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Thread: how do i start out?

  1. #41

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    With internet and online journalism, news and editorial businesses were not what they were before...

    Pay wise I think depends on the magazine and region. I don't think big time publications like Times, Nat Geo, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harpers Bazaar, etc, especially those in the US, would be paying peanuts or asking photographers to do free work.
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  2. #42
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by sjackal View Post
    With internet and online journalism, news and editorial businesses were not what they were before...

    Pay wise I think depends on the magazine and region. I don't think big time publications like Times, Nat Geo, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harpers Bazaar, etc, especially those in the US, would be paying peanuts or asking photographers to do free work.
    what class magazines looking for what class photographers.

    but shooting for magazine is not about monetary gain.
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  3. #43

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    Ready is a relative term.

    One is ready when they are going to give their best to make it happen.

    I didn't start out freelancing when I was "ready".

    I quit my "comfort" in one day and start my planning the next and 6 months is how long before I made the same pay when I work for 3 years in my engineering. The rest is history.

    So, I am a firm believer of starting it right with a sound business plan.

    I did it while I was in Sydney and do it again in Singapore.

    It would be nice to do it on the side and step out when you accumulate enuf jobs. But thing is, it will take a while if it happen at all for most.

    If you are desperate enough to make it happen, you will find the way with the right business plan.

    It's not that difficult if you enjoy the process.

    Regards,

    Hart
    agree with wat u say..

  4. #44

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    i think that marketing yourself especially in service line is very important.

  5. #45

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will03 View Post
    agree with wat u say..
    Thanks William.

    Would be nice if one day I could concentrate on wedding photography too... been too tight up with the portrait side... need to slim down the business model further to make more time for other thing.

    Love your work.

    Regards,

    Hart

  6. #46

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    hey guys, thanks for all the tips..
    ive already created a facebook page for my pictures

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/GLo...67269559983875

    and a website,

    www.geraldlow.com

    pls let me know what u guys think of the pictures..
    and if theres any other stuff that i shld do to further market into the events industry.
    thanks!! =)

  7. #47

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiatlard View Post
    and if theres any other stuff that i shld do to further market into the events industry.
    thanks!! =)
    If this is your target, why you have everything else that you could do and display the first page as "Jewelry" image. You are using the wrong image to target to the wrong audience...

    gosh... have a think about what you are doing, don't just blindly create a blog and call it a website and put every single things that you have done and call it your best work.

    A website is a place where you showcase your "best" work that you are "marketing" to your "audience".

    A blog is a place where you keep your "prospect" updated with what you are doing.

    Here is another tip... When client chance upon your website after you have define and started your "marketing" strategies, you have less than 3 seconds to grab their attention for them to look around for another 3-5 seconds.

    It took me nearly a whole 30 sec to load your "site" and by now, you won't stand a chance. client will find someone else.

    When doing a business, you have to be meticulous about preparing your work, what you show represent you, so don't be sloppy. It took me a whole 3 months to work on my website and looking at it everyday from different locations before I am satisfy it is good enough to push it out.

    My Blog took me a whole week to do even when I have the whole material ready and it took another 2 weeks before I push it out.

    I may sound harsh on my comment this time around, but the reality is, when no one is booking your service, it is every harsher.

    Ask yourself, have you done any of these?
    1. Define your market
    2. Register your business
    3. Market your business
    4. Creating niche of your own
    5. Focus on clients satisfaction
    6. Understand value vs price relationship
    7. Making a business plan - short, mid and long term.

    Now, go back and think again...and don't be sloppy. Many have done exactly the same steps that you are doing and still wondering why they are not getting any business. duh...

    Regards,

    Hart

  8. #48
    Member fooj's Avatar
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    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiatlard View Post
    hi guys,
    ive been doing photography for a short while.
    and ive been meaning to do it as a job.

    ive done freelance photography and
    taken a few assignments of events and other projects.
    but its only a few/mth.

    how shld i so called 'sell' my photography services?

    you can feel free to drop me a pm if you dun wanna post here.
    but pls let me know how a greenhorn can start out in this industry.
    thanks in advance!
    Why do you want to be a photographer ?
    What is your ultimate aim / objective ?

  9. #49
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    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiatlard View Post
    hey guys, thanks for all the tips..
    ive already created a facebook page for my pictures

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/GLow-photoG/167269559983875

    and a website,

    www.geraldlow.com

    pls let me know what u guys think of the pictures..
    and if theres any other stuff that i shld do to further market into the events industry.
    thanks!! =)
    Hi Gerald, you need a focus. This doesn't show you know where you're headed. A complete business plan is good, I can't deny it. Honestly, I don't have one. But I know enough what I want to do, how about to do it and who I can ask for help from (professional commercial photographers).

    What's your target? There's no event photos? From the rest of the images, it's commercial photography? Cos you're not winning any clients with those images. Look from the point of a client. They want their jewellery seen clearly at the very least. Photographs selected for portfolio are your proudest creations. Sloppy presentation tells a client that you don't care much for quality. At least heal brush the spots off the velvet for goodness sake. There's too many? Then you need to learn to clean before shooting.

    Your other album is on food. Food is all about details. Why choose the bread with a gaping hole in the middle? Why choose a Chinese bowl for cereal with strawberries? It's not about challenging beliefs (just because it's a western breakfast doesn't mean it can't be in a Chinese bowl) cos attention should be all about the food. Apparently you haven't noticed it's normally photographed swimming in a plain off-white porcelain bowl?

    The carrot cake, why no chopped spring onion? Some green is nice. Some chopped red chilli is nice too. Colour is important. The details man, the details! You can't shoot food decently without an eye for detail.


    You don't have to shoot expensive things. For a start due to the lack of equipment and technical lighting knowledge, you should start with ordinary day to day products. Do it simple and decent and that's all you need for an initial portfolio. It can be anything, a toothbrush, pair of chopsticks, a cup, a basketball..... it's endless. Just have to remember some key points, a clean background, simple overhead lighting with slight contrast and no fancy shallow DOF. Artistic sense dial down to 15%, 85% for technical ability.

    Commercial photography clients are mostly straightforward, they just want their product clearly seen and nothing too fancy. Marketing agencies will approach photography studios for ads, so the rest of us independents usually deal with direct clients. These companies are usually established, (meaning not a blogshop). The younger marketing dept may appreciate your artistic sense but the ones approving your cheque is who you need to convince. So many photographers out there, you want clients to stop looking once they see you, not bookmark you as a maybe.


    Have a plan. Just 5-6 decent shots of anything for your product album. No repeating of products. You should still shoot different angles but you leave them in your hdd. Choose the best for the album, if a potential client asks for different angles then you show the other pics. Settle product album first. Then go on to food, etc.

    Portfolio is about quality not quantity. Confidence to the client that you can accomplish their needs with no fuss. When you show scattered work it tells me you're not a professional. You may show 10 cups in a variety of angles, lighting, shallow DOF but they all look crap while I may just have 2-3 pic of cups, consistently shot straight-on, simply lit, clearly seen and looking decent. Who do you think a client with say 50 cups to shoot is going to call?

    My ex-company is/was hiring; I saw the portfolios coming in... Few showed confidence. There's a lot of scattered amateurs trying to be photographers, how many can honestly say "yes I can do the job". If you search my name in Services Wanted you can see that I actually had to add on to my colleague's thread to applicants on how to prepare their portfolio. *shake head*

  10. #50

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Find a good shifu, learn from him. Share jobs with him if he gives you the job. Complement each other. Do not undercut. Factor in equipment depreciation. Camera rental center give you a good guide. They charge about 5 percent of equipment price. U need 20 jobs to recover that. Take into account transport, hdb rental housing installment, quote what is needed that will keep you afloat

  11. #51
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    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    Ready is a relative term.

    One is ready when they are going to give their best to make it happen.

    I didn't start out freelancing when I was "ready".

    I quit my "comfort" in one day and start my planning the next and 6 months is how long before I made the same pay when I work for 3 years in my engineering. The rest is history.

    So, I am a firm believer of starting it right with a sound business plan.

    I did it while I was in Sydney and do it again in Singapore.

    It would be nice to do it on the side and step out when you accumulate enuf jobs. But thing is, it will take a while if it happen at all for most.

    If you are desperate enough to make it happen, you will find the way with the right business plan.

    It's not that difficult if you enjoy the process.

    Regards,

    Hart
    Hi Hart,

    Can I ask when you quit your job in one day, are you equipped with full technical skill of photography that is required for the scope of your business? Or are you still learning at that point of time?

    Thanks for answering...
    A camera a day keeps me happy!
    Flickr me!

  12. #52

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Actually, "how do i start out" isnt the issue..
    Its "how you stay in it" and continue to be ahead n be profitable..
    thats more difficult then starting out

  13. #53

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by SumoBear View Post
    Hi Hart,

    Can I ask when you quit your job in one day, are you equipped with full technical skill of photography that is required for the scope of your business? Or are you still learning at that point of time?

    Thanks for answering...
    I have a fair idea about shutter speed, aperture and rule of third.... I know how to operate my camera and perhaps nail 60-70% of my exposure right. That's about how much I know. Shots I took when I first started was really "laughable" by my today's standard... but I do have people say, I take good pictures but I don't think so back then. (most of those people are work colleague who don't really want to offend me... )

    I was learning still back then, but I am an extremely quick learner because I am "hungry" and "desperate" to make it work, as I have a mortgage to pay, but thank God, no children back then.

    To make things work, I will need to have a nett income of about $3k per month to ensure I don't fall backward financially and I need to make that happen in 6 months before my saving start getting into the "red alert" zone.

    Back then, I don't even know how to process my RAW files correctly... I don't even understand what layers mean in photoshop.

    I started from film, not digital, hence the learning curve is a lot "steeper" than as compared to digital world.

    To make things work, one will need to be "Desperate" enough... when I moved here permanently, I was desperate enough to make sure I make enough to support my newborn baby and my wife wasn't working when we relocate to Singapore and thank God that I make enough for my wife to stay home to look after our children.

    If you are desperate and hungry and have a constant reminder of what motivates you into the trade... and at the same time, doing the right thing from day 1 by understand your market and audience, with a good and sound business planning, it wasn't impossible. But ready to put substantial amount of effort into it.

    I made a post before about motivation before but most people don't seems to think it is important to extend people laugh about it. What motivates me was that I was "afraid" of losing my house by defaulting my mortgage and what motivates me back here at first was the look of my child and what motivates me now is level of comfort.

    To tell the truth, when I first started doing solely on Children Photography focusing on outdoor only, I was laugh at and being call "Not professional" because I don't have a studio. I do have a studio now, but 98% of my work isn't in my studio, maybe I am still not professional in many regards.

    I am still learning today... there are too many things to learn and too many things to do...

    As Steve Jobs says... Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish... I was a fool to quit my job and I was hungry enough to make it work.

    Hope this motivates those who is on the line to jump when they are desperate enough to make it happen and doing it right from day 1.

    I hope I have answer your question and share a little insight on my process?

    Regards,

    Hart

  14. #54

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daikoku View Post
    Actually, "how do i start out" isnt the issue..
    Its "how you stay in it" and continue to be ahead n be profitable..
    thats more difficult then starting out
    If one don't know how to start it right, why one even have time to be "In" it and let alone, growing "IT"?

    But your statement about "continue to be ahead and be profitable, is more difficult" is true... but the answer lies on how well you start in the beginning.

    Step 1 is starting out
    Step 2 is to grow - there are many direction to grow....
    Step 3 is to Expand - there are many expansion models...
    Step 4, is achieving one's dream I suppose....

    But please, do not just "Maintain", Maintain = stagnant which is really bad.

    Just my 2c.

    Regards,

    Hart

  15. #55

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    I have a fair idea about shutter speed, aperture and rule of third.... I know how to operate my camera and perhaps nail 60-70% of my exposure right. That's about how much I know. Shots I took when I first started was really "laughable" by my today's standard... but I do have people say, I take good pictures but I don't think so back then. (most of those people are work colleague who don't really want to offend me... )

    I was learning still back then, but I am an extremely quick learner because I am "hungry" and "desperate" to make it work, as I have a mortgage to pay, but thank God, no children back then.

    To make things work, I will need to have a nett income of about $3k per month to ensure I don't fall backward financially and I need to make that happen in 6 months before my saving start getting into the "red alert" zone.

    Back then, I don't even know how to process my RAW files correctly... I don't even understand what layers mean in photoshop.

    I started from film, not digital, hence the learning curve is a lot "steeper" than as compared to digital world.

    To make things work, one will need to be "Desperate" enough... when I moved here permanently, I was desperate enough to make sure I make enough to support my newborn baby and my wife wasn't working when we relocate to Singapore and thank God that I make enough for my wife to stay home to look after our children.

    If you are desperate and hungry and have a constant reminder of what motivates you into the trade... and at the same time, doing the right thing from day 1 by understand your market and audience, with a good and sound business planning, it wasn't impossible. But ready to put substantial amount of effort into it.

    I made a post before about motivation before but most people don't seems to think it is important to extend people laugh about it. What motivates me was that I was "afraid" of losing my house by defaulting my mortgage and what motivates me back here at first was the look of my child and what motivates me now is level of comfort.

    To tell the truth, when I first started doing solely on Children Photography focusing on outdoor only, I was laugh at and being call "Not professional" because I don't have a studio. I do have a studio now, but 98% of my work isn't in my studio, maybe I am still not professional in many regards.

    I am still learning today... there are too many things to learn and too many things to do...

    As Steve Jobs says... Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish... I was a fool to quit my job and I was hungry enough to make it work.

    Hope this motivates those who is on the line to jump when they are desperate enough to make it happen and doing it right from day 1.

    I hope I have answer your question and share a little insight on my process?

    Regards,

    Hart
    I read every single words....
    to continue press hex key , to return to main menu press star

  16. #56

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by garagez View Post
    I read every single words....
    Glad that you enjoy it.

  17. #57
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    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    I have a fair idea about shutter speed, aperture and rule of third.... I know how to operate my camera and perhaps nail 60-70% of my exposure right. That's about how much I know. Shots I took when I first started was really "laughable" by my today's standard... but I do have people say, I take good pictures but I don't think so back then. (most of those people are work colleague who don't really want to offend me... )

    I was learning still back then, but I am an extremely quick learner because I am "hungry" and "desperate" to make it work, as I have a mortgage to pay, but thank God, no children back then.

    To make things work, I will need to have a nett income of about $3k per month to ensure I don't fall backward financially and I need to make that happen in 6 months before my saving start getting into the "red alert" zone.

    Back then, I don't even know how to process my RAW files correctly... I don't even understand what layers mean in photoshop.

    I started from film, not digital, hence the learning curve is a lot "steeper" than as compared to digital world.

    To make things work, one will need to be "Desperate" enough... when I moved here permanently, I was desperate enough to make sure I make enough to support my newborn baby and my wife wasn't working when we relocate to Singapore and thank God that I make enough for my wife to stay home to look after our children.

    If you are desperate and hungry and have a constant reminder of what motivates you into the trade... and at the same time, doing the right thing from day 1 by understand your market and audience, with a good and sound business planning, it wasn't impossible. But ready to put substantial amount of effort into it.

    I made a post before about motivation before but most people don't seems to think it is important to extend people laugh about it. What motivates me was that I was "afraid" of losing my house by defaulting my mortgage and what motivates me back here at first was the look of my child and what motivates me now is level of comfort.

    To tell the truth, when I first started doing solely on Children Photography focusing on outdoor only, I was laugh at and being call "Not professional" because I don't have a studio. I do have a studio now, but 98% of my work isn't in my studio, maybe I am still not professional in many regards.

    I am still learning today... there are too many things to learn and too many things to do...

    As Steve Jobs says... Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish... I was a fool to quit my job and I was hungry enough to make it work.

    Hope this motivates those who is on the line to jump when they are desperate enough to make it happen and doing it right from day 1.

    I hope I have answer your question and share a little insight on my process?

    Regards,

    Hart
    Hi Hart...
    Thanks for sharing!

    So since you were lack with skills, how did you overcome the technical difficulties? Or can I say that film photography is much easier than digital? I believe the digital world had pushed us to deliver more than before.

    So why is it Children Photography as a headstart? Fatherhood instinct? Passion with children? Stepping stones or stepping on the children?I assume you are referring to toddlers and big kids, is newborn part of it or later on of the business?

    Cheers! Have a great day!
    A camera a day keeps me happy!
    Flickr me!

  18. #58

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by SumoBear View Post
    Hi Hart...
    Thanks for sharing!

    So since you were lack with skills, how did you overcome the technical difficulties? Or can I say that film photography is much easier than digital? I believe the digital world had pushed us to deliver more than before.

    So why is it Children Photography as a headstart? Fatherhood instinct? Passion with children? Stepping stones or stepping on the children?I assume you are referring to toddlers and big kids, is newborn part of it or later on of the business?

    Cheers! Have a great day!
    You learn everyday... I take notes on what I do and I will see the print and learn from there. I will aim to learn at least 1 thing everyday...

    Digital is much easier to learn. But film do have the latitude to make slight mistake. It is the same in terms of how much to deliver. Although, timing wise is a lot faster in digital and a lot more "cost" then film. Mostly from time and equipment upgrade cost.

    Film is still cheaper and a lot less work if you don't use Hybrid workflow... shoot it right and find a good lab, you are done, but not without some limitation.

    I love Children and I love Outdoor and I love Photography... combine the 3, I am in my dream work.

    I started with Children between 6-18 months and client who is looking to pay about $150-$250. That was my initial target market. It changes direction as I find something unique to offer.

    I love changes...

    I do love wedding too... but I have not find something that makes me to jump into it...

    Regards,

    Hart

  19. #59
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    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    You learn everyday... I take notes on what I do and I will see the print and learn from there. I will aim to learn at least 1 thing everyday...

    Digital is much easier to learn. But film do have the latitude to make slight mistake. It is the same in terms of how much to deliver. Although, timing wise is a lot faster in digital and a lot more "cost" then film. Mostly from time and equipment upgrade cost.

    Film is still cheaper and a lot less work if you don't use Hybrid workflow... shoot it right and find a good lab, you are done, but not without some limitation.

    I love Children and I love Outdoor and I love Photography... combine the 3, I am in my dream work.

    I started with Children between 6-18 months and client who is looking to pay about $150-$250. That was my initial target market. It changes direction as I find something unique to offer.

    I love changes...

    I do love wedding too... but I have not find something that makes me to jump into it...

    Regards,

    Hart
    Hi Hart,

    Since you mentioned the outdoor is your studio, how do you move around for location shoot when you first started? You owned a car or by public? I believe you will need to move around during shoot, doing to uncommon places, last minute change of location.

    Are all photographers the Lone Rangers when they first started?
    Last edited by SumoBear; 16th February 2011 at 06:17 PM.
    A camera a day keeps me happy!
    Flickr me!

  20. #60

    Default Re: how do i start out?

    Quote Originally Posted by SumoBear View Post
    Hi Hart,

    Since you mentioned the outdoor is your studio, how do you move around for location shoot when you first started? You owned a car or by public? I believe you will need to move around during shoot, doing to uncommon places, last minute change of location.

    Are all photographers the Lone Rangers when they first started?
    I tend to shoot in 1 location only per session. I take taxi or bus or mrt when I first started until I save enough for a mini van. I may borrow my dad's car very occassionally when he don't need it. I could pay up to $1500 in transport fees a month so buying my own mini van solves the issue.

    Normally, there won't be any changes to the location. If I do pre-wedding, my clients will take me in the car. Same apply to wedding shoot. I will just go to 1 location and drive around by one of the bridal party car. Of course recently, I have been driving my van doing shoots but only 1 location per shoot.

    The thing is, know your limitation and work around it and most importantly charge for it.

    Regards,

    Hart

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