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Thread: Professional self taught photographers ?

  1. #41

    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    If you're interested in becoming professional, I'll suggest taking a course in Marketing and Promotion. Or small business administration. That's essentially what you'll be. Talent with the camera as a working pro actually may not matter that much.

  2. #42

    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by YSLee View Post
    I'll suggest taking a course in Marketing and Promotion. Or small business administration.
    I strongly agree with YSLee.

    Being a trained photographer, I do find myself lacking in the necessary business skills. That' i why I can never operate my own studio and be my own boss.
    Last edited by photobum; 9th January 2009 at 09:39 AM.

  3. #43

    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    TS, whether you are self-taught or not is not very important. If the client trusts you and has confidence in you, they will just let you try. If they look at your past works and think you can't make it, they won't even let you try. I got an assignment (recommended by a nice CSer) in Johor to shoot a fashion catalogue for a chain store. During the interview, I told the promotion manager (a very hard-looking lady in her 40s) honestly that I cannot take indoors or studios because I know nuts about lighting. She said she knew because my CS friend had told her. Then she said, "Ok, so you take outdoors. I'll get XXX (also a CSer) to do studio." Before I left her office, she mentioned something in Mandarin which left me a deep impression, "Skills are important, but attitude is more important".

    All the best to you.

  4. #44

    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by photobum View Post
    I strongly agree with YSLee.

    Being a trained photographer, I do find myself lacking in the necessary business skills. That' i why I can never operate my own studio and be my own boss.
    Or be an associate partner of a studio. The main partner will handle the business side of photography. you just concentrate on shooting and getting new clients.

    cheer

  5. #45
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i am a self-taught professional walker



    before that i was a self-taught professional crawler

    but i will always, always be a self-taught professional eater
    You are speaking as a "Senior or Junior Member"?

  6. #46

    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sion View Post
    You are speaking as a "Senior or Junior Member"?
    i am not sure

    time to check my clubsnap manual

    or check with my professional clubsnapper mentor

  7. #47
    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    What does one require to earn the tag "professional" ???

    I was for many years an electronics technician.
    I worked for a Canon company repairing faxes/copiers etc.

    There were 3 of us there that were quite good at our job.

    One day, the owner/manager employed a guy to be our workshop manager... he came straight out of university.

    He had degrees that were most impressive in many aspects of electronics and mechanics.

    When it came down to repairing a tricky fault in a copier or fax, we walked all over him....

    Why...

    Because he thought by the book, we worked by feel. We worked by hands on experience.

    I would not have thought of myself as professional though. Just good at what I did from experience in the field.
    Time, is an effortless construction :)

  8. #48

    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pablo View Post
    He had degrees that were most impressive in many aspects of electronics and mechanics.

    When it came down to repairing a tricky fault in a copier or fax, we walked all over him....

    Why...

    Because he thought by the book, we worked by feel. We worked by hands on experience
    Sorry, I do not mean to be harsh, but I find your statement inequitable. First of all, most "tan chiak" photographers, like myself, started photography as hobby. I do consider the time we spent learning photography as hobbyists part of our experience. Isn't the word 'experience' means "knowledge or skill gained over time"?

    Now, back to the guy who repairs copier and fax. Yes, he is armed with the necessary theoretical and conceptual knowledge in electronics and mechanics from his many years of university study, Nonetheless, I think he has never touched the interior of a copier or fax machine before prior to joining the company. Thus, he is considered a newbie. Whereas you and your colleagues had been fixing such machines for many years. There is no reason why you guys do not "walk all over him".

    Now, I want you to think back to that time when you are still a junior technician working for that company. Ask yourself these simple questions: have I ever hesitated or felt unsure while servicing such machines? Did I refer to my seniors often? Did I check and cross-reference to the schematics diagrams often? If you answers are mostly 'yes', then you had been in his shoes before. There is no reason why you should be proud of yourself for knowing more than a university graduate.

    Another good example which I will like to quote is my sister-in-law. You see, she is a nurse. She has been working at KK Women's and Children's Hospital for more than 15 years. She often tells me doctors are rather predictable when it comes to diagnostic and treatment. If the patient has flu and fever, the doctor will prescribe such and such medication. If cough and cold, these medicines will do. If dry cough, this is the cough mixture to take. Based on her vast and many years of experience, she can be qualified to treat and prescribe medication to patients, but she cannot. She is just a nurse after all.

    Therefore, your comparison between a 'tan chiak' photographer and a 'professional' copier technician is unjust and irrelevant. Please don't flame me as I am voicing my heartfelt concerns and opinions.
    Last edited by photobum; 10th January 2009 at 08:24 AM.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    Hi photobum,

    Sorry to take a day to reply. I have no problem with your views.

    I am only hoping that I put my view across incorectly to what I meant to.....

    I will try to explain what I was trying to say.

    This guy (nice guy in fact) that the owner employed with all his degrees, was supposed to streamline our work flow.

    Possibly replace one of us in the long run as well.

    We, the other technicians basically taught ourselves from experience gathered over time and from working with each other if a problem needed.

    I started originally from spending 1 week with a guy that was leaving and learnt the basics from him.

    Generally you could say that we all became good at our job from experience, from hands on.

    You develop a feel for what is causing a fault sometimes, something that cant be found looking through manuals.

    What I am saying (or trying to) is that the best are not always those that go to Uni or likewise.

    Often they can be those that simply go for it because that is what they want to be doing and gather experience and feeling along the way.

    Sorry if this is no help to explaining my view. If it does and is still no better... oh well, it is just a view.

    Cheers
    Time, is an effortless construction :)

  10. #50

    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    he's hired as a workshop manager. I don't think that managers necessarily have to be better technically than a technician.
    His job is to maximize your productivity probably? I would be surprised if his job was to replace one of the technicians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pablo View Post
    Hi photobum,

    Sorry to take a day to reply. I have no problem with your views.

    I am only hoping that I put my view across incorectly to what I meant to.....

    I will try to explain what I was trying to say.

    This guy (nice guy in fact) that the owner employed with all his degrees, was supposed to streamline our work flow.

    Possibly replace one of us in the long run as well.

    We, the other technicians basically taught ourselves from experience gathered over time and from working with each other if a problem needed.

    I started originally from spending 1 week with a guy that was leaving and learnt the basics from him.

    Generally you could say that we all became good at our job from experience, from hands on.

    You develop a feel for what is causing a fault sometimes, something that cant be found looking through manuals.

    What I am saying (or trying to) is that the best are not always those that go to Uni or likewise.

    Often they can be those that simply go for it because that is what they want to be doing and gather experience and feeling along the way.

    Sorry if this is no help to explaining my view. If it does and is still no better... oh well, it is just a view.

    Cheers

  11. #51

    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    Even a formal course of study cannot teach everything that you need to know in the field. What it can do is arm you with some understanding so that if need to you can puzzle out what goes where if you are totally on your own. With an outfit there is a certain amount of this is how we do this here or you lift the method by observation of a senior at work and pray to the higher powers that you got it right before attempting to do that commercially for the first time (many have found that there always some little twek that was not know was important in many shots). Today many people think they see a U Tube video and they have the expertise. It may be so sometimes but not always.

    How about looking at the situation from an ongoing perspective ? Is XYZ university going to do life long upgrading of skills ? How else - learn by yourself.

    Or to answer question that is really being asked - Do I need to undergo formal training to be a professional photographer. Yes and no, depends your circumstances but you need to be able to learn on your own. The governement calls this upgrading of skills. 8-)

  12. #52

    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pablo View Post
    Cheers
    No hard feelings.... Thanks.

  13. #53

    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    I would say that I am a self taught photographer.

    I started out in this career as an individual who loved what he was seeing around him, so I just took my camera along. Along the way, I picked up books, mentors, and anyone who cared to critique my photos and I chose to learn from a few while also having to ignore some advice as that gets a bit depressing sometimes.

    I have never gotten a proper certificate in photography, but I also wonder if that was a good or bad thing.

    Within the first year of my professional career, I felt that I was different to some in vision, yet there were some fundamentals in photography that I clearly lacked.

    I attended some workshops, and that strengthened part of that eye yet it may also have conformed some of my ideals that made me different.

    I guess it really depends if you can afford the time and money for an education in photography. If you can, by all means go in with an open mind. If not, just be prepared to work a lot harder for your pictures to cut through the masses.

  14. #54
    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattlock View Post
    he's hired as a workshop manager. I don't think that managers necessarily have to be better technically than a technician.
    His job is to maximize your productivity probably? I would be surprised if his job was to replace one of the technicians.
    First, I aologise to the thread starter for continuing my view...

    Secondly, I have no problem with any remarks in relation to what I wrote.

    Thirdly I would like to add the following......

    The, "at that time" service manager, resigned.... (didn't like an upstart telling him how to do his job"....

    So, yes, he DID replace someone.

    This guy was there (with all his degrees) to stream-line our fault finding.

    He was supposed to show us how to do our jobs better.

    I eventually left working there and I believe the original workshop manager was re employed after the (new uni qualified guy) left.

    My whole discussion is related to hands on knowledge.

    No university, or professional "times magazine" photographer, will make you a professional photographer.

    A wedding photographer does not go by the book (no wedding is the same)... He or she goes by feel... feel comes from looking at the subject and knowing your equipment.

    Pre-seeing (in your head)... Composition, and understanding your available gear is what makes a GOOD photo, not degrees from Uni.

    I aplogise to all that find my views toooooo long winded.

    Cheers )
    And thanks for reading.
    Time, is an effortless construction :)

  15. #55
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    Default Re: Professional self taught photographers ?

    Education ruined my life...

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