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Thread: photographer's path

  1. #1

    Default photographer's path

    Hi!
    I look at photos. Beautiful, awe-inspiring photos.
    I want to be a photographer. A Professional Photographer.

    Its not a choice or dream based on impulse. Its what I want. Its wht I've thought of over the past few years.

    I didn't start earlier coz i come from below average-income family. So can't afford courses. But now, things are improving and I'm prepared to start.

    How do I become a professional photographer?

  2. #2
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    Default Pro

    To start,

    You have to attain a certain level of consistency in your photos. Followed by a style or flair. Go and learn as much as you can. Build a portfolio. You need to let people, potential employers/clients that you are v.good at what you do and its worth their dollar.

    The rest is simply networking, building relationships and seizing the opportunity when it happens.

    BTW, pros dun necessarily shoot what they like. Its what their clients like. Many photos here are from hobbyists. They shoot what they like.

    Best of luck!

  3. #3
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default

    Well said razor

    Being a pro means that it becomes work instead of fun.
    If you want to take a course, maybe you might want to work as a photographer's assistant first, that way you can learn and make contacts at the same time.

    Cheers

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    If you want to take a course, maybe you might want to work as a photographer's assistant first, that way you can learn and make contacts at the same time.

    I second Ortega's suggestion.

    If indeed you do have financial constraints, a way out is to work for a photographer. Earn a living and get to learn some photography

  5. #5

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    An artist also needs to eat. You must learn to do business as well as mastering your art.

    that's why most of the folks here (like myself) are newbies and hobbyists.

  6. #6

    Default

    The most important thing is to learn the fundamentals of photography. Take up a course, or if possible, a few courses and learn from the different masters. Every master teach differently, just like Kungfu.

    Next, see which area you want to specialize in, and research on that area. You may want to seek apprentice, or take up a course.

    As you progress, build up your portfolio. When I mean portfolio, it is a set of works that are representative of your forte and specialization.

    You need to know what area you want to specialize in, or else you will not only confuse your client but also yourself.

  7. #7

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    skill
    equiptment
    contacts/luck

  8. #8
    Moderator Clown's Avatar
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    need to clear up one misconception.

    u dont need to be a professional to take good pictures.

    got a whole lot of pros that takes shitty pictures. pro just means making money from photography.

    with a good eye and good technical knowledge, u can do wonders with a point&shoot.
    sigh.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by razor
    To start,

    You have to attain a certain level of consistency in your photos. Followed by a style or flair. Go and learn as much as you can. Build a portfolio. You need to let people, potential employers/clients that you are v.good at what you do and its worth their dollar.

    The rest is simply networking, building relationships and seizing the opportunity when it happens.

    BTW, pros dun necessarily shoot what they like. Its what their clients like. Many photos here are from hobbyists. They shoot what they like.

    Best of luck!
    I fully with razor. Being a full time in photography is more than simply shooting as a hobby. You've got the whole business to consider. A metaphorical example would be the difference between a restaurant chef who does only cooking/creating dishes, and a chef who intends to run a restaurant by himself. Apart from spending enormous time investing in improving your skills, you need to have:

    a) business sense/acumen
    - if you intend to penetrate certain markets based on your specialization in photography, eg. corporate events, architechtural photography, etc.

    b) branding & positioning
    - how you want your customers to perceive your business. In my opinion, the local perception of photographers seems to be less 'dignified/respected' as compared to photographers in western countries. What can you do to help change that?

    c) ability to market yourself
    - self image, presentation & communication skills besides building up your portfolio is crucial to project a professional image. So that potential clients will have confidence in you just by talking.

    d) Networking
    - as what razor mentioned...you need to participate in network groups. It's not who you know but who knows you in this business that matters. "Visibility" is the key marketing strategy to employ. The positive image (character, honesty, integrity, sincerity) you impress upon others will go a long way in time to come to facilitate repeat businesses from the same client and help generate referral spin offs.

    I think some of my points are inter-related. But as you can see, photography as a business emcompasses a great deal of subjects and responsibilities. Hope my input helps.
    Last edited by snowspeeder; 8th February 2005 at 12:01 PM.

  10. #10

    Default

    well although i'm a newbie, i think sometimes Singapore needs people like you, people who really aspire to be somebody he wants to be.

    Reading the posts i think mostly people reminds yunir of the reality of a photographer's path as mostly perceived to be tough. it is always easier to have a stable job and earn some money first before starting in this expensive "hobby". But i think sometimes if you are serious about it, i don see why not you start on your journey ASAP. Learn from books and everyone here.

    Yes i do agree that things are gonna be complicated because a photographer's job is gonna be tough and sometimes dependent on season for income. But if yunir has enough courage to pursue what he/she likes, i will want to encourage him/her.

    Kempatei!

  11. #11

    Default

    Thank you everybody......
    I find all of these to be helpful, i really appreciate it.....

    yeh, i still aspire to be a photographer........
    even if i don't make it, dang, at least i try.....
    its my principle

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yunir
    Thank you everybody......
    I find all of these to be helpful, i really appreciate it.....

    yeh, i still aspire to be a photographer........
    even if i don't make it, dang, at least i try.....
    its my principle
    "Do or do not, there is no try." - Master Yoda

    Good luck and I wish you all the best. Start by posting pictures
    Pictures always should have a special story behind it or a special meaning to the photographer.

  13. #13
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    keep shooting and let critics improve you and your shots..

    ,...if you fall just keep getting up and go again. Love what you do, not many of us can have this choice as a career path. Good luck mate!!
    I lup SG, but SG don't love me...

  14. #14
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    hey pal! i've got an excellent piece of advise for you if you're planning to go pro
    give up

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zig
    hey pal! i've got an excellent piece of advise for you if you're planning to go pro
    give up
    No use to just say to give up, please explain more thanks.....everyone's position is different.....the only way to find out is to just do it!

  16. #16

    Default

    Most of the people I know that went full are are people who "just do it", pretty much a risk taker. Some have compared a career in photography as a calling, as it is probably one of those career that only a few reach the top of the pyramid while there are many otheres at the base.

    Business sense etc. as the others listed out here are important, but do you want to just be a businessman ? Being a business man photographer is easy, the diffucult part is balancing being commercially viable and being true to yourself and your art.

    You'll need to be very self driven and able to take the initiative. If you're serious about going pro, shoot more and talk to the right people. You should be talking to photographers whose work you admire (do you have any in mind ?), while Clubsnap is a fun and friendly place, going by the masses, you'll be unlikely to get any proper advise here.

    Cheers
    36frames Wedding Photography - http://www.36frames.com
    rueyloon - http://www.rueyloon.com

  17. #17

    Default

    Hi all, I'm actually new to this forum. Stumbled here after surfing some sites.

    I've been interested in photography about 5 years ago when I was still using the film camera. But cost of developing was high for me as I was still schooling.

    Got my digital camera last year and now, I'm even more interested. Want to develop my interest even further.

    Any good places to take up courses from? I've seen those post in the Workshops thread. Are there anymore which you all know of but it isn't mentioned?

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jaded-stone
    Hi all, I'm actually new to this forum. Stumbled here after surfing some sites.

    I've been interested in photography about 5 years ago when I was still using the film camera. But cost of developing was high for me as I was still schooling.

    Got my digital camera last year and now, I'm even more interested. Want to develop my interest even further.

    Any good places to take up courses from? I've seen those post in the Workshops thread. Are there anymore which you all know of but it isn't mentioned?
    When choosing a course, you look at the syllabus, the instructors' credentials, the fees, and infra-structure of the organisation

    On a neutral stand, drop by the offices, take a peek, don't be swayed by any and convince yourself.

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