Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Special Interests > Visual Media > Digital Photography

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Oct 28, 2012, 12:50 AM   #1
Caliber26
macrumors 65816
 
Caliber26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Orlando, FL
Career Change Advice

As of late, I have been considering a change in my career. I am 31 years old and have been a show and parade performer at Disney World for the last 15 years of my life. It started as a high school part time job and, here I am, still doing the same thing. Don't get me wrong, I actually happen to love what I do and NOT ONCE have I felt like I was "working" for my money.

For many years, I portrayed characters such as Aladdin and Prince Charming and four months ago was the last time I played any of those "face characters", as they are referred to at Disney World. Now those roles are going to the high schoolers and guys in their early/mid twenties. I still continue to perform as other masked characters and dance in several other productions throughout property but I'm very conscious of the fact that all of us in this line of work have an expiration date. I'm still a great dancer but I know that one day I'll be outperformed by the younger generation. Yeah, Disney will keep me employed until the day I retire but I don't want to be stuck playing Pluto or Eeyore for the rest of my life, standing outstide in the heat signing autograph books and posing for pictures. Nor do I want to transfer to another department and become a ride operator or a gift shop cashier. That will be the day that going to Disney actually starts to feel like I'm going to WORK.

After graduating high school, I didn't go to college. Sitting in a class room, listening to lectures and pouring through text books, never appealed to me. The only thing that I would consider a "real job" (my dad says I don't have one LOL), and that actually interests me, is photography. I am always fascinated when I see amazing photographs and even more fascinated with what people are able to do with Photoshop, Aperture, etc. After watching that video on how McDonald's photographs their food, and after looking at this guy's unbelievable talent, I am convinced this is the type of thing I would love to do.

What would be the best way to approach this? Should I start off by taking private classes from local photographers, maybe join a vocational college? Am I perhaps too old to even start from scratch at this point? I'm not trying to find a hobby at all. I truly want to make a career out of it but I'm completely clueless on how or where I should start.

Right now, the only camera skills I have are toggling the HDR and Flash buttons on my iPhone, and the only photo editing skills I have consist of adjusting exposure and saturation. -- Then again, I knew absolutely nothing about dancing when I started working at Disney. I'm very eager to learn and I have the desire, I just don't know what the first step should be.

I know there are a lot of skilled photographers on here, so I would be very thankful for any advice any one of you can offer me.

Thanks!!

Last edited by Caliber26; Oct 28, 2012 at 01:10 AM.
Caliber26 is offline   6 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 28, 2012, 01:24 AM   #2
xPurpleblob
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Wow....

I am kind of speechless right now...

I wish I can tell you that it's never too late...
But I don't know...
__________________
Macbook Pro Retina 15 inch iPhone 5 16 GB Black iPad 2 64 GB 3G White iPod Touch 3G 32 GB
xPurpleblob is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 28, 2012, 01:34 AM   #3
Sideonecincy
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
You're never too old to start anything.

Do you know what type of photography you would like to focus on (wedding, landscape, portraits, sports, product, etc.)? Depending on what style you want to shoot, my best advice is to shoot as much as you can on the side for people (ie portraits or weddings) and hopefully word of mouth can spread enough to get you some income.

It's a much steeper uphill battle than in the film days due to the huge shift in the amount of people owning/using cameras, but motivation, passion and talent can separate you from the typical soccer mom who thinks she is a professional photographer because she owns a DSLR.
Sideonecincy is offline   4 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 28, 2012, 01:39 AM   #4
mofunk
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Americas
Whatever art you decide to go into, remember this is a business that's mostly like a salesman. You have to sell the product. If you skills and products are better than you can sell at the rate you want however you have to seek out the market aka your audience. If it's commercial photography, I assume you have to do the work. I've met a couple photographers who shoot for magazines and they've been working in that field for a long time. Not just with food, but in other areas too.


Check out Adam's video. He ask those questions you should ask.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2HubddNK7c
mofunk is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 28, 2012, 07:52 AM   #5
fireman32
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Raleigh, NC
First let me say that I would suggest taking some photography courses at the local community college to get the basics down. I am assuming by your post that you only have an iPhone. If that is the case I would suggest buying an entry level DSLR new or used and then really learn the camera. Read the manual cover to cover.

Join some local camera clubs. On www.meetup.com do a search for photography in your area and I am sure that you will find some clubs. I found this to be a great benefit for me as not only did I get to meet a lot of nice people who had the same interests as me but I also learned a lot from the more experienced members in the group. This also allowed me opportunities to photograph a lot of different things I would have of though to photograph before.

Try lots of different styles. I have been taking the opportunity to shoot everything from landscapes to glamor to weddings to try to find what I would really like to focus on. My main love is landscape photography but I am starting to love doing studio work more and more.

Practice as often as you can. The more you practice the better you will become. Maybe do a project 365 or a project 52 to force yourself to take at least one picture every day or every week. Give yourself a different theme each week to give you a challenge of what to shoot.

As far as changing your careers do not quit your current job until you are making as much if not more than you are at your current job. Working for Disney I am sure that they have some staff photographers and maybe you can do some part time work with them. I think that would also be a great learning experience as well. Don't give up as it is something that I am working on as well. I wish you the best of luck.
fireman32 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 28, 2012, 04:09 PM   #6
Caliber26
Thread Starter
macrumors 65816
 
Caliber26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Orlando, FL
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideonecincy View Post
You're never too old to start anything.

Do you know what type of photography you would like to focus on (wedding, landscape, portraits, sports, product, etc.)?
Thanks for the optimism! And to answer your question, I'm drawn to pictures of skylines, bridges, architecture, and, for some reason, food. Every time I see any off my friends posting pictures of their food on Facebook I just cringe because it usually looks like crap, so I've always been of the idea that it takes a GOOD photographer to make food look good. Pictures of nature, flowers, and people would be at the bottom of my list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mofunk View Post
Check out Adam's video. He ask those questions you should ask.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2HubddNK7c
Thanks for the link! He definitely offers plenty of food for thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireman32 View Post
First let me say that I would suggest taking some photography courses at the local community college to get the basics down. I am assuming by your post that you only have an iPhone. If that is the case I would suggest buying an entry level DSLR new or used and then really learn the camera. Read the manual cover to cover.

As far as changing your careers do not quit your current job until you are making as much if not more than you are at your current job. Working for Disney I am sure that they have some staff photographers and maybe you can do some part time work with them. I think that would also be a great learning experience as well. Don't give up as it is something that I am working on as well. I wish you the best of luck.
I am considering taking this course at my local vocational school. While it seems to be very thorough, I'm also wondering if maybe it's overkill at this point in time? Would I be better off taking private lessons elsewhere before going that route? As for buying a camera, that's definitely happening soon. I was actually reading the other thread about entry level DSLR cameras, in which you posted, and I'm interested in the Nikon D3200. If you have any other suggestions that are maybe cheaper or more suitable for my skills (or lack thereof LOL), I definitely welcome any advice!

And, no, I would never quit my job without having a solid plan ahead of me. Disney does have photographers throughout all of its theme parks but they're mostly high school and college kids who stand in an assigned spot all day long, taking pictures of park guests with the characters. They are taught how to adjust flash settings, press the button, and not much more. I don't think I would gain a lot of knowledge from them, to be honest. All their professional photography is handled by outside companies. Trust me, I've asked.

Last edited by Caliber26; Oct 28, 2012 at 04:24 PM.
Caliber26 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 28, 2012, 05:07 PM   #7
fireman32
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Raleigh, NC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliber26 View Post
Thanks for the optimism! And to answer your question, I'm drawn to pictures of skylines, bridges, architecture, and, for some reason, food. Every time I see any off my friends posting pictures of their food on Facebook I just cringe because it usually looks like crap, so I've always been of the idea that it takes a GOOD photographer to make food look good. Pictures of nature, flowers, and people would be at the bottom of my list.



Thanks for the link! He definitely offers plenty of food for thought.



I am considering taking this course at my local vocational school. While it seems to be very thorough, I'm also wondering if maybe it's overkill at this point in time? Would I be better off taking private lessons elsewhere before going that route? As for buying a camera, that's definitely happening soon. I was actually reading the other thread about entry level DSLR cameras, in which you posted, and I'm interested in the Nikon D3200. If you have any other suggestions that are maybe cheaper or more suitable for my skills (or lack thereof LOL), I definitely welcome any advice!

And, no, I would never quit my job without having a solid plan ahead of me. Disney does have photographers throughout all of its theme parks but they're mostly high school and college kids who stand in an assigned spot all day long, taking pictures of park guests with the characters. They are taught how to adjust flash settings, press the button, and not much more. I don't think I would gain a lot of knowledge from them, to be honest. All their professional photography is handled by outside companies. Trust me, I've asked.
That course does look quite thorough. I was talking about a good fundamentals course so you can really understand the exposure triangle. I took a few classes at my local camera shop and some of the studios in my area also offer classes.
fireman32 is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 30, 2012, 10:39 AM   #8
PentAr
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Netherlands
Check the Tumblr page and blog of Zack Arias.

He is the most down-to-earth photographer I know and you will learn a lot from his articles. He won't sell you a new lens of editing software program which will make you "a lot of money", or other bullish#t advice from other (sponsored) photographers.

You can also ask him questions (on his Tumblr page).

I know what you are going through, I was there 12 months ago and I am still struggling with a lot, like: do I really need that new lens (no, probably not), where to get clients, am I good enough to charge real money, etc. etc.

Good luck!
__________________
2.8 GHz iMac 24-inch, Early 2008, 4GB DDR2, 320GB
2.66 GHz MacBook Pro 15-inch, Mid 2009, 8GB DDR3, 256GB SSD
PentAr is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 30, 2012, 10:53 AM   #9
PentAr
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Netherlands
Speak of: Zack just posted a new Tumblr Q&A:

The owner of a salon wants me to take photos and then give him my files so he can blow them up and hang it in the salon. He hasn't mentioned paying me. How should I invoice him?

Very, very instructive!

If you subscribe to his Facebook you will get all the updates.

(and no, I am not selling anything, just helping out with free advice)
__________________
2.8 GHz iMac 24-inch, Early 2008, 4GB DDR2, 320GB
2.66 GHz MacBook Pro 15-inch, Mid 2009, 8GB DDR3, 256GB SSD
PentAr is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 30, 2012, 11:13 AM   #10
blanka
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Pick a good niche (weddings for example is a battlefield you should not want to go into). Think about what clients will be interested in that niche and how to reach them.
Then get the appropriate stuff. People say it is about the Photographer, but that is büllshît You are a production worker. See yourself as carpenter: his tools make his work. So get the right tools! When I bought myself a tilt-shift lens, it was amazing. The stupid purchase of that tool made me capable of stuff that 99% of photographers can't do. I know it is a weird example, but think about your niche in advance!
And customers are weird too. Just get a D800 because it puts you in the front lane. 36mpixel blabla. It does not matter. But your customer wanks on all the detail. He will like it. It is a waste of money to slowly grow into it and making many purchase mistakes. Just take a head start.
Then make photographs for a couple of months. Familiarize with the tool. Only THEN start taking classes on the stuff that you don't get yet.
blanka is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 30, 2012, 11:24 AM   #11
Doylem
macrumors 68040
 
Doylem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Wherever I hang my hat...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliber26 View Post
Right now, the only camera skills I have are toggling the HDR and Flash buttons on my iPhone, and the only photo editing skills I have consist of adjusting exposure and saturation.
Start by becoming an excellent amateur photographer, then there's a chance you might be able to transfer your skills to a professional photographic arena. It's gonna take time...
Doylem is offline   4 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 30, 2012, 01:28 PM   #12
snberk103
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: An Island in the Salish Sea
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doylem View Post
Start by becoming an excellent amateur photographer, then there's a chance you might be able to transfer your skills to a professional photographic arena. It's gonna take time...
Best advice so far. And then.... if the 'professional photographer' career still beckons, make sure you get a good grounding in being self-employed and running a small business. There is a lot of free courses and resources, so you will only need to invest the time. It is vital to remember that the 'professional' part of the career is about making enough money to support yourself, and to continue investing in the tools of the trade. There are income tax and sales taxes to understand, insurance issues, business licenses, and marketing aspects as well.

These are all areas that can be mastered - most professional photographers have done so. So while you learning to be an excellent amateur photographer, start learning the less glamorous side as well - so if you decide to hang your shingle you can do so with confidence and professionalism. It's always possible you may decide to stay in that grey area of a 'paid amateur'.... that is, a photographer who has a job doing something else, but also takes photos for money to help subsidize the costs.

Good Luck.
__________________
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. - Jack Layton
snberk103 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 30, 2012, 02:50 PM   #13
Caliber26
Thread Starter
macrumors 65816
 
Caliber26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Orlando, FL
Quote:
Originally Posted by PentAr View Post
Speak of: Zack just posted a new Tumblr Q&A:

The owner of a salon wants me to take photos and then give him my files so he can blow them up and hang it in the salon. He hasn't mentioned paying me. How should I invoice him?

Very, very instructive!

If you subscribe to his Facebook you will get all the updates.

(and no, I am not selling anything, just helping out with free advice)
Quote:
Originally Posted by blanka View Post
Pick a good niche (weddings for example is a battlefield you should not want to go into). Think about what clients will be interested in that niche and how to reach them.
Then get the appropriate stuff. People say it is about the Photographer, but that is büllshît You are a production worker. See yourself as carpenter: his tools make his work. So get the right tools! When I bought myself a tilt-shift lens, it was amazing. The stupid purchase of that tool made me capable of stuff that 99% of photographers can't do. I know it is a weird example, but think about your niche in advance!
And customers are weird too. Just get a D800 because it puts you in the front lane. 36mpixel blabla. It does not matter. But your customer wanks on all the detail. He will like it. It is a waste of money to slowly grow into it and making many purchase mistakes. Just take a head start.
Then make photographs for a couple of months. Familiarize with the tool. Only THEN start taking classes on the stuff that you don't get yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doylem View Post
Start by becoming an excellent amateur photographer, then there's a chance you might be able to transfer your skills to a professional photographic arena. It's gonna take time...
Quote:
Originally Posted by snberk103 View Post
Best advice so far. And then.... if the 'professional photographer' career still beckons, make sure you get a good grounding in being self-employed and running a small business. There is a lot of free courses and resources, so you will only need to invest the time. It is vital to remember that the 'professional' part of the career is about making enough money to support yourself, and to continue investing in the tools of the trade. There are income tax and sales taxes to understand, insurance issues, business licenses, and marketing aspects as well.

These are all areas that can be mastered - most professional photographers have done so. So while you learning to be an excellent amateur photographer, start learning the less glamorous side as well - so if you decide to hang your shingle you can do so with confidence and professionalism. It's always possible you may decide to stay in that grey area of a 'paid amateur'.... that is, a photographer who has a job doing something else, but also takes photos for money to help subsidize the costs.

Good Luck.
Thanks for all the great advice, you guys! It is very encouraging. I just ordered my first DSLR (still on its way) and I've already scheduled this three-hour class, at a local photography shop, on how to familiarize myself with its controls and features, followed by their Introduction to DSLRs and Intermediate DSLR classes, since I know absolutely nothing about cameras or photography.

And, no, I don't think I'll ever want to do weddings. I've seen photographers endure that wrath of angry brides. Sometimes they expect full-blown miracles and when they don't get that, it's not pretty. I guess if I had to pick a niche, it would be food and product photography and/or architecture.

Last edited by Caliber26; Oct 30, 2012 at 02:55 PM.
Caliber26 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 30, 2012, 03:03 PM   #14
12dylan34
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Wow, really unique story...I've probably actually seen you in the several times that I've been to Disney World.

I see that you've signed up for some classes, which is a good start. I would also buy Photoshop as soon as possible and start learning how to use it. There are tons of free tutorials out there, but if you want to a quality end to end learning experience, Nick Campbell from Greyscale Gorilla has a great product on Photoshop for photographers.

I learned a ton of beginner Cinema 4D stuff from him, and his tutorials are really easy to follow, plus he seems like a nice guy.
12dylan34 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 30, 2012, 03:30 PM   #15
PentAr
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Netherlands
And check creativeLIVE. They have free courses with very good photographers almost every week.
__________________
2.8 GHz iMac 24-inch, Early 2008, 4GB DDR2, 320GB
2.66 GHz MacBook Pro 15-inch, Mid 2009, 8GB DDR3, 256GB SSD
PentAr is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 31, 2012, 02:52 PM   #16
wolfpuppies3
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Virginia, USA
Don't give up your day job. I have been at this awhile and figured out early on that a steady check coming in allows you to exercise your creativity, purchase the occasional equipment, and travel to places worth recording for you. Pick up the classes you can in the evening or on weekends.

http://imaginethatimages.zenfolio.com/
__________________
2012 MBA 13, 2 Ghz i7, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD; 2011 MBA 11, 1.8 Ghz i7, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD; 2010 MB Pro 15, 2.66 Ghz i7, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD; two iPad 3s and a mini, two iPhones and a bunch of iPods
wolfpuppies3 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 31, 2012, 05:10 PM   #17
blanka
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliber26 View Post
I've seen photographers endure that wrath of angry brides.
Ha LOL. A Bride is probably the most horrible creature on Earth. Totally feel the pain.
Angry Brides. Think we have a new app coming to our iPhones.
blanka is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 31, 2012, 06:23 PM   #18
Caliber26
Thread Starter
macrumors 65816
 
Caliber26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Orlando, FL
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpuppies3 View Post
Don't give up your day job. I have been at this awhile and figured out early on that a steady check coming in allows you to exercise your creativity, purchase the occasional equipment, and travel to places worth recording for you. Pick up the classes you can in the evening or on weekends.

http://imaginethatimages.zenfolio.com/
Nope, certainly not quitting my job anytime soon. I still have plenty of battery charge to keep doing what I'm doing for a few more years! But I do hope that I can excel at this and obtain modest success with it, eventually.

Goes without saying that I see photographers all day long at my job. A few weeks ago, I went to one of the parks on my day off and noticed a guy taking pictures of The Tower of Terror. He had his little camp set up...tripod, bag full of lenses, etc. So I approached him and asked him if he worked for Disney or any of its outside marketing agencies and he said, no, that he was taking pictures all throughout the entire resort (4 theme parks, 3 water parks, 20+ Disney hotels) for a period of 9 days and that the photography agency he works for would be selling those pictures exclusively to some publisher, to be featured in an unofficial Disney World guidebook. I put aside my manners for a brief moment and asked him if it was good money and he said his 9-day gig would be paying all his bills for the next three months. He looked extremely young (way younger than my 31 years) and I found that to be quite impressive and inspirational at the same time. I would love to be able to do that some day.

By the way, I'm assuming that's your website? Those are some great pictures! This picture is awesome. Makes me wish I still lived in Jersey, where it snows.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by blanka View Post
Ha LOL. A Bride is probably the most horrible creature on Earth. Totally feel the pain.
Angry Brides. Think we have a new app coming to our iPhones.
Yeah... I've been a groomsman twice this year and had the opportunity to see how pushy and demanding brides can be. The more recent wedding, it wasn't just the bride, but also the groom, that were acting like bridezillas. I felt so bad for those poor photographers. We had to do a crapload of takes to get the 'perfect' picture of the entire bridal party. The bride and groom kept tearing that guy apart and critiquing every single pixel. I would have just walked out on them right then and there.

Last edited by Caliber26; Oct 31, 2012 at 06:30 PM.
Caliber26 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 1, 2012, 12:37 PM   #19
snberk103
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: An Island in the Salish Sea
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliber26 View Post
... and asked him if it was good money and he said his 9-day gig would be paying all his bills for the next three months.....
In the interests of full disclosure... that photographer isn't working just 9 days. There will have been several days (if not numerous days) pre-gig as he met with the client or the agency to work out the coverage and the details. After those 9 days of shooting there will be days and days of editing, culling, and post-processing. Essentially - sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time.

Now, that said, it's still a sweet gig. And one that most pros would give their eye-teeth to get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliber26 View Post

..... I would have just walked out on them right then and there.
My personal observation is that wedding photography used to be the type of photography that photographers worked their way up to (I'm talking a couple of decades ago). As a consequence they were generally very good, and could be very expensive. In the last while it seems that more and more photo school grads start with weddings .... which has driven prices down. At the same time expectations by the client seem to have, if anything, gone up.

And - as others have observed - your clients are stressed, at least one of them hasn't eaten that day, and everybody and their cousin (literally) thinks they can do your job. On top of all of that, is the job stress of knowing that you only have one chance to capture what your client's believe to be the most important day in their life. Andy kind of hardware failure, weather failure, software, whatever... and, well.... it's not like you can reshoot the job.

I have never, and will never, shoot a wedding. I don't need that kind of stress. I do however have a huge amount of respect for my colleagues who do, and who do a good job. When I am a guest at a wedding, I will watch the photographer working. A good one is a joy to watch.
__________________
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. - Jack Layton
snberk103 is offline   4 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 1, 2012, 01:48 PM   #20
fireman32
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Raleigh, NC
I have shot 2 weddings so far as a 2nd shooter and it is quite a lot of pressure. I am not sure if I want to do more weddings or not. But if I can make some extra money on the weekends to help pay for some more gear i am all for it.
fireman32 is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 2, 2012, 06:16 AM   #21
steveash
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: UK
There is a growing number of people trying to break into 'professional' photography and it is more competitive than ever. That doesn't mean that it is impossible and there is still good money to be made if you go about it in the right way. This does mean that you need both talent and great business skills to succeed.

Food photography is a great area to specialise in. There is always a demand for commercial and editorial images. The food industry is huge. Landscapes and architecture is a little more limited but there are still opportunities if you look for them.

I have moved from graphic design to photography in the last couple of years and made it work for me. I mostly shoot commercial product photography and some high-end consumer commissions. It can be famine or feast but in general I make more than I did as a designer. Three things that set me in the right direction are:

1. Reading the manual of my camera. I recommend buying a second hand mid range DSLR camera like a Canon 30D/40D or Nikon D200. This have full controls and are built to last. Don't spend a fortune on the latest and greatest because by the time you can seriously use it, it will be out of date. Read every page of the manual and you will learn a huge amount.

2. Read Dane Sanders' Fast Track Photographer. There is lots of good information in there on how to find your niche and set up a business. It also makes you think about the realities of being in business and if it is for you.

3. Join Kelby Training. Once you have read that manual and got the hang of your camera start doing some training. Kelby has hundreds of expert videos on every area of photography and photoshop.

Finally I would try to avoid equipment forums and blogs. It is very easy to get distracted by the gear and feel that you won't be a success without it. Some people spend half their lives arguing online about unnecessary details. If they had their way we would all use the same equipment, all produce the same pictures, no one would be unique and we'd all be out of a living. Go your own way.
steveash is offline   5 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 2, 2012, 02:05 PM   #22
wolfpuppies3
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Virginia, USA
Caliber26 - Yes that's my website and that's my driveway.
__________________
2012 MBA 13, 2 Ghz i7, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD; 2011 MBA 11, 1.8 Ghz i7, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD; 2010 MB Pro 15, 2.66 Ghz i7, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD; two iPad 3s and a mini, two iPhones and a bunch of iPods
wolfpuppies3 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:26 PM   #23
ChrisA
macrumors G4
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Redondo Beach, California
By all means learn photography. But making a living at it is getting adder every day.

Getting into the high end of advertizing photography does require that you go to a good school and learn the craft and the bussines end of it. Then you can work as an asistent for years waiting for your "big break". It is like wanting to be an actor. But then these gguys to $10K or $50K photo shoots.

At the low-end of the business there are wedding and event photographers but then you have to sell to the public and compete with kids with a dSLR who will work all day for $100. How many $200 or $300 jobs will you need to sell to pay the rent of the office space, insurance, medical insurance and so on. You will have to.

One big mistake many beginners make is to think that learning photography is learning how to twiddle dials on a camera or learn some computer software. It's not. It is more like learning to be a painter. leraning abut lighting, lines and color and also how to sell your services.


But do learn. Don't buy a lot of equipment. get some books and take 50 shots a day and keep the best 3 to 5 and process them all the way to a finished product. Show your best work (and never anything BUT your best work) and wait until many people beg you to work for them.

Only quite your current job after it is getting to be impossable to go to work because your photo business is so demanding of your time.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveash View Post
...
I have moved from graphic design to photography in the last couple of years and made it work for me. I mostly shoot commercial product photography and some high-end consumer commissions. ....
Your experience will not apply to most people. You are an experienced "designer". So you come into photography with the single most important skill - graphic design. Other peole will first have to llearn about art. And they may or may not have your talent for it.

What you think of as "common sense" is not for most people

Also design clients are not unlike photography clients, you already knew how to work with and sell to them.

I'd even say that photo to just a specialized area of design. You use a camera but the result is the same.
ChrisA is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 5, 2012, 12:47 AM   #24
Caliber26
Thread Starter
macrumors 65816
 
Caliber26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Orlando, FL
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveash View Post
Finally I would try to avoid equipment forums and blogs. It is very easy to get distracted by the gear and feel that you won't be a success without it. Some people spend half their lives arguing online about unnecessary details. If they had their way we would all use the same equipment, all produce the same pictures, no one would be unique and we'd all be out of a living. Go your own way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireman32 View Post
I have shot 2 weddings so far as a 2nd shooter and it is quite a lot of pressure. I am not sure if I want to do more weddings or not. But if I can make some extra money on the weekends to help pay for some more gear i am all for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by snberk103 View Post
In the interests of full disclosure... that photographer isn't working just 9 days. There will have been several days (if not numerous days) pre-gig as he met with the client or the agency to work out the coverage and the details. After those 9 days of shooting there will be days and days of editing, culling, and post-processing. Essentially - sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time. Now, that said, it's still a sweet gig. And one that most pros would give their eye-teeth to get.

I have never, and will never, shoot a wedding. I don't need that kind of stress. I do however have a huge amount of respect for my colleagues who do, and who do a good job. When I am a guest at a wedding, I will watch the photographer working. A good one is a joy to watch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisA View Post
Getting into the high end of advertising photography does require that you go to a good school and learn the craft and the bussines end of it. Then you can work as an assistant for years, waiting for your "big break". It is like wanting to be an actor. But then these guys to $10K or $50K photo shoots.

But do learn. Don't buy a lot of equipment. get some books and take 50 shots a day and keep the best 3 to 5 and process them all the way to a finished product. Show your best work (and never anything BUT your best work) and wait until many people beg you to work for them.
Thanks for all of the input, guys. Like I said in an earlier post, I have already scheduled three different classes (at a local camera shop) that cover the fundamentals of DSLRs and photography. Once I'm done with that, and have most of the basics covered, I do plan on enrolling at a vocational school and furthering my education in commercial photography. I would be content working for an agency, taking on small jobs and working my way up. I'm realistic and don't expect to go out and there and stumble upon overnight success.

With that said, I did end up ordering the Nikon D3200. It comes with a kit lens (18-55mm VR) but I would also like to purchase a secondary one so that I can have at least two different lenses to play around with from the beginning. What would be a good choice? I realize everyone has a different opinion on just about everything - especially when it comes to photography - but I'm interested in hearing what you guys would suggest.

I'm trying to keep it in the $400 or less category. I've seen a lot of good reviews for the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G and the 35mm f/1.8G lenses. Both seem very versatile but I'm not sure if either would be something I should get at this time. What would be the biggest differences between the two of them? I plan on taking my camera to work, on my days off, and experimenting with a lot of the architecture and scenery at the Disney theme parks, as well as the live shows and parades. And I also want to get good shots at nighttime. Should I be looking at a different type of lens altogether? If so, what do you all recommend?

Sorry if these questions seem ridiculous! Any and all advice is welcome and much appreciated!
Caliber26 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:17 AM   #25
Caliber26
Thread Starter
macrumors 65816
 
Caliber26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Orlando, FL
These are some pictures I would like to recreate eventually (or at least try to) so I would like to know what type of lenses would best suit me. As you can see, dusk and nighttime are my preference.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.

Last edited by Caliber26; Nov 5, 2012 at 02:29 AM.
Caliber26 is offline   4 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Special Interests > Visual Media > Digital Photography

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice needed on upgrade/setup change barnetda Buying Tips and Advice 9 Jun 2, 2014 01:57 PM
Advice to change displayed photo on screen via computer Dirtfox iOS 5 and earlier 0 Aug 9, 2013 06:26 PM
Big change just made, need some advice. Englewoodcowboy iMac 2 Jul 26, 2013 12:33 AM
I need career advice. Can someone here help? TheLostXanadu Wasteland 4 Jul 24, 2013 03:17 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:48 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC