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Photographic skill isn't everything if you want to go pro

tanishbel87

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I'm posting this because when I tell people that I am a press photographer, they respond that I must be a great Photog, which isn't really true. There are people who take much nicer than I do. But what got me to where I am now is a completely different set of skills.

Always be adequately professional. Whether you shoot a high ranking official or a person who has never stood in front of the camera, be polite, nichttps://nox.tips/e and professional.

The most abovious: Be on time. It staggers me how late my colleagues sometimes show up. In my fours years a Photographer I was late once. This seems way too obvious, but this is the number one reason I get jobs. The news paper I work for can always trust me being on time, which they value like crazy.

If you work for a specific company, as I do, always remember that you represent them. Dress nicely (I always walk around with a suit which is overkill, but that's how I always used to be), shave and generally don't look like a bum.

Just because I follow the above set of rules, Journalists started to specifically ask for me for interviews and so on. It really really pays off.

And a side tip: Get out there. I got to this job just because I once wrote an email and sent them my portfolio. The worst they can do is say no. And even then, they will remember you.
 
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Great post. One thing I will always remember from my childhood is a lady stopping my mother in the grocery and saying what a well-mannered boy I was. My mother loved me and so she taught me to say " please " and " thank you ". One of my pet peeves is going into a store and having the clerk act like I am " bothering " them and having them not thank me for my business. I always want to call the owner and complain :angry:
 
Great post. One thing I will always remember from my childhood is a lady stopping my mother in the grocery and saying what a well-mannered boy I was. My mother loved me and so she taught me to say " please " and " thank you ". One of my pet peeves is going into a store and having the clerk act like I am " bothering " them and having them not thank me for my business. I always want to call the owner and complain :angry:
I once had a store clerk try to give my six year old daughter a piece of candy without asking if it was O K. I checked the label, said O K. My daughter did not respond and I asked her what should she say. She said thank you as she would have normally done. The clerk said "Oh honey you don't have to say thank you" to which I replied that i would appreciate it very much if she did not try to undo the manners that I had taught my daughter.
 
Any industry is the same.
The wanna-bes vs. the pros.
But in one of the most ironic aspects I have seen is that in culinary arts, "pro" level cookware is usually much cheaper in actual construction than the high end home stuff because it is used, abused and banged around so much that they are not pretty.

The same is true with photography.

the way to make visual sausage isn't any prettier than the food. And, it requires specific skill sets for each version.
Pro sports, photojournalist, portrait, erotic, etc.
Each requires diff. applications.
 
I'm posting this because when I tell people that I am a press photographer, they respond that I must be a great Photog, which isn't really true. There are people who take much nicer than I do. But what got me to where I am now is a completely different set of skills.

Always be adequately professional. Whether you shoot a high ranking official or a person who has never stood in front of the camera, be polite, nice and professional.

The most abovious: Be on time. It staggers me how late my colleagues sometimes show up. In my fours years a Photographer I was late once. This seems way too obvious, but this is the number one reason I get jobs. The news paper I work for can always trust me being on time, which they value like crazy.

If you work for a specific company, as I do, always remember that you represent them. Dress nicely (I always walk around with a suit which is overkill, but that's how I always used to be), shave and generally don't look like a bum.

Just because I follow the above set of rules, Journalists started to specifically ask for me for interviews and so on. It really really pays off.

And a side tip: Get out there. I got to this job just because I once wrote an email and sent them my portfolio. The worst they can do is say no. And even then, they will remember you.
 
I always impressed upon my children that if you cannot deliver your very best to an employer to do the employer and yourself a favor and resign. An employer hires in good faith and employees should honor that.
 
A photo business is just that, a business. Once you enter that arena, you're not in Kansas anymore, toto. It comes as a shock to many new pros that shooting is at most 15-20% of a pros time. It's more than shooting and emailing files guys. Since most non photo enthusiasts haven't a clue what goes into a great image, what they DO recognize is professionalism and service. It's why so many mediocre pros can make money and some awesome photographers can't. It's a business, no matter how much you think you are an artist. Those that don't heed this join the ranks of "starving artists." Or are soon out of business.
 
I'm posting this because when I tell people that I am a press photographer, they respond that I must be a great Photog, which isn't really true. There are people who take much nicer than I do. But what got me to where I am now is a completely different set of skills.

Always be adequately professional. Whether you shoot a high ranking official or a person who has never stood in front of the camera, be polite, nice and professional.

The most abovious: Be on time. It staggers me how late my colleagues sometimes show up. In my fours years a Photographer I was late once. This seems way too obvious, but this is the number one reason I get jobs. The news paper I work for can always trust me being on time, which they value like crazy.

If you work for a specific company, as I do, always remember that you represent them. Dress nicely (I always walk around with a suit which is overkill, but that's how I always used to be), shave and generally don't look like a bum.

Just because I follow the above set of rules, Journalists started to specifically ask for me for interviews and so on. It really really pays off.

And a side tip: Get out there. I got to this job just because I once wrote an email and sent them my portfolio. The worst they can do is say no. And even then, they will remember you.
Those are good rules for success in any business.
 
Good rules for just being a human being really. Smart, polite and punctual.

I'm two out of the three:D
 
I agree.
My parents :Be on time, dress nice, bring your own pen to fill out application and don't bring your boyfriend to the interview...
Served me well in life.
Yes, I gave away my age on this post. :)
 
My mother RIP use to say some people will be late to their own funeral. One job many many years ago as a young man that I applied for does not require wearing nice clothing but of all the applicants the boss of the company that interviewed me said, i was the only one that dressed nicely for the position and I got the job..I totally agree with the OP great post. I had a friend that had to go to court for something went in wearing a leather vest with cut off sleeve shirt and the judge blasted him and almost put him in a cell for contempt of court, what an idiot.
 
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"You only get one chance to make a first impression." If you look sloppy, to lazy to not be unkept, that may give the impression that will be your work product. Remember the line in Rudy, you are the team captain, act like one. You are applying for a job as a professional, look like one. Of course if you are my competitor, wear those baggy shorts, a wrinkled T shirt, need a hair cut and to shave. Hey, you're an artist. Great guideline is be more dressed at or by one level than the folks you are shooting. Where I come from, not being on time is a sign of disrespect and/or incompetence. Not showing up, you know, "I flaked dude" either doesn't get you hired but would get you fired.
 
I've never worked out why we still insist on shirts. It's an 18th centuary hangover as far as I'm concerned. May as well insist on waistcoats and a pocketwatch.

Trouble is, that in jobs if you treat a book like a dust cover, often you'll buy a very good cover but with blank pages. But then again I am an engineer by trade, and work clothes were not clean for long....at least if you were actually working.
 
Photographic skill actually is the thing that matters the most IF you are being paid to take photographs. Seriously it IS the most important.

Yes appearance and behavior is up there BUT, remember the stereotype about the slovenly computer programmer/hacker.... think the "fat slob charecter of Nedry from the original Jurassic Park" or the hacker fella from the swedish movies of the Girl with the dragon tattoo books....

nasty slobs that were given the job purely because of work skills.

Or you can look at the old saying, who do you trust more? the mechanic is shiny clean coveralls and somewhat rusty tools, or the mechanic with oil stained coveralls and tools that are kept in pristine condition?
 

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