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Thread: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

  1. #1

    Default Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    Hi,

    I know SLCC, Substain, Photographic Society of Singapore and Objectifs are among the popular schools among forumers here.

    After venturing photography for some time by individual trial and error, research and reading, I find that I have been thinking of photography non-stop. Be it when driving, working, sleeping. Heck, when my wife talks to me, and images on the topic conjures, I begin to think of composition, aperture and shutter speed for these mental images. I even dream photography.

    I'll cut the chase. Can anyone advise what's the best course of action to go pro, or semi-pro? I need to keep my current job in the meantime, because of financial commitments, or at least work part time at a job, study/understudy photography at the same time.

    Is school the "must" way to go? The acquisition of knowledge from the schools no doubt is important, but I am also thinking about the career prospects and the opportunities of going semi-pro or pro that these schools offer. If it's a "must", which would be the "best choice", balancing the knowledge their provide, as well as the prospect.

    Thanks in advance for the advice given.

  2. #2
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    if you must go to a school then it is NY that you are looking for.

    In Sunny Singapore go work as an assistant and learn from your boss

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    you need to consider what field of photography you wanna venture into... prob best to specialize in one. there are many many different areas to consider, other than the usual ones of wedding, portraits, etc.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    Thanks Ortega and Larry for the advice. Was hoping to hear more before I respond... I also considered being an assistant, as I hear this is how most pros start out. But that would require me to go full time. I understand I sound like I want everything without willing to make sacrifices. But I have reality waiting for me at home at the end of the day and I wake up in the morning.

    On field of preference, I am actually more inclined towards travel photography. But having a family kind of mean I have to sacrifice this ideal. Next in line would be fashion photography. Then again, most photographers venture into fashion photography after they have achieved a level of profile and skill... I just need to know more people in the industry, much more.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    both travel and fashion photography are a long and hard path. i wish i luck. if u know nuts about photography...lets say even the technicals.... then perhaps u should perfect them on ya own first.....

    coz at the end of the day...travel is something that requires alot of patience, i have friends who when overseas can stay at a spot for 4 hours juz to get a particular shot at a particular time for them.... tt is travel.....

    for fashion, i tink portraiture requires u to interact with the model alot....its a v interpersonal thing...some ppl can...some ppl just cant....

    y dun u give ya hand at both...then figure out wat do u realy like...

    and most of all...turning pro i tink depends on how much ppl like ya photos....how much ass appeal they have to the general public, and not jus CS alone..... if they dun appeal...u cannot get paid.....reality is harsh......

    i concur with ortega.....locally i dun tink courses will help any more then giving u an overview of the technicals..but the two areas of photog u mentioned is so much more than that.....as mentioned...if u want to learn fashion....NY is the place to go.....

    wat i feel is tt...if u have a job now...keep it...dabble in each area u have chosen..and build a portfolio of sorts...perhaps in time....u could freelance alittle.....and when u are really sure u are definate about turning the "pro" way.....by all means do so...

    juz my 2 cts worth...

    cheers...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    Thanks Witness for your advice. I definitely have a whole lot to learn on technicalities, even for general photography, not to mention field-specific requirements.

    When I named fashion and travel, those were my "ultimate ideals". I don't mean I'm ready for them, I was just responding to Larry who encouraged me to consider my desired fields if I ever turn pro. As for "dabbling", that's actually what I'm doing now. Just looking out for a more structured way to learn which equips me with the needed knowledge in a shorter time, as well as open up opportunities for the future.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    One thing that i feel strongly is that if photography is a hobby that you enjoy a lot, don't turn it into a job because you might just lose the joy you find in photography.

    However, if you are passionate about the art and also are ready to face the slogging needed of the job (as in every other job), take the leap and try it out, you might enjoy your new job!

    Just my 2 cents
    Budget wedding photographer :)

  8. #8

    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    I echo your concerns. Doing it for fun and for living are worlds apart. I have seen how turning joy into work erode passion completely, in many many fields. Some even turn passion into disgust. I am definitely wary of that. Which is exactly I'm trying to find guidance within the industry, not outside by trial and error, and going full time on my own subsequently, then faced with a rude shock of reality.
    Thanks for your advice ParkerTR

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    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    If you desired field are fashion and travel.... maybe you would like to try:
    1) take up some courses such as travel and fashion courses at PSS;
    2) join some fashion/model shoot organised in CS and see if you are comfortable;
    3) take lots of photos when travelling to build up a decent portfolio....

    I am also thinking of doing for travel shoot....

  10. #10

    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    Actually travel is definitely out. Family commitments. 2nd choice will be fashion. Most importantly of all, my skill is waaaaay lacking for me to think that far. I'm just finding my path to reach the entrance of my desired field. Courses is one way, apprencticeship/assistant to pros another.

    Actually prefer the later, but cannot afford to sacrifice my job. Definitely want to do more than self-experiment without sound guidance. If I join the organised shoots, I'll end up being trigger happy, baffled at what's missing from the shots, what would appeal to people etc. A photographer once told me - get the basics right, don't get too obssessed with it. shoot. look at works of photographers on print, as much as possible, from as varied sources as possible. most importantly of all, shoot with the heart (Dui4 de qi3 liang2 xin1 - each shoot must be shot with conscience.

    I'll probably take the basic course by PSS or objectifs to revisit and anchor the foundation before doing anything next, and follow the advice of this old bird.


    Did consider the various courses by PSS, actually still considering.

    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis32
    If you desired field are fashion and travel.... maybe you would like to try:
    1) take up some courses such as travel and fashion courses at PSS;
    2) join some fashion/model shoot organised in CS and see if you are comfortable;
    3) take lots of photos when travelling to build up a decent portfolio....

    I am also thinking of doing for travel shoot....

  11. #11
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    Courses can only give you theory
    Work as an assistant give you experience
    To be in the business you need network with photographers
    To progress you need a mentor

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    Member kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    Courses can only give you theory
    Work as an assistant give you experience
    To be in the business you need network with photographers
    To progress you need a mentor
    Gd advice. heheh... I went the opposite way.

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    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken
    When I named fashion and travel, those were my "ultimate ideals". I don't mean I'm ready for them, I was just responding to Larry who encouraged me to consider my desired fields if I ever turn pro...
    actually, this is my personal opinion but there are many others like you who are consider a career in photography but most are not aware of the many other areas and fields available. e.g. product photography, landscape, architectural, aerial (yes i mean images taken from the air), industrial, etc. heck i know someone who makes a very good living (and i mean VERY GOOD) living just doing jewelry photography, and food photography is something that's very underrated in SG. travel, fashion and photo-journ are prob the most common paths cos it's what most people are exposed to cos to magazines and newspapers and probably has more of the "glam" factor.

    so do consider your strengths, abilities and constraints. fashion may not be your cuppa tea and if you want a more "regular hours" occupation, i know for a fact that good fashion photogs have VERY irregular hours and travel frequently as well. for something more routine, product photogy might be better, for example, cos you can control your own timing.

    just some food for thought. talk to some people, do some research into the market and then consider all your avail options.

    good luck!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    NAFA has a part-time Certificate in Basic Photography. they also have the Specialisation Photo Print Outputs, Studio Portraiture & Studio Still Life.
    Last edited by adam72; 17th August 2005 at 02:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    I think as you shoot more, you will know what you like and dun like.

    with passion for that subject, you will enjoy more in life

  16. #16
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry
    you need to consider what field of photography you wanna venture into... prob best to specialize in one. there are many many different areas to consider, other than the usual ones of wedding, portraits, etc.
    I think this could be an important point the new entrant tends to overlook. Sit down a work out your niche and focus on it. By concentrating on a sector you would be better than those who dabbe in it and could be able to conserve your capital to buy the better equipments for it.

    When you show your portfolio, it would be easier for the the clients to remember your specialty rather than "Who was that phototographer who could shoot everything?".

  17. #17

    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    There was a time when I was in your shoes. but I didnt drop everything and embrace my passion guess sometims just need to feed the mouth. Just do it freelance first. Till you get a constant flow of jobs. If you have a family, you need to feed them.You will take time to build up the momentum. Not every photographer becomes successful for every andrew chooi or chris ling there are hundreds of other who did not make it. Been shooting wedding for 2 years but my jobs are still not regular. But get to know your clients, sometimes you get other type of jobs such are sports and product through your wedding clients. Sometimes you just cant chase you passion fully. my first love is really with photojournalism, but I settled for wedding photography as the next closest thing. can't expect my wife to stay in sing while I spend 6 months somewhere else in the world. You can try sending your port folio to straits times and newpaper to see if they need stringers, or even full time photogs. But the hours are quite iregullar cause you need to cover shifts and stuff at least it in sing and you get to shoot a full range of subjects.
    Last edited by Tsangstudios; 17th August 2005 at 05:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Photography Schools - Going Full Time

    Actually, a possible niche you could carve for yourself is doing stock photography i've found myself doing that myself for friends who use them for presentations and other stuff (for myself included when i need images for my sermons!). People will pay for pictures they need. Not that it's really easy, but it's something else you could look into
    Budget wedding photographer :)

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