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03-23-2014, 10:54 PM   #1
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Where do I go from here?

So, I've been shooting seriously ( seriously amateur) for about a year now, and i have taken thousands + of pictures. I have at least a few pictures that are not completely terrible. I have learned about printing and successfully printed some various sizes for friends and family and now they are hanging on walls, yay! Now the question comes, how do I start to make a name in my local community, or internet world? I made a fb page that is not quite at 100 likes, and I have an instagram blah blah that I can usually get 20-30 likes if that. I do not think I am a great photographer, but I would like to get involved, mostly so that I can get wisdom from experienced photographers and critics alike. Maybe one day I get a picture on a cover of a magazine, maybe not, wuteva. My question is, where do i go now to start moving into the public eye? Thanks!

03-23-2014, 11:26 PM   #2
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I volunteer to take pictures. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing, and I get to add to my portfolio. Theatre groups always need publicity shots of their latest production, and free is in their budget. When I see an artist painting a mural (a common practice here to combat graffiti), I volunteer to photograph it. My neighbor builds low-riders. I have shot pics of his last four projects. I think he uses them in his FOR SALE ads.

I am not a pro. I'm just retired and trying to justify owning the gear. I could take photos all day long for free. Dealing with people, that costs money.
03-23-2014, 11:27 PM   #3
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What are your goals?
Make pocket money? Look at shooting for stock.
Become famous? Volunteer at community events.
Quit your day job and go pro? Tough road, find a mentor.
Hang out with other photographers? Join a camera club.
03-24-2014, 01:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by AquaDome Quote
I volunteer to take pictures. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing, and I get to add to my portfolio. Theatre groups always need publicity shots of their latest production, and free is in their budget. When I see an artist painting a mural (a common practice here to combat graffiti), I volunteer to photograph it. My neighbor builds low-riders. I have shot pics of his last four projects. I think he uses them in his FOR SALE ads.

I am not a pro. I'm just retired and trying to justify owning the gear. I could take photos all day long for free. Dealing with people, that costs money.

This is the route I'm going, trying to do whatever I can for free, word of mouth stuff. Theater group is a great Idea, thanks. If someone offered $$ I wouldn't say no...

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
What are your goals?
Make pocket money? Look at shooting for stock.
Become famous? Volunteer at community events.
Quit your day job and go pro? Tough road, find a mentor.
Hang out with other photographers? Join a camera club.
Pocket money would be good.

03-24-2014, 04:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by spectamaniac Quote
This is the route I'm going, trying to do whatever I can for free
A few of us shoot for our local animal rescue group: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/38-photographic-technique/251896-shelter-...ps-photos.html

QuoteOriginally posted by spectamaniac Quote
Pocket money would be good.
I've made a few dollars shooting for the martial arts school my kids joined. I shot promotion pictures for the new black belts. Passport size for their promotion certificate, 5x7's for 1st degree BB's, and 8x10's for 2nd degree and higher BB's. The enlargements are hung on the wall at the school and were required by the Grand Master. This required a couple of off-camera flashes and a plain white wall for the background.

Tim
03-24-2014, 05:29 AM   #6
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I've been selling photocards and smallish prints at local farmers markets and a few art shows. It's paid for itself many times over from a materials standpoint. Not from a time standpoint, but most of the time spent is on making the pictures which I'd be doing anyway. Plus, I get to shoot what I want. There are a couple of local shops that have small gallery space that rotate artists every couple of months (either free or commission based) that I'll be in next year (looong waiting lists). If your stuff has public appeal, this is a decent way to gain local exposure and hopefully make a few bucks.
03-24-2014, 05:43 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by spectamaniac Quote
So, I've been shooting seriously ( seriously amateur) for about a year now, and i have taken thousands + of pictures. I have at least a few pictures that are not completely terrible. I have learned about printing and successfully printed some various sizes for friends and family and now they are hanging on walls, yay! Now the question comes, how do I start to make a name in my local community, or internet world? I made a fb page that is not quite at 100 likes, and I have an instagram blah blah that I can usually get 20-30 likes if that. I do not think I am a great photographer, but I would like to get involved, mostly so that I can get wisdom from experienced photographers and critics alike. Maybe one day I get a picture on a cover of a magazine, maybe not, wuteva. My question is, where do i go now to start moving into the public eye? Thanks!
You start moving into the public eye when you get sick and tired of having thousands of photos on your computer, no one else really sees them and you feel you have something to offer that others may appreciate and buy. At first the Internet is not the way to go IMO. For local recognition make your self a decent business label & cards to put on the back of your prints and leave behind, print some of your photos, nicely mat some and nicely mat and frame some. Go to some of the local coffee shops, gift shops, art galleries etc. in your community and surrounding communities asking if they would like to display your works on consignment offering a negotiated percentage for works they sell either in their establishment or in the case of family portraits etc. a percentage from referred business. Don't fall into the trap of making your photo pricing too cheap. If they have other works displayed ask their advise on what they think they could sell your works for. If you go this route make sure they or you have a written sales agreement. You could go the route of arts & crafts shows but that takes printing and maintaining a larger inventory, a cost to enter them and the potential of spending money on a larger quantity of printed items that may not sell. It is better to go this route after you know what buyers like within your area. It is a slow process but to me testing your local marketplace allows you to grow as a commercially producing photographer but don't let that detract from your artistic desires. Try entering in some local photography competitions.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 03-24-2014 at 05:51 AM.
03-24-2014, 05:52 AM   #8
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The first and most important thing you should do is to ask yourself Who am I as a photographer? It might sound like an easy question, but it isn't. Really.

Unless you know a clear answer, you are just wandering in the fog.

03-24-2014, 08:43 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by spectamaniac Quote
Pocket money would be good.
PM me if you want advice on shooting stock.

Lots of good ideas so far. I enter pictures at the county fair each year and other local contests. I also have photo cards in a few shops but the return is small. I have an application in to a local artisan shop but it's long waiting list. I think the gallery ideas are good, I might try that. You can also set up a shop on Etsy or on FAA though the competition is very tough and you might not really sell much. Still the cost is small.
03-24-2014, 09:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by atupdate Quote
A few of us shoot for our local animal rescue group: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/38-photographic-technique/251896-shelter-...ps-photos.html




I've made a few dollars shooting for the martial arts school my kids joined. I shot promotion pictures for the new black belts. Passport size for their promotion certificate, 5x7's for 1st degree BB's, and 8x10's for 2nd degree and higher BB's. The enlargements are hung on the wall at the school and were required by the Grand Master. This required a couple of off-camera flashes and a plain white wall for the background.

Tim
Interesting, Thanks.

QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I've been selling photocards and smallish prints at local farmers markets and a few art shows. It's paid for itself many times over from a materials standpoint. Not from a time standpoint, but most of the time spent is on making the pictures which I'd be doing anyway. Plus, I get to shoot what I want. There are a couple of local shops that have small gallery space that rotate artists every couple of months (either free or commission based) that I'll be in next year (looong waiting lists). If your stuff has public appeal, this is a decent way to gain local exposure and hopefully make a few bucks.
Farmers markets are huge here. great idea!

QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
You start moving into the public eye when you get sick and tired of having thousands of photos on your computer, no one else really sees them and you feel you have something to offer that others may appreciate and buy. At first the Internet is not the way to go IMO. For local recognition make your self a decent business label & cards to put on the back of your prints and leave behind, print some of your photos, nicely mat some and nicely mat and frame some. Go to some of the local coffee shops, gift shops, art galleries etc. in your community and surrounding communities asking if they would like to display your works on consignment offering a negotiated percentage for works they sell either in their establishment or in the case of family portraits etc. a percentage from referred business. Don't fall into the trap of making your photo pricing too cheap. If they have other works displayed ask their advise on what they think they could sell your works for. If you go this route make sure they or you have a written sales agreement. You could go the route of arts & crafts shows but that takes printing and maintaining a larger inventory, a cost to enter them and the potential of spending money on a larger quantity of printed items that may not sell. It is better to go this route after you know what buyers like within your area. It is a slow process but to me testing your local marketplace allows you to grow as a commercially producing photographer but don't let that detract from your artistic desires. Try entering in some local photography competitions.
Your first line is spot on, I have soooo many pictures....I'm in LA area, coffee shops and things of that nature aare pretty competitive for art, i don't know if I'm on that level yet.
03-24-2014, 11:16 AM   #11
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Are you thinking of selling scenic prints? A couple of things:

What counts for quality to a photographer sometimes isn't all that important to a print buyer. To me, what makes a good print is a nice range of tones, adequate detail in shadows and highlights, sharp focus, good composition etc. etc. To a local print buyer, the importance of those things comes second to the emotional impact of the subject of the photograph. If your beautiful landscape contains subject matter (farmhouse, bridge, historic building) that the viewer is familiar with, he is more likely to purchase.

Show your prints around to interior designers and high end furniture stores; they very well may appreciate an opportunity to sell your work.

And, good luck!
03-24-2014, 12:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by spectamaniac Quote
So, I've been shooting seriously ( seriously amateur) for about a year now, and i have taken thousands + of pictures. I have at least a few pictures that are not completely terrible. I have learned about printing and successfully printed some various sizes for friends and family and now they are hanging on walls, yay! Now the question comes, how do I start to make a name in my local community, or internet world? I made a fb page that is not quite at 100 likes, and I have an instagram blah blah that I can usually get 20-30 likes if that. I do not think I am a great photographer, but I would like to get involved, mostly so that I can get wisdom from experienced photographers and critics alike. Maybe one day I get a picture on a cover of a magazine, maybe not, wuteva. My question is, where do i go now to start moving into the public eye? Thanks!
Join a local club. Some have monthly assignments, and rating systems that allow you to get ranked with other photographers. You might think you are ready but a little peer critique is good also.

Local clubs and monthly assignments also make you expand your horizons on subjects etc.
03-24-2014, 01:06 PM   #13
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Some photography schools (with a physical presence or online) offer portfolio reviews by instructors or professional photographers - this objective criticism can help you develop your eye and your own critical abilities. (The Compelling Image is an online photography school that offers portfolio reviews.) I haven't done that yet but I might. Some photography classes also provide a structured critique environment and if you have good classmates (technically good and also constructive in the way they provide feedback), you can learn a lot and be motivated to do better. I got a lot out of the workshop I took from Arthur Meyerson last year - and I learned as much from the other students as I did from him. I also have really been blown away by my fellow classmates in the two photography workshops I've taken through the International Center of Photography in NYC. (If you're not in the NYC area but could make a holiday week or weekend out of a trip to NYC, their intensive workshops are great.)

500px is an online community for people to showcase their best work. For every 100 photos I post on my Smugmug site (frogoutofwater.smugmug.com), I maybe post one to 500px. I don't get a lot of specific, constructive feedback, but I can discern something from the "likes" and "loves". And I find looking at others' work really inspirational.

I belong to two online photography clubs on FB - one general one and one specifically focusing on pet photography. The latter group provides constructive feedback, which I find helpful. The former has themes and challenges, and that gets me motivated to get out the door and do something.

Someone else mentioned shelter pet photography, which I do. I must admit that aside from the gratification I get from the fact that my photos help pets find homes, I enjoy the little ego boost of seeing my photos on the organization's FB and instagram sites. I also had good success (for a first try) selling a photo Valentine's Card as a fundraiser for the animal shelter - managed to raise $700 for them.
03-24-2014, 03:49 PM   #14
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I’m a Fine Art photographer and the best way for me to get my work before the public eye is though art shows. The entry fee is low for most and
the rewards can be exceptionally high, but even if you don’t get recognized, you get seen and this is the most important goal. The awards and
ribbons make a great statement in your office and the listing of shows in your resume can be a terrific bonus.

The gallery owners attend shows regularly and they are the ones who decide what gets shown on their walls and that is where decorators find the art for their clients.

Avoid clubs like the plague. This is where the guys who want to brag about their equipment lurk waiting for the chance to pounce and tell you that you’ll never get a sale with that ole, rusty Gazornplatz S5100. You have to have the newest 24 megapixel with a dedicated 50mm f1.1 and a complete collection of all the Photoshop products.

Once the locals get to know your name they will find places for your art. And don’t forget your professional vendors. Doctors, dentists and lawyers have the worst art in their offices. Maybe you could gift a piece to improve their decor?

Art Competitions, Contests, and Juried Exhibitions

Take a look here and maybe there is a show that will fit your work. It’s all about hustling twenty four hours a day, never leaving a rock unturned or a contact unmolested.
03-24-2014, 11:32 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
Are you thinking of selling scenic prints? A couple of things:

What counts for quality to a photographer sometimes isn't all that important to a print buyer. To me, what makes a good print is a nice range of tones, adequate detail in shadows and highlights, sharp focus, good composition etc. etc. To a local print buyer, the importance of those things comes second to the emotional impact of the subject of the photograph. If your beautiful landscape contains subject matter (farmhouse, bridge, historic building) that the viewer is familiar with, he is more likely to purchase.

Show your prints around to interior designers and high end furniture stores; they very well may appreciate an opportunity to sell your work..

Scenic prints are probably my bread and butter right now. Should I just print a bunch of postcard sized prints and pass em around, or walk around like a door to door salesman with a couple of framed prints ready to sell? How much can I sell for? what are some prices?
And, good luck!
QuoteOriginally posted by Zaharoff Quote
I’m a Fine Art photographer and the best way for me to get my work before the public eye is though art shows. The entry fee is low for most and
the rewards can be exceptionally high, but even if you don’t get recognized, you get seen and this is the most important goal. The awards and
ribbons make a great statement in your office and the listing of shows in your resume can be a terrific bonus.

The gallery owners attend shows regularly and they are the ones who decide what gets shown on their walls and that is where decorators find the art for their clients.

Avoid clubs like the plague. This is where the guys who want to brag about their equipment lurk waiting for the chance to pounce and tell you that you’ll never get a sale with that ole, rusty Gazornplatz S5100. You have to have the newest 24 megapixel with a dedicated 50mm f1.1 and a complete collection of all the Photoshop products.

Once the locals get to know your name they will find places for your art. And don’t forget your professional vendors. Doctors, dentists and lawyers have the worst art in their offices. Maybe you could gift a piece to improve their decor?
Good Ideas though, thank you

Art Competitions, Contests, and Juried Exhibitions

Take a look here and maybe there is a show that will fit your work. It’s all about hustling twenty four hours a day, never leaving a rock unturned or a contact unmolested.
, I am currently going to a University, and I may be able to swing some gallery action, but I will really have to up my game for that haha.
Thank you for the links!

Last edited by spectamaniac; 03-24-2014 at 11:44 PM.
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