Re: New to photography

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Posted by bill dobbs on March 21, 2000 at 23:34:26:

In Reply to: Re: New to photography posted by Doug Clifford on March 11, 2000 at 19:35:57:

One of the attractive aspects of venturing into professional photography is the notion that taking pictures is easy. It is. With modern cameras a lot of guess-work is reduced, however that poses the single biggest problem for someone starting out. That problem is how to make your photography stand out from all the rest. The more I learn about photography, the more I find out there is more to learn. So my advice, for what it's worth, is to focus on learning the art and craft of photography. Learn from every possible source, like books, courses, your own testing, etc. Join a club, study it formally in a college course, do whatever you can to develop your camera and darkroom skills. I highly recommend the book, "The Negative" by Ansel Adams as a good starting point in understanding the fundamentals of proper exposure.
When you get to the point of being able to consistently get good results (that is being able to produce prints that accurately represent what you wanted) indoors, outdoors, in the city and country, in black and white and colour, etc. etc. then you might have the confidence and necessary skill to become a professional.
An acquaintance of mine recently bought an expensive camera and began to take massive amounts of pictures, some of which were fairly good, so he tried some free-lance work. Trouble was, he was presented with a difficult situation and didn't know how to get good results so he blew the assignment. Big blow to the ego, the client was mad, etc.
Your camera is good for what you need it for, providing that you can turn off all the automatic stuff. You must develop an intuitive knowledge of photography and that can't be done by relying on electronics that are in modern cameras. I know of several professionals that use very basic manual cameras, and their success is in knowing exactly what they can produce from them.
As a professional you will probably need a medium format camera in order to make high quality enlargements of 11x16 inches or bigger, but a 35mm camera will suffice up to that size.
I'm sure that professional photography is a fantastic way to make a living. Working with people, travel, interesting assignments, all have a tremendous appeal. I hope for great success for you. Don't let anyone shake your interest or enthusiasm.

: : I'm just starting out in photography. So far my experience is limited to taking pics of my 1 year old daughter, family and friends. Everyone is encouraging me to go into photography as a profession. I need to know how to get started. Iam very enthusiatic about this endeavor and would appreciate any advice available.
: : I now own a Cannon EOS Rebel G and acouple of lenses, but know this won't be adequate to start a business.

: Hello Traci,

: Having been a photographer for almost 40 years, your enthusiasm is understandable, and one of fastest ways to kill that enthusiasm is to try and make a living from taking pictures. It's a TOUGH highly competitive business. Take some classes in photography from your local parks and rec or adult education program to get the foundation you will need. Study the market for photography in your community. Most local photographers make their income from doing weddings and group or team sports photography - both are highly competitive fields. Make the acquaintance of a local wedding photographer or someone who does team sports; offer to carry his equipment and be a gopher for him on shooting assignments. Watch what he or she does. The only successful photographers today have a strong background in running a business and in marketing their services.

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