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04-15-2007, 01:15 PM   #1
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career in photography

hello. i love photography and have been thinking for a while about making a living in it. I dont really want to do portrait photography but would if i had to. I havent graduated yet so i still have some time to think about it. i was wondering if any of you have careers in photography and if so what exactly do you do. also does anyone know of any schools that have good photography or related courses or classes that i could take or that any of you have taken to get your career started. my school just got a new course on photography that i'll be taking next year so i'll be able to see if im really good enough. any ideas or suggestions are appreciated. thank you!
Amanda
P.S Sorry its kind of rambling.

04-15-2007, 01:55 PM   #2
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You should talk to Ben about it. He's a regular on the forum and does alot of work for big fashion magazines in Europe.

Anyhow, its nice that you are so interested but like other art/design related jobs, its hard to get noticed and onto the playing field. Depends on where you go too I guess. Like if you work for a studio, its like a competition thing. The clients call up the studio with some requests for say a wedding or a large event and then the work will file down. Thats what I've heard.

I have no idea where you are but at the place where I'm currently studying at, there's a Specialist Journalism program and the students do alot of work with on-campus newspapers writing articles, doing interviews and of course taking lots of photos. I asked the ones I know much about outside work but I know some that have done weddings part time. But yea, if you are really interested, you should talk to your friends for contact information and look up some studios or even the press and see how its like. Photojournalism, studio work, freelance, etc.

Btw, what are you studying right now?
04-15-2007, 02:11 PM   #3
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Id recomend looking into NSCAD, or the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. They have a fantastic photography program, and one I am proud to say actually teachs some good basics, and not just a school based on who can get the farthest off the wall (My gripe with art schools in general). They are a pretty well known school, and if you do tranfer there, I will be happy to shake your hand and get a cup of coffee with you in winter semester, as that is where i will be finishing my MFA as well.
04-15-2007, 02:14 PM   #4
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Wow Masters? Good for you! Haha I'm still newbing along towards my B.Sc. There's an "O"CAD here..Ontario College of Art and Design haha. But I think scribble knows better. :P

04-15-2007, 02:17 PM   #5
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Well if you're in Israel

I'm in the Photography department of Hadassah Collage in Jerusalem, Israel and it's pretty good. I haven't graduated yet either but I'm just working in random photography jobs. I've done a baby shower and an online catalog for a gift store. I will also be doing a fashion sunglasses shoot, a studio shoot of jewelry for a jeweler friend, and baby photos for a 3rd friend. I find the key when starting out is to find people you know, or that your friends and family members know, that may need some photographic job and push to get it. At least it's been working for me and so far everyone I've done a job for is really pleased- they like the quality and also saved some money because they hierd someone with less experience. I'm happy because I get the experience and still make alot more than from any other job I've held so far...
04-15-2007, 02:46 PM   #6
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ALMA magazine

QuoteOriginally posted by Leya216 Quote
I'm in the Photography department of Hadassah Collage in Jerusalem, Israel and it's pretty good. I haven't graduated yet either but I'm just working in random photography jobs. I've done a baby shower and an online catalog for a gift store. I will also be doing a fashion sunglasses shoot, a studio shoot of jewelry for a jeweler friend, and baby photos for a 3rd friend. I find the key when starting out is to find people you know, or that your friends and family members know, that may need some photographic job and push to get it. At least it's been working for me and so far everyone I've done a job for is really pleased- they like the quality and also saved some money because they hierd someone with less experience. I'm happy because I get the experience and still make alot more than from any other job I've held so far...
Interesting, you being from Israel. You might know "Alma" magazine. I was published in "ALMA" magazine about three times, but since the editor I knew left, I haven't had any visibility in it.
04-15-2007, 03:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Interesting, you being from Israel. You might know "Alma" magazine. I was published in "ALMA" magazine about three times, but since the editor I knew left, I haven't had any visibility in it.
I just ran a Google search on the magazine. It says that it closed down, which may explain why even you haven't published there in a while . It's so frustrating for me to see your work as an aspiring photographer, I will never be that good, that know, that anything! Argh! Of course as a young woman of 23 years I do yet have plenty of time to try .
04-15-2007, 03:06 PM   #8
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I had a job as a photographer for my city's newspaper. I worked there for 3 years until I put photography aside as another job took me to night shift and I slipped out of photography for awhile.
Since then I've done a few weddings and some portraits, but I can't say it's a career right now. Sometimes, as in a lot of jobs, it's who you know (see Ben's case above).

So my advice: I suppose it depends on the situation. You can take basic fundamental photography classes at most schools, I would think. I got started in high school in a graphic arts class that also taught black and white photography. Later on I studied architecture and journalism in college in Pittsburgh. You could try getting a part time job or an internship at a local studio, which would provide a lot more working experience than a pure fundamental class would, (but of course you need to know the basics too)
And don't forget maybe a business class or two, if you think you might start your own business at some point. That would help in a lot of careers, even if you find in a few years that photography isn't for you.

04-15-2007, 04:07 PM   #9
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i forgot to mention that im still in high school so i havent started any university/college yet. im trying to ask around so i can find out what i should take after high school. my cousin mentioned a degree offered here in New Brunswick called the Bachelor of Applied Arts (BAA) where i would do my majoring in photography. it sounded good to me but then my other cousin had gotten her bachelor in arts and majored in pottery i believe. i was considering this but she doesnt even have a steady job now she does work in a studio but its not enough to live off of, so she has to work also in a deli. i guess my dilemma is shouild i bother getitng a BAA if its not even going to get me a secure career you know? also im interested in doing fashion photography like working for a fashion magazine for example. but im thinking theres no way i would get anything in NB and most likely not Canada. i googled fashion photography and many of the people were photographers in New York. Do you know if that would be a good place or any where else instead? thank you for your feedback.
Amanda
04-15-2007, 04:20 PM   #10
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What? No Way!

QuoteOriginally posted by Leya216 Quote
I just ran a Google search on the magazine. It says that it closed down, which may explain why even you haven't published there in a while . It's so frustrating for me to see your work as an aspiring photographer, I will never be that good, that know, that anything! Argh! Of course as a young woman of 23 years I do yet have plenty of time to try .
That is not the way to perceive yourself...Really. You ARE unique and your vision is as important as any ones vision. When I was told by someone not to go to New York and they said "Ben, are you crazy, you'll never make it! There are over ten thousand photographers in New York." and in my childlike naivety I said.." Yes there may be ten thousand photographers in New York, but there is only one Benjamin Kanarek."

Do yourself a favor and listen to an interview I did on an Internet Pod-cast on "Camera Waves".

Here is the direct link in 3 Parts, you might not give up on yourself so quickly...

Take Care
Ben
http://www.eravedesigns.com/erave/podcasts/podcast1.xml

or

http://www.camerawaves.com/
04-15-2007, 04:54 PM   #11
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Have no fears Ben

I am not a quitter. I just need to decide what type of photography to focus on. For now I am content trying out the different fields, though I must admit getting on a 69 on my final studio project was not all that encouraging... It actually wasn't that bad at all. I think I will post it online for a little C&C to see what others think. It was a pretend perfume campaign. I actually liked it. Well I'm supposedly going to shoot a small sunglasses campaign soon and I'm really excited for that. Should be fun. I actually feel really luck because I really really love photography and I think no matter what I do as long as it's with a camera I will be happy. So Ben, looking for a summer intern?
04-15-2007, 05:34 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leya216 Quote
I am not a quitter. I just need to decide what type of photography to focus on. For now I am content trying out the different fields, though I must admit getting on a 69 on my final studio project was not all that encouraging... It actually wasn't that bad at all. I think I will post it online for a little C&C to see what others think. It was a pretend perfume campaign. I actually liked it. Well I'm supposedly going to shoot a small sunglasses campaign soon and I'm really excited for that. Should be fun. I actually feel really luck because I really really love photography and I think no matter what I do as long as it's with a camera I will be happy. So Ben, looking for a summer intern?
Summer...Nobody in my metier works in the summer. Everybody is gone. Sorry, I'd like to help. If you have any questions just send them off to me...Perfume Ad eh?

Last edited by benjikan; 02-07-2013 at 06:03 PM.
04-15-2007, 06:57 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by AmandaJL Quote
hello. i love photography and have been thinking for a while about making a living in it. I dont really want to do portrait photography but would if i had to. I havent graduated yet so i still have some time to think about it. i was wondering if any of you have careers in photography and if so what exactly do you do. also does anyone know of any schools that have good photography or related courses or classes that i could take or that any of you have taken to get your career started. my school just got a new course on photography that i'll be taking next year so i'll be able to see if im really good enough. any ideas or suggestions are appreciated. thank you!
Amanda
P.S Sorry its kind of rambling.
Amanda,

There are countless possibilities in photography out there. There are fields that people make a living with in photography that many photographers do not know even exist. There is the high fashion work that we have seen first hand with Ben's fine work, and there is photojournalism, product & catalogue photography, forensic, portrait and wedding, nature, medical and ophthalmic photography, video (the future some say), presentation technology and the list goes on.

If you have a passion for phototgraphy (And it is a good thing to have if you wish to make a living in it) then google in some queries as to schools or Universitys that have an extensive curriculum and degree in photography.

I never expected to make a living in photogrpahy and stumbled into it only after finishing graduate studies. Then went on for another degree in photography. And, even after years in various photographic fields, I returned for an additional graduate degree in petroleum engineering only to return to my specialty in photography.

It can be a very rewarding career and for some very financially rewarding at that. But, it can and usually does mean a lot of hard work, dedication, and an ability to be very self critical so that you are always trying to improve your skills and talents.

You might want to look into Brooks Institute in CA, or Rochester Institute of Technology in NY as a starting point in researching a future education in those fields.

Good luck in whatever field you choose.

Stephen
04-22-2007, 04:21 PM   #14
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Get as much experience as you can get. Go to workshops - go with the attitude that you can learn something - avoid workshops that push hardware or software. Read as much as you can - read things you might not agree with from people you may not like - such as:
How to Become a Professional Photographer
Why Photography is Not a Profession

Go to sites that provide photographers bios - read them. Find out what they did, where they started and can you do that. Build connections with photographers in your area - see if you can be an assistant. Decide what type of photography you want to do. Become a business persion - you can be the worlds best photographer - but if you can not run a business - you will fail.

If you are going to go to school (post high school) take journalism and business classes. You need to be able to write, have connections with media outlets and not be afraid to make a profit.
For example: I have a friend who is a PC tech at the company I work at - he is quiting and moving to Santa Fe NM. He is a relatively good technically proficient photographer. However most of his shots look like they were all taken at the time. Seen one --- seen them all. He will not even admit images taken with anything other than a C*non are any good. So he sells his images (actually about 8 images mostly taken 3-4 years ago) and charges chump change for them. He adds up the cost of the raw materials and adds a few dollars to it - and claims he is making a profit. If you look at what he is making an hour - it is less than what is survivable. (Way less than 10 USD an hour) He wants to become a pro photographer in Santa Fe -- the second largest art market in the US. He is going to be squashed - I hope I am wrong here.

Learn how to be a business person first - expect to take images of things that bore you - and expect to have your customers try to screw you out of all your money - after all "Uncle Joe has a DSLR - he said he would take the wedding for 20 USD and an extra piece of cake - All you have to do is give me a CD with the images on it - why is that so hard?" (Advice - anyone who says the phrase "All you have to do is" is absolutely clueless - avoid them like the vampires they are)

Check out this site:
American Society of Media Photographers
Lots of good information if you dig around for a while.

Sorry about being so windy ---- PDL

Last edited by PDL; 04-22-2007 at 04:26 PM. Reason: minor editing and added more wind
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