job.

Get a business degree while you teach yourself how to be a pro photographer. Dont waste your time in college to go no where. Then when your photography business doesnt take off or you learn you want to make more money then you are not starting over from scratch at 30 - you take those business skills into another market or company and get HIRED.

Serious degrees require a lot more work than some things! And I suspect that is one of the reasons Photography is seen as such a popular career (especially by those that know nothing about it!).... No work required, just buy a camera! (unless you want to be good... that might require some work, mediocrity doesn't!)
 

tirediron

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Okay... so by now you've probably figured out that maybe this isn't quite so straight-forward. Dont' misunderstand; no one is saying that you can't do it, but to become a true professional photographer (that is, you make your living from producing professional quality photographs) you need a lot more than just photographic knowledge. In fact, understanding business is more important than understanding photography. If you're going to school as part of this goal, then as others have said, take business courses, learn how a business operates and what is required to be successful in the business world. The photography part you can learn on your own, after hours, etc. I'm a firm believer in education, and I take LOTS of courses and seminars, but I don't believe a degree in photography is ever going to put food on your table!
 

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