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Old Aug 7, 2005, 2:57 AM   #21
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MrPogo wrote:
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"...but I personally think that the professionals can then be sub-divided into two main catagories.
There's the "artistic photographer" and the "commercial photographer". The artistic photographer takes photos of whatever he or she likes, then tries to sell them. Often landscape, wildlife etc images, but they're taking those photos for the love of the subject (though obviously with a view to later make money), then work on selling them afterwards."
MrPogo, thanks for this distinction. the "artistic" photograher and the "commercial" type. I think each has his/her merrits. In a manner of speaking, the majority of them would eventually aim at selling their products.

Nevertheless, it is still a hard climb to be recognised as an artistic type or commercial type, but as it was pointed out by a many folks, the need to market oneself is a necessary part of this business. It is hardwork folks!
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Old Aug 7, 2005, 3:15 AM   #22
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Eric, very very touching. Very very helpful an thoughtful too. You ask a difficult question that I have been thinking over for the last couple of days. Thinking about it, there is a part of me that lovesphotography for the sake of it. But also I want to go commercial. I got to earn a living.

Presently I am just completing my post graduate studies. In my heart, I want to take photography seriously as part of my life. You know one of those things that just happens. You give it a careful look and decide that is what you want for the rest of your life. True I have been at school and studies for other things. But I want to take to photography to earn a living.

Now someone wisely suggested doing an apprenticeship. This I have considered serioulsy. This ishelpful for learning skills and general business management, I am to rellocated myself in a few months time. This is a factor too.

Again considering Erics question as to what type of photography I intend to do, being a beginner it is innitially difficult to find focus. Like I said my heart is on earning a living out of it. But again this is broad. And given the complication that I am relocating that does not make matters easy for me. But how about a few solid pointers. Let discuss about what is involved in the different types of photography. If I have shot wide, I appreciate being refocused.

Kind regards.
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Old Aug 7, 2005, 3:22 AM   #23
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Thanks folks for the wonderful responses
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Old Aug 7, 2005, 3:26 AM   #24
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Kalypso wrote:
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By qualifying a professional photographer as someone who makes the majority of their income from photography, you include every Sears/K-Mart/Wal-Mart portrait shooter, every guy who lugs his generic gear to schools every year for yearbook shots and the guy that works 8-12 weddings each weekend in the spring.
Kalypso, thanks for nudging me into this direction of an apprentice. I take this seriously. Iwilltry andfind someone to support me. But as I pointed out to Eric, the difficulty of rellocating is a temporal impediment. I will work out something and see what is best.

Thanks for bringing intoa bigger picture as pointed out in the quote. This is bigger business for sure. We are in the right direction. Sure a long road indeed but that starts witha first step. I am off to practice macro photography.

Kind regards.
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Old Aug 7, 2005, 10:41 AM   #25
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Glad to help. We are generally a good group of people here, so I'm not surprised you got friendly answers/info.

As to how to get started. Here are a few thoughts of mine. They obviously aren't "right" as there really is no "right" way to go about this. But hopefully you find it helpful.

While you're learning, it doesn't matter what you do. So do it all. Just have fun at it, pick some goals and go at it. Maybe it's a macro of a bug on a flower, or a street shot of a person sitting on a bench. Pick something and try to get it. Always make it fun (or try) so you're enjoying it. Until you get paid for it, if it isn't fun question why it isn't and why you're doing it. (It could be the situation and not what you're actually doing.) Not everything is fun, but if you immediately think "I feel very uncomfortable/hate standing around in a dirty, messy city trying to steal unaware shots of people" then you have to think about why that is, if you can get over it or if you should move on. Don't give up quickly, but also don't hold on too long. This is still fresh and fun, keep it that way.

The corollary to the above point is that you might not have the proper equipment to do it correctly. Understand that and work with it. Some will say that this will get you to do non-traditional things... and to a point that is true. Using extension tubes instead of a macro lens works. But some times, you really do need something you don't have and it just flat out makes it harder. Either way, do what you can but understand the limits.

Having to relocate can be a huge win, actually. Then you won't be competing with whom you apprentice with. I don't know how much time you have before you move, though. A month might not be enough for them to take you on. But you should view this as an advantage!

I have a friend who does many kinds of photography. One thing he does it product shots for advertising. He is a very good photographer, which certainly helps. But there is something else he does. He behaves professionally. He shows up on time (and in some cases just showing up is an improvement over the other guy.) He does the job without running over. He gets them results in the time frame they wanted (i.e. usually quickly.) He listens to their wants, but filters it with his experience. And above it all, he meets their needs. By doing this he has built a reputation of doing good work on time and professionally. He has had to raise his prices 4 times in the last 8 months because he is getting too much business and it's getting in the way of the other types of photography he prefers more. There is a big lesson to be learned there.

The other thing he did before he quit his day job was save a lot of money and hire a person to build a business plan and setup the business properly. They met every week and discussed where he was and how it was going. It worked out very well for him. You aren't at this stage, but hopefully you'll get there. And if you can find the proper organization you might not even need to pay for it. Here in the US, there are organizations of retired people who help others in this way to keep busy.

I gotta get going - shopping and a hike to take. My last suggestion is this (I'll write more later):
Look at other people's pictures. Lots of them - good and bad - and think about them. Really think. What you like and dislike. What you would do differently. Learn from them. Try to imitate them (you never will, but you'll learn by trying to.) This can involve joining a photo club. I've done this and it has helped me immensely. Having to review your work from the past month and pick out the best is a great way to learn.

Eric

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Old Aug 8, 2005, 2:58 AM   #26
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I dont think artistic photos makes as mcuh money as commercial photo's, but can be more rewarding.

I think the perfect starting point for something like this is one of the major arts festivals. I know Aardklop is coming up at the end of September. It might be a bit much to have your own stall there, but maybe ask around and try to get someone else (who does not only have his own work on display) if they wish to display yours as well. I dont know how this works, buy you would probably have to pay, or pay a part of the price the picture sells for.'

I say this is a good starting point, because the ppl there are in a mood for buying art. There they would buy things they would otherwise reconsider. Itsa great place to get some exposure. You can also meet and talk with a couple of ppl who do it for a living in SA.
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Old Aug 8, 2005, 4:40 PM   #27
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hi there, something to think about:

"amateur" derives from latin "amare" i.e. loves something : who is likley to make better photos - somebody who loves what he´s doing or somebody who just pops his flash because it´shis living?:|(the first does not exclude the second, of course).



Ciao, wolfie:-)
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Old Aug 9, 2005, 3:24 AM   #28
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eric s wrote:
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Glad to help. We are generally a good group of people here, so I'm not surprised you got friendly answers/info...

While you're learning, it doesn't matter what you do. So do it all. Just have fun at it, pick some goals and go at it. Maybe it's a macro of a bug on a flower, or a street shot of a person sitting on a bench. Pick something and try to get it. Always make it fun (or try) so you're enjoying it...
Thanks Erick for the very kind words. I can't complain. Folks have been very helpful and supportive. I do appreciate every minute of it. What has particularly captured my attention is what the second part of the quote says, namely to have the love for what I am doing and keep doing it. Wolfie says the same thing. It makes sense. How couldone possibly do what is not of interest to him? I say I have been doing it. I am also trying to join a photographers' club necessary for critical appreciation. I am sure it will be lot helpful if people can tell me what is right or not right about my photos.

In terms of equipment, I am equipping myself with considerably good lenses. I have acquired a Sigma Macro lens 105mm, a Sigma 20-70mm next in line is a Canon 70-200mm F/4 L and finally a wide lens Tamron 17-35mm. I am convinced this will be a good beginning in terms of lenses. Again, the advice has mostly come from folks on this forum. Trying to get the basics to get started.

In terms of rellocating, I still have about a yearto move permanently butbetween now and then I will have to move to a new country at least once. But I see your point. Importantly,I view the relocationas an advantage.

I have to assure you though that I am doing a lot of practice. Thanks to digital technology. One can see the results immediately. It would be damn expensive on old film technology.

That bit about discipline and being professional is a huge boost. I am not there but I will not forget that . Eric, in terms of information, you have put me in a gold mine. I really appreciate. Every journey begins but with the first step. I consider the information I am learning from you folks the first step.
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Old Aug 9, 2005, 3:29 AM   #29
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Carrot, thanks for chipping in. You never know, you could have opened a door here. I would be willing to attend this show. But perhaps you would like to give a few more details about the date, place and how to get there. I would definitely attend, not so much to display and sell my products but importantly to learn and possibly find contacts, someone who can be willing to take me in as an apprentice. Please post the reply in private message.

Kind regards.
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Old Aug 9, 2005, 3:32 AM   #30
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Hi wolfie,

Just saying thanks for the kinds words. I have taken the lesson. Tell you my little secret. I keep notes of all the important things folks say. Something of a handbook. So keep them coming. Someone in my person appreciates the lessons. I think everyone has something worthwhile to say.

Kind regards.
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