Advice for an enthu photographer


Exhaust

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Dec 11, 2010
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#1
Hi Guys! I started out photography about a year ago and am currently of pursuing my interest in photography as a freelance photographer, dealing mainly with weddings. I need some advice as to how should i go about doing it and if i am adequate enough for the job.

My current equips:
Nikon D3100
Sigma 17-55mm f2.8

I know that my equips hardly make the cut, and i am planning to get a SB900. Once i have my flash, i believe it should be decent enough just that my body can be upgraded once i have more cash and i would need a 2nd body for contingency plans. I feel that the D3100 may be an entry-level DSLR but it is a pretty good and affordable DSLR to start out with, however is to the eyes of the pros out there, is it really that bad and not good enough to cover weddings and events? I thought of upgrading my body to a D7000, but was wondering if i should just go straight for a full frame DSLR. Are full frames really that much better? In IMHO the only different is in the crop factor which may not be a bad thing if i want to achieve a better bokeh effect, cause it will pull the distance from my subject further than a full frame camera.

I just took up a short class with Feelmedia and have been reading up on photography for the past year. For starters like me in this field, do i really have to attend workshops and classes? Because the internet seems to have quite a lot of information that we can already learn, but are workshops and classes really a must to take to learn more and be better in photographer?

I learnt the basics of post-processing with Lightroom3 from the internet and have covered 2 actual day weddings (for free) and did the post processing myself. But i need i need to learn more about post-processing so i think this kinda workshops may be more essential then photography workshops cause it is quite hard to find very good material on post-processing online as compared to photography.

I am planning to do 1-2 more weddings as a 2nd photography for free to build up on my portfolio first then i would attempt to charge a nominal fee for my services, at least to cover my transportation cost, CD cost and time spent to process all these photos.

In essence, these are my plans. Do you guys think it will work out for me?
 

tetrflare

New Member
Apr 13, 2007
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#2
The thing about internet lessons is that it is hard to really know how good you are, photography skills and post processing. Make sure you get lots of profession critic and advice to be certain. Definitely get a full frame, D3100 may be good, but your customer will want the best.
I recommend your next step is to build up your portfolio and becoming certain of your capabilities before earning from it. I'm sure you are almost there, just dont rush it.
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#3
Hi,

I briefly browse your blog.

You have quoted Cheryl's saying about photographer, if u follow it well, u will be ok.

I have also noted that you highlight some In blue and not the rest. I believe everything is important.

First, you need to know why you want to start photography as a carrer?

Second, what you are describing above is nothing more then mechanics in gear selection and timeline when to charge.

To me workshop and courses are important especially those run by established Photographers. I spend quite a bit of money on those workshop as it pays off much more than the cost of the workshop itself. Workshop is a convenient way of learning someone's mistake and saving lots of time not making the same. It is relatively cheap to pay $1000 and learn something that makes you $5000 every months. I would rather spend thousands to buy months if you know what I mean.

Apart from working hard, you need to work smart and courses are something u can do to work smart.

I still find people spend thousands on equipment but skim on learning on how to make more from the trade.

Whatever equipment u have and you use generally is a resultant of the particular style that you want to
capture. That is your voice dictate your equipment. You will need to find the voice first as Cheryl describe it.

Good luck.

Regards,

Hart
 

Exhaust

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Dec 11, 2010
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#4
thanks for the advice! I guess i need to build on my fundamentals first before rushing into it.

I guess i should not have assumed workshops to be 'redundant' before even attending one.

Thanks again! and i will work hard in to becoming a better photographer =)
 

Exhaust

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Dec 11, 2010
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#5
Erm.. i was wonder as a decent equipment to have even before thinking about being a wedding/events photographer. Will a D7000 cut it?
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#6
Erm.. i was wonder as a decent equipment to have even before thinking about being a wedding/events photographer. Will a D7000 cut it?
Most wedding photographers that I have seen use entry-level DSLR cameras. You will not get better pictures from a D7000 if you have not even mastered your D3100 or achieved the necessary skill level.

Good photog with entry-level camera = good pictures
n00b photog with D7000 = n00b pictures.

Upgrade yourself before you even think of upgrading gear.
 

gktat1

Senior Member
Mar 3, 2006
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#7
2nd shoot for as long as possible.
Assist the pros, offer your services as 2nd photographer, help your friends/family to to 2nd shoot.
I did 2nd shooting for a couple of years before having the balls to get my own assignments.
Don't start asking on the equips, u will know what u need during your stints as a 2nd wedding shooter.
Chalk up on the experience 1st.
Have fun~
 

Edwin Francis

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2006
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#8
With the SB900, you will have a more than decent setup. Technically the difference in image quality between the D3100 and D7000 is pretty small.

For most photographers, the advantage of the D7000 (and other mid-range models, whether Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc) over entry-level models is the ease of accessibility of controls. Two control dials vs one; settings directly adjustable from dial/switch rather than digging through the menus -- these things make more of a diff to me. Fiddling with a camera while the action is going on is a good way to miss potentially great shots!

If these things don't matter to you (yet), don't bother. Or if you want, rent a D7000. But make sure you get enough practice before using it for an impt shoot!

Erm.. i was wonder as a decent equipment to have even before thinking about being a wedding/events photographer. Will a D7000 cut it?
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#9
Erm.. i was wonder as a decent equipment to have even before thinking about being a wedding/events photographer. Will a D7000 cut it?
I thought you would have understand it from Cheryl's Post? I still see someone who think using a better equipment equals to better pictures....

If you are worry about your equipment, I think you have not shoot enough.

Regards,

Hart
 

Exhaust

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Dec 11, 2010
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#10
Agetan said:
I thought you would have understand it from Cheryl's Post? I still see someone who think using a better equipment equals to better pictures....

If you are worry about your equipment, I think you have not shoot enough.

Regards,

Hart
the reason why I wanna upgrade is also because the D7000 has stuff like a dual card alot which is great for backing up pix and storing more photos as raw formats take up a huge space and so u won have to keep changing SD cards.

and the D7000 has great ability to snap at higher ISOs while not making the pictures too grainy.

not forgetting to mention about the functions and dials which makes hanging of settings much faster as compared to the D3100 so you won't have to waste too much time looking at ur menu screen.

and the last reason I had in mind is that my current D3100 do not have a built in motor which which cuts me off access to AF lenses some of which are more affordable than AF-S lenses and are really gd lenses
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#11
the reason why I wanna upgrade is also because the D7000 has stuff like a dual card alot which is great for backing up pix and storing more photos as raw formats take up a huge space and so u won have to keep changing SD cards.

and the D7000 has great ability to snap at higher ISOs while not making the pictures too grainy.

not forgetting to mention about the functions and dials which makes hanging of settings much faster as compared to the D3100 so you won't have to waste too much time looking at ur menu screen.

and the last reason I had in mind is that my current D3100 do not have a built in motor which which cuts me off access to AF lenses some of which are more affordable than AF-S lenses and are really gd lenses
I rest my case if you insist. Good luck and take care.

Hart
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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www.foto-u.com
#12
the reason why I wanna upgrade is also because the D7000 has stuff like a dual card alot which is great for backing up pix and storing more photos as raw formats take up a huge space and so u won have to keep changing SD cards.

and the D7000 has great ability to snap at higher ISOs while not making the pictures too grainy.

not forgetting to mention about the functions and dials which makes hanging of settings much faster as compared to the D3100 so you won't have to waste too much time looking at ur menu screen.

and the last reason I had in mind is that my current D3100 do not have a built in motor which which cuts me off access to AF lenses some of which are more affordable than AF-S lenses and are really gd lenses
Agreed with Hart 100%,
better gears or pros gears is your least concern now,
anyway, if you are already a competent photographer, you will not worry so much about what are you using now.

doing photography professionally, the majority part of your time and efforts are spending on how to run the business properly, until ones is able to understand this and willing to put it as his/her first priority, else he will not make it.


advises already given, the rest is up to you.
 

Exhaust

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Dec 11, 2010
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#13
thx guys for the advice. and Hart I do take in ur advices seriously, please dun feel that my earlier post on why I want to upgrade my camera as turning onto deaf ears to the advice that u all gave me.

And I guess u all are right. After doing some soul searching, I have to agree that without a strong personal skill, even if I take photos with a D3 the photos will still just look amateurish.

I guess I shall take things one at a time and improve on my own personal skills first before talking about wanting to buy equips that costs thousands of dollars.

thanks all!
 

kentwong81

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2010
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#14
You should learn the weakness and strength of the available tools you have. Without knowing their strength and weakness, you won't know which are able to help you get the pictures you want in different situations.
 

Goldenstars08

Senior Member
Nov 21, 2004
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#15
Improve in your skill first. Once you have the skill, you can always rent the expensive equipment for the need of that freelance shoot...;)
 

edutilos-

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2010
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#16
The thing about internet lessons is that it is hard to really know how good you are, photography skills and post processing. Make sure you get lots of profession critic and advice to be certain. Definitely get a full frame, D3100 may be good, but your customer will want the best.
I recommend your next step is to build up your portfolio and becoming certain of your capabilities before earning from it. I'm sure you are almost there, just dont rush it.
Loads of people use APS-C camera to make a living, wonder where they get their clients from.
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#18
Maybe you can do a survey on the top20 wedding photographers in Singapore, Malaysia or across the world to see what are the main gear they use.
And your point being?

If you are talking about the top... They are using the best.

Regards,

Hart
 

sjackal

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2008
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#19
Maybe you can do a survey on the top20 wedding photographers in Singapore, Malaysia or across the world to see what are the main gear they use.
thx guys for the advice. and Hart I do take in ur advices seriously, please dun feel that my earlier post on why I want to upgrade my camera as turning onto deaf ears to the advice that u all gave me.

And I guess u all are right. After doing some soul searching, I have to agree that without a strong personal skill, even if I take photos with a D3 the photos will still just look amateurish.

I guess I shall take things one at a time and improve on my own personal skills first before talking about wanting to buy equips that costs thousands of dollars.

thanks all!
I remember being surprised reading an article that says Kevin Kubota, (American top ten wedding photog) using a D70 alongside a D2X.

Granted it was during the D2 and D70 days, and even then people probably expect him to be using the top D2 models for both bodies. And guess what, his third camera was a Coolpix 3700.

To comment from an objective point of view, indeed it is the photographer not the camera, but to view things from all angles, you also need the proper tools to express yourself properly. D3100 is miles ahead of a D70 but my only qualms is that it is single dial wheel model which makes it slower for events and once you are used to it, it adds another learning curve when you eventually start using the dual dial wheels the 'pro-er' models have.

I say opinions are all opinions, do what you want to do and be happy with it.
 

Last edited:
#20
Hi,

Just wanna join in and give you some advice.

I feel there is little point in researching what the best photographers use. They have enormous budget getting the right equipment for the job. Google Fstoppers and watch one of their videos on their equipments. No way we could match them while starting out. So why bother researching on what they really use when your budget is no way near.

If i were you, I would research on their style of photography in terms of colours, post-processing, poses and most importantly composition.
Next, I would read up more about weddings. The sequence of events, the traditions and the moments.
Lastly, people skill and business model. How to make your clients feel comfortable engaging you as a photographer.

This would make you a better photographer than going out and buying a better camera or lens.

just my 2cent worth.
 

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