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Old Aug 23, 2004, 6:37 PM   #11
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I didnt plan on it being easy, but i'd rather be working hard for myself then someone else! I hear criticism from my family about my decision to go into photography. I would like to not have to hear it here as well! That said, I noticed Ritzcamera.com has no sales tax when you order on their site. Does that also apply if I walk into an actualRitz store and pre-order the 20D?

Thank You
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 9:17 PM   #12
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I wouldn't call it criticism, just a warning. Clearly you've already thought about this aspect. All I can say, good for you! We'll help out where we can. People here are pretty friendly.

Sales tax generally is not charged when you order online and don't live in the state that business you order from is based.

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Old Aug 23, 2004, 10:35 PM   #13
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Truly, go to www.naturephotographers.net and read the forums and look at the pictures. Everything. There are some very good pros there, and you'll learn a lot about the business and about good pictures. The more pictures you look at the more you will lean what you like and dislike. Then try to take the pictures that you like. As you learn, you'll grow and develop and start to create your own feel.

The really successful photographers don't make their money on their pictures/prints. They mostly make it on books. Being able to write well and take good pictures will give you a HUGE advantage over the other guy.

Also, learn how to run a business. Learn how to advertise & market yourself. A good businessman who takes good pictures will do better than someone who is just a great photographer. Skill at running the business is required to get somewhere (that doesn't mean *you* have to have it, it just means that your business needs it.)

I agree with barthold that nature photography is hard to do as a business. We are not saying that it can't be done, we are saying that you must plan for it. You must accept that it is hard, s-u-c-k (now that was creative, the sensor software turned that word into "oops") it up and work through it. It will take MANY YEARS before it becomes profitable. But if you love it, then it's worth it.

This is why I'm starting slowly. I'm building a portfolio of work while I work a real job. I'm taking the pictures I like, having fun, and getting a body of work that will (eventually) make me some money. But right now, I'm just having fun.


ps. And barthold is right, get the best tripod you can afford. To make money in photography you need large prints (smaller postcard sized ones are quickly not worth the effort for the little return.) And to make large prints you need very sharp pictures. For landscapes you can only get that with a tripod. And if you want to sell to stock agencies they will REQUIRE large sharp pictures.

pps. And you won't want to hear this, but most pros are shooting landscapes with large format film cameras. The sharpness, quality and enlargement size is just better than any 35mm digital. And even the fairly good rigs aren't that expensive. But start with a digital so you lean and then when decide later.

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Old Aug 23, 2004, 11:45 PM   #14
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i agree with eric s. go to the naturephotographers.net and take a look. the pictures are not just great technical pics. they are also art!!!

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Old Aug 24, 2004, 10:59 AM   #15
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I have been shooting for 40+ years in medium formats, 16mm movie, video, in the areas of product (table top), Industrial (special machine), promotional venues. I now shoot in the horse show/auto race industries. Just to establish that I'm not just flapping my keyboard.

Several of the replies you have received so far are SOLID advice, not criticism.

Tools of the trade enable you to do better work thats undeniable. You have to know your camera inside and out under EVERY condition and do it without thinking, if you want to suceed in your new venture.

You may or may not have skill, talent, intuition etc. It is going to takea fairdeal of time to find out. Don't count on making any appreciable amount of money for quite a while.

The term "starving artist" isn't just a cute phrase !!

Either way Good Luck !!
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