I think there has already been some really good information on the forum on this very issue. Do a search to get the full picture, but briefly, no you don't need a degree but an overnight switch of job would also not be a good idea.
I think there's no money in it except for the "stars" (ie star wedding photographers, star fashion photographers, etc). I've heard the majority of self-employed photographers struggle to pay their bills and meet their overheads, doing less and less of what they want and more and more of what the client wants. Photography suddenly becomes no fun any more.
If you have 10 years in IT, I suspect that you'll suffer a massive income drop going over into photography, and could take you quite a few years to regain your former income level.
Of course, there are photographers who are in paid jobs (eg news photographers), it's almost certain the income won't be as good as IT, and the opportunities for creativity are even more restricted than fashion, portrait or landscape photographers...
After 10 years of working in the IT industry, I feel like switching jobs. How do I go about it to take photography as my career in Singapore ? Do I need to obtain a degree in this area ?
I believe most photographers in Sg are doing freelance / part-time. When you go full time it's a business. It takes time to build-up contacts, rapo etc.
Try being a part-time or assistant to "someone" before taking a plunge. You'll pick-up his ( :devil: )/the skills and contacts along the way. :sweat:
And ofcouse you can start tomorrow if you've a very solid financial support :lovegrin:
Basically alot of laymen have the misconception that Photographer's are glamourous people who earns easy money just by clicking away on the camera.
Then again, there are people who claims to be a photographer just becos the own a camera and goes round triggering happily.
Before you start your first step as a photographer... you must understand there are thousand and one different types of photographers. Just to name a few more commonly known types: Fashion Photographers, Food Photographers, Commercial Photographers, Product Photographers, Wedding and Bridal Photographers and the list goes on and on....
So.. which specialise field would interest you? And you must understand that individual types of photography do have their pros and cons.
Try attaching yourself to afew good photographers as an assistand for a couple of months and have a feel of how the "life" of a photographer is. It will be easier for you to understand how things works in the industry.
However, there is alot of hard work and long hours, so.. please be prepared.
The money in the market is not merely at shooting "stars"... infact, unless you are pretty well known in the industry, I don't think any agencies would engage you for shoots where "stars" are involved.
Don't believe when others tell you that photography is a sunset industry. Those who tell you that are lossers and I hope they will stop bitching about it. Chris, you need to believe in yourself. If you think that you have the skills, understanding, creativity, passion, eye and not forgetting the network, you are already half way there.
So... take afew hours off your regular life and think about it.
The working style if a typical local photographer differs greatly from our foreign counterpart. Because of the 'bad' economy', we handle every aspect of photography. A local commercial photog sees to everything. A typical day goes from countless pre production meetings, prop sourcing, location hunting, heading down to model agencies on behalf of clients, tying down loading contracts. Of course, with the regular maintenance of a studio. no better than a blue collar job worker at times. Unless of course, that is, if you can afford to employ 2 asst running after you..
So, jawsure's right. Hey man, dun think there's client's loyalty these days. The photog basically gotta be a cut up and not to mentioned staying competitive.
The 'top breed' guys in town. Well, they didn't become popular overnight, many years of hardship and also lot of promo jobs(free!) to promote yourself...
If you've got the drive, go for it... Weak hearted, stay away...
I saw a ad in one of the photographic forum in singapore and I really pissed off by that guy who advertise this -
Looking for a photographer with good knowledge of photoshop, willing to work late hours and 6 days work week. Pay is $800 and will increase if performance is good.
This guy really spoilt the photographic market in sg. After deducting CPF, one will only get $600. What a joke man! Maybe he forgot that this is singapore maybe he should try his luck on 'Ta-Lu' (China) or Indonesia where the labour cost is much much cheaper.
This guy can really go to eat ****!
I agree with you on that XXXBoy. It seem that alot of people think that we are cheap labour. Just becoz they do not know what kind of work some of us haved to do to make ends meet and not forgetting the thousand's we have paid for the equipment and maybe a proper course in order to take good shots of them. Ah I give up on this kind of people. Anyway I tink that the market will open up if people know how to appreciate our work or rather art. Hope the government will do something about photography as they're now promoting on art in Singapore.