Currently 21 years old and barely started to try to throw my name out there by any means. Spent over 10k on equiptment thus far (student loans). Shot a couple TV actors, one wedding, and a few musicians which has brought me SOME money. Living off student loans at the moment, so any money earned off shooting is like a luxury.
Yes, I go to photo school too. If I mess up really bad, I'm screwed ! But still giving 110%; handing out flyers tomorrow and have some Model Mayhem models lined up to get some decent portfolio work. After portfolio is solid, internship hunting!
In other words.... Ten-ish years to go!
Any pros out there, Advice would be wonderful, but the good kind.. No, "just give up and study accounting", because I'm not the quitting type
My advice is that the moment or soon after your pictures are worth every penny and more that you ask from your future clients you have work. It won't be ten-ish years if your 1. Believe in your self, 2. Have talent, 3. Develope that talent. I started photography about 5 years ago and i have been pro for 2 years now.
I often recieve job applications from photogs and i have not been happy with any of their photos, although they have been to photography schools and i haven't. I am still a "fresh/young" photographer but i am constantly improving.
Last thing: don't quit. (Like you said) Nothing will happen unless you make it happen.
5 years shooting and two years pro, that makes me much more comfortable! Like you said, just gotta learn my style, develop it, and most importantly, believe in myself. Thanks for the ego boost and advice!
@JVillaPhotoQuoteAny pros out there, Advice would be wonderful, but the good kind.. No, "just give up and study accounting", because I'm not the quitting type
Be prepared to stay late.
If you don't know, say so.
If you don't know, not only say so, but make it your mission to find out for next time.
Use as much gear as you can. Hire. Borrow.
There are some great books written 30 years ago. Apertures and shutters are still the same. Read. Your manual. Magazines. Books. Forums.
Don't believe everything you read.
Research. Location? Get on Google Earth. Google Streetview. Use The Photographers Ephemeris. Where will the sun be? When? How high in the sky? Get on flickr. See how other folk have tackled it, work out how you are going to tackle it.
Plan plan plan. Don't carry every bit of kit you own. Know what you'll need. No more, no less. Except for batteries and memory. How much will you need? Take double.
Make sure every job has a benefit for you. Sometimes this is only money. Sometimes it will be a notable face that will enhance your portfolio. Sometimes it will be a tricky situation or technical set up. Sometimes it will be all three.
Charge a rate. ALWAYS charge a rate. ALWAYS charge a rate. Be it mates rates for mates. Be it charity rates for charities. Be it the union rate. Always charge for your time, that way it's worth something to your client. People don't properly attribute value or worth to folk doing freebies. As soon as you are charging then folk will take your calls, will be there when they say they will, will go in with a plan.
This last point is the last single most important lesson somebody new to creative work can learn. Your time is worth something. Make the material good and they'll come back. You want repeat work. Do it free or cheap the first time and you've set your rate for the relationship.
I'm definitely going to be looking into the Google Earth idea, specifically for a couple places I've been wanting to see but haven't physically been there. I've read a couple of history of photo books and they definitely taught me a lot of things, looking into buying a couple wedding photography books as well since I'm trying to get into that type of work.
As for charging rates, the only thing I have NOT charged was for collaborating with models on Model Mayhem in order to 'up' my portfolio. I've only shot two models from there thus far, but would love to read your view on doing it free for portfolio use (And to gain experience as well). Thank you very much for the helpful advice!