Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Newbie Help

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 12, 2007, 6:32 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 125
Default

How does one become good? and good enough to do weddings, product shoots, so on?
Derek034 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old May 12, 2007, 10:05 AM   #2
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

You get good enough via practice, practice & more practice including instruction & proper feedback. Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent. So if you keep doing the same things incorrectly over and over again you just solidify bad habits. If you want to do wedding work, get a job as an assistant to a photog who does weddings. You'll do grunt work but you'll learn. Also you eventually need the right tools for the given job. You're not going to do wedding work with a $200 point and shoot camera. And you're not going to get much work with a DSLR and cheap $70 kit lens.

But, the other key to workingfor someone is you'll learn the business aspect. In the end, your talent as a photographer is not as important as your business skills. Your business and interpersonal skills will determine whether you succeed.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12, 2007, 1:04 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Ronnie948's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 721
Default

Hi Derek,

Excellent advice from JohnG. Education is the secrete to success. First you have to learn your camera and how to use it. Then you will need to really apply yourself to learn the business end if you are going to do it for a living full time. You can't skimp on buying equipment.(Computer & Photoshop along with a good DVD burner, printerand how to use them is a must).You need to have at least two of everything as far as camera body's, lenses, flashes are concerned.Keep your day job until all of the items you need are completely paid for. Then look for someone to intern with. You really gotta want it to get it.

OR

Keep your day job and do photography on the side. Attend a photography class and read books and view DVD's. Join a photo club. If you are any good you will get your photo jobs by word of mouth advertising. Invest in having some of your work enlarged and framed and ask your local bank or other businesses if you can display a picture. I find most places jump on the opportunity to use local pictures for free. Change the pictures from place to place every couple of months or so. Right now our local camera club has a nice display of photographs at the Daytona Airport. I personally have had pictures displayed at Barnes & Noble bookstores along with the Libraries and some banks. I used to provide some furniture stores with photographs and split the sale price 50/50 (after frame and glass expenses) with them when they sold. Places to sell good photographs are unlimited if you don't mind working at getting people to display them for you. Our Barnes & Noble no longer allows artdisplays at all anymore so I have to find another outlet. I usually always offer a 50/50 (after expenses)split if someone sells a photo for me. I do my own framing and put the cost of the frame and glass on the back of the pictureso the person knows just how much to deduct from the asking price. I can usually frame and glass a picture for around $20.00.

I have always kept my Day job but I did have a job that I could take off if I needed to. I always tried to schedule my photography to not interfere with my day job but it was not always possible. Now I'm retired and have all the time in the worldbut my health is not good enough to really do a lot with my photography. I still do a lot of portraits, pets, bratty kids, and small weddings and I can be very choosy about what I do.

Photography can really be fun and stay fun if you keep a day job to pay the bills.You willhave the freedom to only do the assignments you want to do and leave the crap stuff to the real professionals.

Ronnie






Ronnie948 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12, 2007, 3:27 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Reanimator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Huddersfield
Posts: 1,347
Default

intresting comments ronnie

i have (as u may have read on other threads) done similar to what u suggest, lay out money and get your work framed and out there for people to see, i have furnished a local pub with a lot of my work as i knew its customers would be an ideal target, have got 16 big prints in there and getting good results.

as to making a living freelance and relying on that as income it takes some doing, to anyone in the know its just a simple case of looking at your pics, seeing if uare creative, got a good eye for compostion and exposure.

above all id concentrate on what u have a passion for, with me its landscapes, i got no intrest in weddings, studio work or still life, so i put all my effort into landscapes and hope that passion shows through

Gary
Reanimator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12, 2007, 4:24 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 125
Default

Well John you're right but I will be buying 3-4 lens over the next year to get good on.



and whats wrong with the d-slr camera may I ask?
Derek034 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12, 2007, 5:21 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 851
Default

I think he was refering more to the cheap 'kit' lens than to the dSLR specifically.

I also have to second his comment that having a very good business education and business sense/skill is probably more important than your photographic skills.

Business, now that IS difficult. Photography is easy by comparison.
amazingthailand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12, 2007, 5:24 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 125
Default

amazingthailand wrote:
Quote:
I think he was refering more to the cheap 'kit' lens than to the dSLR specifically.
Ah yes then I apologize. I should have read it better my bad.
Derek034 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12, 2007, 9:28 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

I also sell my work, and have had a few gallery shows and some stores always keep my stuff in stock (and send me checks every month.) I also sell some over the web and teach photography. (Just so you know where I'm coming from.)

I basically agree with all that was said above. I want to add a bit more detail in a few places.

How good you are with people will make a HUGE difference in your success. HUGE - this can not be understated. It does matter what type of photography you do (if you shoot only wildlife and rarely interact with people other than stock agencies or magazines... then you can be a bit more rough around the edges. But there are *many* fish in the sea... if you are difficult, they won't come back.)

- If you are a bad photographer, you won't do well.
- If you are a good photographer and are not easy to deal with, you will get less repeat business. And you *MUST* have repeat business (and word of mouth sales) to survive.
- If you are a good photographer and are easy to deal with, you will get repeat sales, and you will survive.

You can be an amazing photographer, but there comes a point where it doesn't really matter any more. Sure, the results are stunning, but they would have been happy with good.

A friend of mine is a semi-pro (without healthcare he can't afford to do it - so he went back to a day job and also makes $50,000+ a year from photography.) The last time I saw him he told me that he has had to raise his price 3 times last year. He had *too many* customers (which means your prices are too low.) How did this happen? He is a very good photographer (if you like his subject matter which is a mix of landscape and "creative" nature stuff) and technically very good (knows exposure, knows how to use flash, knows artificial and natural lighting....) But what won him this business? He show up on time, did good work, communicate well with the customer, gave them what they want on time, did't make excuses. In other words, he gave them customer what they wanted and he was easy to work with.

I believe he was doing advertisement work. Product shots, buildings, stuff like that. Not exciting, but it paid the bills while he was signing contracts with REI and EMS (yes, the outdoor equipment stores.)


As to your question "How does one become good?" There are many, many valid answers. Here are mine (I'm skipping the things people said above.)
- Find out what you love to shoot and then shoot it a lot.
- Look over your work and *critically* analyze it. Really think about which are good and which are not. And really thing about *why* you think that.
- Join a serious photo club that lets you ask questions and where people give good feedback. This shouldn't be an "Appreciation society", you should be able to ask "why doesn't this work?" and get good, useful answers. And while you are there, study the works of others - what you like and dislike - and learn from it.
- Take a class or read. However you learn better do it... but learn the technical side. What the metering modes do (and how they differ.) What is the difference between f/4 and f/8 on the same picture? When to use exposure compensation? How do you use artificial light well? There is a technical side that you need to understand so that when you see something you want to shoot, you'll understand enough to actually capture it the way you want.
- Read. Not so much about the technical side of photography, but the creative. For me, for example, this book was very helpful:

The Art of Photographing Nature by Martha Hill:
http://www.amazon.com/Art-Photograph...341&sr=1-1

Some of it is really basic stuff that I already knew, but some of it was not. And what is truly unique to me is that both Art Wolfe (very good nature photographer) and Martha Hill (former picture editor of Audubon magazine) wrote about the pictures. So you got to see what Art was thinking about when he took the shot and what Martha though from the prospective of an editor. Very interesting, especially where they differed on what they liked.

Ok, I gotta get to bed. I hope that helps.

Eric

ps. Oh, and take a small-business class at a local college. You gotta run the business right as well. Not fun, but if you're going to do it seriously, do it.
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2007, 10:25 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Ronnie948's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 721
Default

Well said Erics.

Ronnie
Ronnie948 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 2007, 11:37 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 125
Default

Eric thank you so much for your time & explaination. I enjoyed reading it. I'm very good with people and I was planing on starting small like shoto some old buildings and go to a small galleries and see how I do.





Question on looks when dealing with people? Now can I look rough around theedges whendealing with people in the art bizz?
Derek034 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:53 PM.