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#4435767 - 06/19/17 09:38 AM Switching career fields to photographer
ram_man Offline

Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 3178
Loc: southern mo
Hey everyone I've been thinking about where I want to go since I'm not really able to be a mechanic anymore it's something I've always enjoyed doing was taking pictures I'm generally just looking for more information about being a Photographer if any of you have any knowledge or device on it that would be great thank you guys
2014 dodge dart GT "mine"
2013 Dodge Dart limited "hers"
1995 Dodge ram 1500

#4435772 - 06/19/17 09:46 AM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: ram_man]
supton Offline

Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 11532
Loc: NH
Pics for newspapers, or just whatever gig you come across?

Gonna need gear. Friend is into photography, does it on the side. Looks expensive. I think he has a policy to not delete photos either--or at least keep for a pretty long period of time--so storage space has got to be something he deals with.

I borrowed an $800 tripod to video a play. I got the impression that it was nice, but not big league. And that was just the tripod. Not including strobes, backdrop, camera, batteries, etc.
2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 156k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 141k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 174k, his

#4435775 - 06/19/17 09:47 AM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: ram_man]
Donald Offline

Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20131
Loc: Upstate NY
Well, you need to a great photographer and have lots of artistic skills.

My niece is a professional photographer. She uses about a $6000 camera to take pictures of the horse crossing the finish line at one of 3 NY race tracks. But she works 6 days a week and moves from racetrack to racetrack as the racing moves.

You should take some college courses in the field.

Edited by Donald (06/19/17 09:48 AM)
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
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#4435776 - 06/19/17 09:47 AM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: ram_man]
E150GT Offline

Registered: 03/11/12
Posts: 1020
Loc: San Antonio, TX
dont drop the lenses. I dropped my dad's macro lens on the concrete and he was none too pleased as it broke. I think it was expensive.
1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
1995 F150 XL 4.9 reg cab 5 speed - 247k 5w30
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#4435794 - 06/19/17 10:03 AM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: ram_man]
beanoil Offline

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 2847
Loc: Midwest, Illinois
Most "photographers" are nothing more than "picture takers" anymore.
Used to be training. Lighting, framing, artistic value, all distilling down to capturing a 1/60 of a second spot in time perfectly, or as close to it, on film. Developing, color matching, creative expression in printing the negative.
Now it's blipping off 100 frames digitally, looking through the captured image, maybe some tweaking with photoshop.
The smart phone and digital camera ruined photography, and there really is no money in it.
Good luck.

Edited by beanoil (06/19/17 10:03 AM)
beanoil: Tough under heat, real dirty afterwards.

#4435804 - 06/19/17 10:13 AM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: ram_man]
itguy08 Offline

Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 3126
Loc: Somewhere
Good Luck. I looked at it as Photography has been near a lifelong hobby of mine and many tell me I take great pics. You will start out at minimum or less than minimum wage, have people try to copy your work, and enjoy long hours. And if you do weddings, senior pics, etc you'll get to deal with irate brides, grooms, and parents.

You'll need lots of training, an AWESOME portfolio, and thick skin.

#4435806 - 06/19/17 10:16 AM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: ram_man]
JHZR2 Offline

Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41233
Loc: New Jersey
It will be hard to start. To do a good job with photos in many conditions, its not just the $3000-ish high MP body, but the $1-2k each lenses that you'll need. So you'll need to figure $10k in gear investment (possibly over time, but if you want to make money, you need to do events like weddings and need a decent amount of stuff).

Dont underestimate the performance of good used stuff, but the glass holds its value if its quality stuff. I wouldn't plan to buy a used body, given the amount of electronics in there.

And then its all contingent upon your artistic skill, your understanding of the physics of light, illumination, and the optics in your kit... And then your ability to post-process well.

Id say you would need at least a few years doing photography as a serious hobby to get your skills and an initial portfolio going. You might try to incorporate upfront to show a loss on your work as you acquire equipment, but that's a tax question not suited for BITOG.

#4435816 - 06/19/17 10:25 AM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: ram_man]
Miller88 Offline

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 12584
Loc: Onondaga County
It's something that takes a while to develop and get your name out there - and everyone and their brother is now a protographer.
18 Forester 2.5I 6M
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#4435834 - 06/19/17 10:50 AM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: ram_man]
NJ_Car_Owner Offline

Registered: 03/16/17
Posts: 206
Loc: NJ
As an amateur photographer for many years - my advise is to rethink it. Besides gear, you need extensive knowledge, need to know how to run your business and probably most important be artistically inclined. EVERYONE owns a camera, cellphones are probably the number 1 camera choice and I can't tell you how many "photographers" with less than a years experience and a beginner's set up have a watermark on their photos and going pro.

If you do have the money, talent, skill and knowledge along with the ability to run a business - go for it. People photography is where the money is - period! A lot of hours are put in to post process an image. The few pros that I follow all have side gigs of teaching people or running seminars. There are probably a few Pros out there that all they do is photography but I think they are very few.

When I was in my 20's I was thinking about going Pro but I didn't want to take Weddings and give up my weekends. I was inspired by Ansel Adams and landscape photographers do go hungry as it is not as money making as weddings.

If you do decide to go for it - good luck in the endeavor!

Edited by NJ_Car_Owner (06/19/17 10:50 AM)

#4435845 - 06/19/17 11:17 AM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: ram_man]
HangFire Offline

Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 2505
Loc: Central Maryland
I hate to discourage you, but it's a highly competitive field, as everyone with a DSLR thinks they can do it. Formal training will help.

In the reality field, I know people with Bachelor degrees in forensic photography and medical imaging that compete for very few positions. One ended up a webmaster (because: artistic sense, and ability to deal with digital images).

For portraits and weddings, you need to have PhotoShop and mad PhotoShop skillz. Shoot a wedding poorly, you can end up in legal hot water.

#4435853 - 06/19/17 11:27 AM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: HangFire]
HangFire Offline

Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 2505
Loc: Central Maryland
delete me

#4435860 - 06/19/17 11:32 AM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: ram_man]
Ed_Flecko Offline

Registered: 12/01/14
Posts: 594
Loc: California
You'll absolutely want to become an advanced user of Adobe Photoshop and, ideally, the entire Adobe "Creative" suite. Photoshop can transform pictures into a work of art that is only limited by your imagination. The basic ability to be able to color correct, tonal correct, etc., photos (especially photos of people or landscaping) will be a tremendous advantage to you!


#4435887 - 06/19/17 12:16 PM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: Miller88]
Lolvoguy Offline

Registered: 02/06/14
Posts: 2053
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Miller88
It's something that takes a while to develop and get your name out there - and everyone and their brother is now a protographer.

Yup, not much different than the life of any other artist.

I used to be in acting. Moved to a part of Canada where they do the most shooting for movies and TV. After three years, countless acting classes and almost depleted savings, I finally moved on. Made a few friends who I've lost contact with since they too decided to leave the field. Even with the best agents and an IMDB page filled with credits for small parts in TV and commercials, you'll likely never be able to pay your bills with it. If you do, consider yourself VERY lucky.

Overall I'm glad I took the plunge to follow my dream. Sure it was frustrating and saddening, but at least I gained a perspective that I couldn't have when I was working 9-5. Now I actually appreciate the office life and understand my role in the bigger picture. As a result I feel happier in general...and as an added bonus, many of my grey hairs from stress while acting, have turned back to black now that I'm not worried about money anymore.

True story

06 Lexus IS350- Wife
88 BMW 325is- Mistress
03 Suzuki SV650S- One night stand

#4435903 - 06/19/17 12:42 PM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: Lolvoguy]
Kira Offline

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 4779
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
If you're going to learn how to manipulate images,you'll need "Watchout" training. It's a program where elements of a picture are "removable" so they can be added/overlaid to another picture.

#4435934 - 06/19/17 01:35 PM Re: Switching career fields to photographer [Re: ram_man]
aquariuscsm Offline

Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 17750
Loc: South Texas,USA
I'd think going to work as a photographer for a magzine or newspaper would be your best bet to be able to make a good living at it.
1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
QSUD 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Pennzoil Platinum 0W20

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