i need advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kielty93, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. kielty93 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Applevillle
    #1
    hey guys,
    i am 15 and thinking about getting into photography and maybe even taking a photography class at school next year.

    the part i need advice on is what type of camera i should get/use, and if there is a way to make money off of my pics cuz i am always wanting new things (apple products, first car, etc.)

    thanks
     
  2. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #2
    I'm 16–I started taking photos when I was 13. I took a few classes, got the gear, etc. and now run a website-based business.

    Unless you're really good, really fast, and have a knack for advertising and sales, forget returns. While I haven't set out to make money (I like to have fun), I'm deep in the red over these past 3 years. (You can get them eventually, but it takes time. I doubt you want to wait for return on investment.)

    If you're willing to accept all of that, I'd suggest either diving in with pro-level gear ($$$, intimidating, and generally inadvisable) or starting easy with a consumer SLR and one, maybe two, lenses. I'd suggest avoiding non-CF cameras to enhance expandability in the future (that one will get me some flames).

    One of the big mistakes I made early was neglecting a flash (i.e. control of lighting), but I corrected myself. Avoid my mistake.

    I'm a Nikonian, so there's an obvious bias:
    Simple:
    used D70/80 $300-600
    18-55 f/3.5-5.6 $180
    SB600 (flash) $230
    Cards, etc. $100
    $810-1110

    Extensive:
    D200/300+MB-D300 $2000
    70-200 f/2.8 $1800
    28-70 f/2.8 $1800
    SB-800 $400
    SB-600 $230
    Tripods, etc. $150
    Cards, etc. $100
    6480 <---that's a car right there. I use this to demonstrate my point (it's expensive).

    And a very important question: Are you sure?

    P.S. The 28-70 in my sig isn't /2.8
     
  3. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #3
    Yes, you're likely to be spending - not making - money until you become proficient...
     
  4. zdobson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #4
    buy prime lenses, buy prime lenses, buy prime lenses. that is the best way to get great quality glass at a low cost. Here was my setup through a lot of college:

    24mm f/2.8 ($220 used)
    50mm f/1.4 ($300, i think)
    85 mm f/1.8 ($400ish, i think)

    those are much much better quality than the kit zoom lenses, plus f/2.8 and below is essential if you want to ever shoot indoors or after 6pm.

    as for making money... i think it will be hard to make anything now, but by shooting as much as possible, you could be ready in a couple years. try to tag along with people who know what they're doing.
     
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #5
    Very sage advice here. Also, the thrifty fifty (50mm f/1.8) is only $75 in both Canon and Nikon flavors. It is an awesome lens to start out with that you will keep forever.
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #6
    Well, "essential" only if you're philosophically opposed to using a flash. :D

    I think the kit zooms are a perfectly sound starting point for most budding photographers.
     
  7. zdobson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #7
    I think if you're really going to be good you need to start by learning how to shoot without flash and understand the basics of using natural light.

    The thing about a kit zoom is that for the same price you can get some great primes. Also, I've heard from many photogs with more experience than I (like my college prof who was staff at National Geographic for 20 years) that primes are the best for learning how to properly frame a photo since the angle of the photo is already fixed. I've found that to be great advice.

    IMO, buying 5 lenses, speedlites, filters, strobes, etc. when you're new is like deciding to learn guitar and buying 30 effects pedals. You spend so much time playing around with the different tones and funny sounds that you don't work on the technique that will lead to really being a great player.
     
  8. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #8
    Dude, did you forget that you're the one who recommended the OP buy multiple lenses? :D I think he should just start out with one...

    Personally I think the framing argument (re: primes) is somewhat bogus. For one thing many situations just don't lend themselves well to "zooming with your feet". Plus you can always ignore your zoom ring, or tape it, if you really want to force yourself to think in that mode (something I've done a time or two, as a matter of fact).
     
  9. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #9
    There is no way in hell that a beginner needs both a SB600 and a SB800. Frankly, a 400 would be entirely sufficient for 99% of the time.

    Those kits don't seem very reasonable. If you're going the Nikon route, find a used body and a solid big-range lens (18-200 VR comes to mind if you can swing it, otherwise a 18-135mm might be a cheap option). Canon, I suggest the same. Buy a basic flash (a dedicated flash is such an improvement!) and take about 10,000 pictures. Get to know your camera and then go from there.
     
  10. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #10
    That's my point, actually.
     
  11. jtblueberry macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Pismo Beach, CA
    #11
    +1
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    Yes you can make money but there are 20 ba-zillion other people who are trying to do the same thing and you will have to compete with them and maybe 1 ba-ziilion of them are more experianced and skilled then you are. You will make more money if you just get a normal job at a fast food place.

    What kind of camera depends strongly on your budget. Do you have $1,500 or $150. Either budget will work. If the budget is low you should be looking at used cameras.

    If you take a class they very likely will be using film, not digital.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    Why not buy an older film based Nikon and a 50mm lens. If you look around you can get this for about $80 total. The N2020 is a great body. It has autofocus and real knobs and no menu or LCD screen. The 2020 sells real cheap.

    If you want digital camera then an older P&S would sell for any price you want to pay. From near nothing up.

    Right now the camera hardly matters. The purpose of the camera is to learn and you can do that with anything. I'd suggest spending as little money as possable on a first camera.

    Quite frankly it would be stupid to sink a lot of money into a camera system when you know nothing about cameras or photography. Heck you don't even know what kind of business you might have. Will you be shooting small products for catalogs? Architecture? Babies? You need to know this before you can match your equipment to the subject. Wait until you have taken a few thousand shots with a low end camera before you dump $3K on something "profesional" quality

    The public library is the best place to learn about photography the web and these forums can address very narrow, specific questions but you need book length texts if you are so serious that you are looking at making this a profession. Remember, the "competition" likely has been studying this for many years. Two types of books to look for: (1) Technical stuff that explains shutter speeds, ISO, perspective, depth of field and so on and (2) art books that have pictures. Find the pictures you like. Find the photographers you like. Think abut their style and how you might apply it or not to your subjects. 90% of photography is this second side, Art. Anyone can learn how to work a camera bt to be good you need to be a bit of an art student with a sense for color and composition

    If you do still want to make money after maybe a year of study and practice then the first step is a "business plan". Make a balance sheet that shows month by month your expenses and your income. A very optimistic plan would have you breaking even after 6 months.
     

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