A Question for the Professional Photogs out There...

Discussion in 'Australia Photography' started by Guest, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hi Guys (and girls, of course :),

    I thought that this would be a good place for me to ask a few
    questions of those pro gurus out there.

    I have always sort of thought that I would like to become a
    professional photographer, as I am a keen hobbyist since I bought a
    digital and could finally afford photography, although my career path
    has never really been headed in that direction. I'm interested really
    in all kinds of photography, from product shots, to cars, to
    journalism, to sports and glamour. Well at the moment I am at a kind
    of turning point in my life, and have decided that this might finally
    be the time to start trying to put my dreams into action.

    I was just wondering if any of the people from this newsgroup who work
    as professional photographers could tell me a little bit about their

    What do you do? What's the thing that you like most about your job?

    What's the thing you hate most about it?

    What's involved in a typical day?

    What else do you think I should know before I invest my time and
    effort into this?

    Also, what would your advice be to a person who has little
    professional experience on how to actually go about getting a job in
    this area? I don't really have the equipment or cash necessary to go
    freelance by myself, so I guess I would have to become an assistant or
    a trainee. Should I go out and do a course in this area? Work

    Is there a good place that you know of that I could find out a bit
    more about this? Sites, forums, etc?

    Feel free to send me replies via email if you don't want to post to
    the entire group, although I do think that this would be an
    interesting topic for everyone to read.

    Thanks in advance everyone. aus.photo is a great little community,

    Guest, Jul 29, 2003
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  2. Guest

    Miro Guest

    It's called work experience. I would strongly suggest a formal course such
    as TAFE or University.
    Miro, Jul 29, 2003
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  3. What do you do?

    Bugger all these days, I retired from freelance commercial about 5 years ago
    at the ripe old age of 35... now I just pick and choose what I want to do,
    mostly pictorial and event photography :)
    It has given me the freedom to do what I want, when I want.... even when I
    was commercial there was no 9 to 5.
    Nothing these days.... but it used to be doing weddings, I hated weddings!
    Bride's mothers are usually a PITA!
    As I said earlier, bugger all now.... but as commercial it was a lot of
    client liaison, a lot of driving around to locations & labs, carrying a lot
    of heavy gear and doing a lot of different things.... one day you are
    hanging out of a chopper, the next day your 200 feet underground taking pix
    of mining equipment.
    Take a good long look at your work and ask yourself "will I be good enough?"
    .....that sounds a bit rough I know, but there are plenty of crappy
    photographers calling themselves professionals (maybe I am one of them??)
    and unless you can turn out good images day in day out you will struggle.

    Enjoying photography and producing professional work are miles apart. So you
    will need to explore your own ability and the best way to do this is to work
    with someone who is a pro (but not one of those crappy ones that I
    mentioned)... OR get some qualifications, I would highly recommend the
    Diploma in Photography from Griffith University in Brisbane (formerly Qld
    College of Art). I did this back in 81/82 (wow! that's way back in last
    century... geez I feel old!) and you soon learn if you have "the goods" or
    Put together a folio of your VERY best work, have a shave, put on some good
    clobber and visit every photographer in the area. Be polite, don't be pushy,
    be happy and walk away with a smile and a thank you when they are not
    interested. Also, get a set of calling cards and hand one over as soon as
    you introduce yourself... don't leave it on your way out after a refusal as
    that falls into the "pushy" category.

    Offer to work as an assistant for free on weekends for a month.... if you
    are any good, they will be calling you and eventually offering to pay.... if
    they don't, move on, don't get "used".
    Good! You are not a pro... yet! :)

    The AIPP was trying to stop photographers from doing just that, as the
    standard of pro photography has dropped dramatically in Aust, they wanted to
    make it so that you needed either qualifications or accreditation from one
    of the pro groups before you could trade as a pro.

    I actually agree with this concept.
    yes, see above.
    yes, see above.

    I hope this helps,

    Russell Stewart
    Australian Digital Photo Of The Day
    AU Digital Photo Of The Day, Jul 30, 2003
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks a lot Russell, your comments were extremely helpful!

    Guest, Jul 30, 2003
  5. Guest

    Henrik Guest

    :) LOL :)

    good one Mic


    Henrik, Jul 30, 2003
  6. Guest

    ops Guest

    Advice DQYDJ !!!!!
    ops, Jul 30, 2003
  7. Guest

    max morrison Guest

    Don't Quote Your Dirty Jokes?
    Dudley's Quilt Yells Daily "Jehovah"?
    Daringly Quick Yowie Drives Jeep?
    max morrison, Jul 30, 2003

  8. Dont Quit Your Day Job.

    I make more money buying and selling second hand camera equipment then I
    will ever make with photography!!
    David in Perth, Jul 31, 2003
  9. Guest

    Neil R. Guest

    I would LOVE to hear the answers to these questions....I am also at the
    cross roads of a career change
    Neil R., Jul 31, 2003
  10. Guest

    Pure Emotion Guest

    All kidding aside, life as a 'professional's is just like any other
    business. don't become a 'photographer', but become a business person. Your
    success, or not, is directly proportion to your ability to run business. The
    taking of photographs is secondary and although important, is only a side
    feature of the trade.

    Going to school is an advantage to learn the business side of things (not
    that necessary for the pushing of a button) but to gain contacts, ideas and
    knowledge needed to make business successful.

    My suggestion....! find a local photographer, ask to assist on a non pay
    basis, go to business classes, find out what you wish to really photograph
    and concentrate on that field, say weddings, this is a good place to start.

    Stay positive, it helps if your partner can provide support to remain
    positive. always aim to move upwards.

    Good luck

    Trevor C

    Pure Emotion, Jul 31, 2003
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