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Thread: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

  1. #1

    Default What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?
    Certificate?
    Expensive camera and lens?
    Experience?
    Studio?

  2. #2

    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    Experience, a creative eye, and a specialization in a specific aspect of photography with a unique and distinguishable style.

    Certificate? Nope, use it for toilet paper, that's all it's good for.
    Expensive camera and lens? No, you need the right gear for the right occasion. A PnS can do the trick if needed.
    Experience? Yup!
    Studio? Only if you are going to specialize in studio-style photography.

    The fact that you asked this here shows you have a LONG way to go.

    FYI, ClubSnap has a section called "The Photo Biz". There are TONS of useful threads and stickies for you to read there. The fact that you did not bother to search and are asking people to spoonfeed you basic details tells me you may want to consider alternate careers. You don't have enough initiative or self-improvement desire.
    Alpha

  3. #3

    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    I found this to be a good read about jumping from amateur to professional: http://www.bythom.com/gettingbetter.htm

  4. #4

    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    Actually everyone can be a professional photographer. Being a professional phtographer means your main profession is photography. It's that simple.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    photoart provides the simplest and most truthful answer. Ideal questions I would ask on: How do you consistently survive in business? And versus your peers, what quality of work are you providing?

    Unfortunately in the actual world, some people don't even need those questions. For even if your equipment is rented or borrowed and your skills are mediocre, once you can sell your service and convince the client to use you over another professional, that's all the skill you really need. Don't have cert, don't have equipment, don't have studio, don't have experience, don't have quality body of work, don't have high expectation of output; as long as got a gifted salesman mouth to make the client happy you are a winner already. I don't approve of this kind of "-photographers-" but they exist and make a living of it. So what kind of "-professional-" you want to be?

  6. #6

    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    the moment u earn money out of it aka photography becomes ur ricebowl, u are considered a professional, its that simple.

    a hobbyist with ultra uber L lens and 1 series camera is still just a hobbyist or an advanced amateur. Even if the hobbyist has shot for 100yrs is still not a professional because photography is not his/her ricebowl.

    ok thread can close already.

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    anyone can call themself professional photographers.

    the only thing you need is make a living out of it.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    Just curious:

    Does the photography industry have any regulatory body, for example what the Singapore Medical Council is to medical practitioners?
    Observing the number of freelance photographers around, my first assumption would be "no", but just curious whether such an idea was ever mooted in the past.
    Exploring! :)

  9. #9

    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    Just curious:

    Does the photography industry have any regulatory body, for example what the Singapore Medical Council is to medical practitioners?
    Observing the number of freelance photographers around, my first assumption would be "no", but just curious whether such an idea was ever mooted in the past.
    Don't think photography should have a regulatory body. Regulatory bodies I believe exist because there is a significant risk involved to other parties (i.e. medical profession if practiced improperly can lead to serious health complications, or for lawyers, where they can cost people large amounts of money). For photography, what's the worst thing that can happen because of pictures? Spur a scandal?

    Nothing says we can't have an organization though. That's what places like clubsnap are for.

  10. #10
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    Quote Originally Posted by putput View Post
    What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?
    Certificate?
    Expensive camera and lens?
    Experience?
    Studio?
    Guts and a mouth to say that they are professional photographer.

    The same goes for a lot of things, e.g. photography master, photography emperor..

    Of course what other people think, that's always up to them.
    Last edited by edutilos-; 6th June 2011 at 09:56 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    Quote Originally Posted by edutilos- View Post
    Guts and a mouth to say that they are professional photographer.

    The same goes for a lot of things, e.g. photography master, photography emperor..
    Best.

    Answer.

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  12. #12

    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    A professional photographer is just someone who does it for a living.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    Quote Originally Posted by symmetrix View Post
    Don't think photography should have a regulatory body. Regulatory bodies I believe exist because there is a significant risk involved to other parties (i.e. medical profession if practiced improperly can lead to serious health complications, or for lawyers, where they can cost people large amounts of money). For photography, what's the worst thing that can happen because of pictures? Spur a scandal?

    Nothing says we can't have an organization though. That's what places like clubsnap are for.
    Agree with you (mostly) on the points you raised

    I'm not suggesting whether such a body should or shouldn't be set up. Just curious if there ever was such a thing, or maybe there is one currently, just that it has limited scope.
    Exploring! :)

  14. #14

    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    Agree with you (mostly) on the points you raised

    I'm not suggesting whether such a body should or shouldn't be set up. Just curious if there ever was such a thing, or maybe there is one currently, just that it has limited scope.
    Haha I understand what you mean. Just speculating from a logical angle why there wouldn't be one.

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    Senior Member bonrya's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra

    Agree with you (mostly) on the points you raised

    I'm not suggesting whether such a body should or shouldn't be set up. Just curious if there ever was such a thing, or maybe there is one currently, just that it has limited scope.
    Clubsnap? Objectifs? PSS?
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    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    Quote Originally Posted by bonrya View Post
    Clubsnap? Objectifs? PSS?
    PSS comes closest to mind, but they are an organization for members.
    If say, I wanted to engage a photographer for an event, how to ascertain he has the required skills and the coverage to make sure sure the shoot goes successfully?

    I compare it to engaging a contractor to do renovation work, for example...
    heck even a foreign domestic worker needs to be certified to be able to work in this country
    Exploring! :)

  17. #17

    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    Quote Originally Posted by putput View Post
    What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?
    Certificate?
    Expensive camera and lens?
    Experience?
    Studio?
    Step by step until your photos can sell to commercial market...

  18. #18

    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    PSS comes closest to mind, but they are an organization for members.
    If say, I wanted to engage a photographer for an event, how to ascertain he has the required skills and the coverage to make sure sure the shoot goes successfully?

    I compare it to engaging a contractor to do renovation work, for example...
    heck even a foreign domestic worker needs to be certified to be able to work in this country
    I guess either through agency, word of mouth, or personally have a look at his portfolio?

    Is it normal to have just one hired event photographer to cover your event? I'd think you'd hire several so your bases are covered. And those usually have their own assistants, right?

    But I guess I'm digressing from the actual question. I think you should select a photographer the same way you approach a prospective applicant in a job interview (requirements of course differ according to the event). That way, both of you are on the same page and are equally satisfied. I think it's also your responsibility to give a quick walkthrough to the photographer about the event, so he has a good idea and will know the good places where something special happens.
    Last edited by symmetrix; 6th June 2011 at 10:44 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does it take for a newbie to become a professional photographer?

    yeah I think digressing a bit liao
    I'm not asking for help on how to select an event photographer

    My original point was that many jobs or professions are regulated.
    Just as an example I could list from doctors, dentists, lawyers, professional engineers, contractors, developers, plumbers, forklift drivers, food handlers, etc.
    The degree of regulation varies for sure, but essentially there is some regulation and hence, a regulatory body. Just curious if such a thing exists (or has existed) for the photography industry.
    Exploring! :)

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra
    yeah I think digressing a bit liao
    I'm not asking for help on how to select an event photographer
    Lol yeah you don't need help but you did throw that question out with "how to assess." So I just went off there based on what I read/saw.

    Anyway, I guess the point is you don't really need a regulatory body for that haha. In fact, due to the creative nature of photography, regulation will only hinder us rather than help us imo. I believe there are some standard regulations here that we must adhere to (privacy laws?), but those are more of administrative rules and apply to everyone to some extent.

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