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Thread: Advice for a photographer wanabe

  1. #1

    Default Advice for a photographer wanabe

    hi all, I need some advice for myself as well as those who are in the same predicament as me.

    I have a full time job and will be bonded for another 1.5yrs but am really really interested in pursuing photography as a freelance or full time in the near future.

    from the threads that I've read and posted, the feedback that I've gathered is that the beat way to learn is to go under a pro and be an assistant/helper. but for ppl like myself who can't break away from our full time jobs won't be accepted by any photographer's out there... so how can we go about doing this?
    [Chasing the Light]
    Canon EOS 1D MK III user =X

  2. #2

    Default Re: Advice for a photographer wanabe

    Quote Originally Posted by Exhaust View Post
    from the threads that I've read and posted, the feedback that I've gathered is that the beat way to learn is to go under a pro and be an assistant/helper. but for ppl like myself who can't break away from our full time jobs won't be accepted by any photographer's out there... so how can we go about doing this?
    Either take the plunge and the risk and go into it 100%, or just stay as a freelancer only free on weekends.
    Alpha

  3. #3

    Default Re: Advice for a photographer wanabe

    Quote Originally Posted by Exhaust View Post
    hi all, I need some advice for myself as well as those who are in the same predicament as me.

    I have a full time job and will be bonded for another 1.5yrs but am really really interested in pursuing photography as a freelance or full time in the near future.

    from the threads that I've read and posted, the feedback that I've gathered is that the beat way to learn is to go under a pro and be an assistant/helper. but for ppl like myself who can't break away from our full time jobs won't be accepted by any photographer's out there... so how can we go about doing this?
    Hi, I have glanced at your blog,can't really tell much from it but I think you need to do some soul searching ,that is finding out who you are and where you're
    likely to head to(what you really want).It's all well and good if you are interested in photography but the truth is many don't make it to the glamour positions and make lots of money you see in drama serials.

    Since you are bonded, you're scholastically or book smart but are you street smart? That is someone who is a survivor and can roll with the punches.
    I was once as dreamy as you but I found out I am not equiped with a tough mind or goal oriented ,as I live life and meet with difficulties I slowly have at least
    some self awareness and courage to not let the opinions of others affect me.Many wannabe photographers fall by the wayside but at least I can appreciate beauty
    from different perspectives.

    If you really want to have a go at photography then cultivate a thick skin,be persistant,volunteer your services and time, be generous for it will create networking.
    People will know you exist and is trustworthy.You get what you give in life,what goes around comes around,don't try to be manupilative be honest.Even if you can't be a full time assistant let people know you can be available during weekends on "standby" that will be a premium. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by one eye jack; 18th June 2011 at 11:55 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for a photographer wanabe

    Hi TS.
    Have glanced through your blog and there are precious few photographs.

    Since you are bonded, no point thinking about being an assistant full-time.

    Would you consider building up your portfolio by taking on assignments from friends or colleagues?
    Of course don't do it too liberally, or you'll forever be bullied into providing free services
    Maybe when you're confident, you can start to take on freelance paid jobs and see how it goes.

    as one eye jack stated, surviving or thriving in the photography business is not solely about skills but also personality factors (determination, "thick-skin", etc).
    Exploring! :)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Advice for a photographer wanabe

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    Hi TS.
    Have glanced through your blog and there are precious few photographs.

    Since you are bonded, no point thinking about being an assistant full-time.

    Would you consider building up your portfolio by taking on assignments from friends or colleagues?
    Of course don't do it too liberally, or you'll forever be bullied into providing free services
    Maybe when you're confident, you can start to take on freelance paid jobs and see how it goes.

    as one eye jack stated, surviving or thriving in the photography business is not solely about skills but also personality factors (determination, "thick-skin", etc).
    On the flipside if you're analytical or philosophyical about the subject,in a recent survey that states, Singapore ,this little red dot of an island has the highest concentration of multimillionares and high networth individuals so they must have needs for photographic services but where is the money going to if you are talking about sharing the economic pie?

    I have a friend who has won numerous photographic competitions and is a frequent judge too.Yet he does not make a living from photography.Another friend who
    did weekend weddings had suffered under payment defaulting clients was frustrated that he sold off his pro equipment and never return to the work.Like times of old if you tell your parents you want to be an artist the first thing they do is to talk you out of it ,that's the economic reality.But still there are "fools" who go where
    angels fear to thread. Ponder on this.Sigh....

    Edit:There are more players in the field too.Might as well aspire to be a Warren Buffet? Parents will generally approve.
    Last edited by one eye jack; 18th June 2011 at 02:01 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for a photographer wanabe

    TS, you need to know that a professional photographer's life is tough. The work is tough and very tiring, and you do not get assignments all the time. While there are some good clients out there, there are a lot more bad one.

    To run a photography business, technical skill is just one part of it. The bigger part is knowing how to run a sustainable business, how to give customer service, business law, and how to protect yourself from all sorts of problems. Even when doing freelance, you need to register a company to be right with IRA, medisave etc. And you need to know how to market yourself, how to price your services. Many new entrants into the market tend to price themselves too low, and in the end, work very hard for very little returns.

    It is not easy. Takes a lot of hard work and determination.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 19th June 2011 at 10:16 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Advice for a photographer wanabe

    Besides the advices from the seniors above, you also have to ask yourself if you are able to give up your current stable employment income(especially if your salary is high with good year end bonus, steady increment, CPF, etc) and venture into freelance photography where the income is very unstable(no CPF and year-end bonus) and the market is super competitive.

    You have to calculate how much an assignment you should charge in order to survive every month and pay for your monthly expenses, especially the housing installment if you have one, baby milk powder, car mortgage, or savings for preparing your wedding in the future. It's much easier for someone especially a fresh grad who has no financial commitment or nothing to lose to start up freelance photography.
    Last edited by kentwong81; 19th June 2011 at 10:34 AM.
    Kent Wong Photography |Leica Q & Leica M-P 240 | 75 & 28mm Summilux

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123
    TS, you need to know that a professional photographer's life is tough. The work is tough and very tiring, and you do not get assignments all the time. While there are some good clients out there, there are a lot more bad one.

    To run a photography business, technical skill is just one part of it. The bigger part is knowing how to run a sustainable business, how to give customer service, business law, and how to protect yourself from all sorts of problems. Even when doing freelance, you need to register a company to be right with IRA, medisave etc. And you need to know how to market yourself, how to price your services. Many new entrants into the market tend to price themselves too low, and in the end, work very hard for very little returns.

    It is not easy. Takes a lot of hard work and determination.
    thanks for the advice!

    i honestly didn't realize that there are so many background works to starting a biz in photography.

    Now that i know, I will carry out my approach more cautiously
    [Chasing the Light]
    Canon EOS 1D MK III user =X

  9. #9

    Default Re: Advice for a photographer wanabe

    Yeah it's tough really and the environment is so fast paced. I don't wanna ruin in your parade but better study the tinniest detail that's need to be done before engaging yourself into something. You might just end up lost, and confused even on the most simplest thing.

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