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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography
Thread started 21 Feb 2012 (Tuesday) 10:31
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How did YOU become a professional?

 
missashleymarieeee
Junior Member
25 posts
Joined Dec 2011
Ca
Feb 21, 2012 10:31 |  #1

Just curious and would like to hear about how you started your photography business? What are the steps you had to take? Did you go to school or did you pick it up as a hobby? I picked it up as a hobby when I became a SAHM and bought a canon 60d w 18-135mm lens. Now im learning on how to become better and eventually be able to make some income off of it. Thanks :)


Canon 60D, Ef-S 18-135 mm, EF 50 mm 1.8
http://msashleymarieph​otography.blogspot.com​/external link
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robertwsimpson
Goldmember
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Joined Jun 2010
West Palm Beach, Fl
Feb 21, 2012 10:32 |  #2

I just kept buying more gear until people started offering to hire me.




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treck_dialect
Senior Member
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689 posts
Joined Jul 2010
QC Philippines
Feb 21, 2012 10:36 |  #3

robertwsimpson wrote in post #13935986external link
I just kept buying more gear until people started offering to hire me.

bw!


well hello
http://aleccorpuz.word​press.com/external link
Flickrexternal link

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jra
Cream of the Crop
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Joined Oct 2005
Ohio
Feb 21, 2012 11:24 |  #4

missashleymarieeee wrote in post #13935974external link
Just curious and would like to hear about how you started your photography business? What are the steps you had to take? Did you go to school or did you pick it up as a hobby? I picked it up as a hobby when I became a SAHM and bought a canon 60d w 18-135mm lens. Now im learning on how to become better and eventually be able to make some income off of it. Thanks :)

It started as a hobby for me from back in the 80's when I got my first camera as a Christmas present from my Mom. At some point in the 90's I bought my first SLR (a Canon Rebel) to continue my hobby, got my first P&S digital around 2000 as my first step into digital although I still used film for the "important shots". I moved completely to digital around 2004. The business aspect of it started out like so many do....just friends and family asking me to take photos and word of mouth would get me another inquiry down the line, etc.... I did it on the side for about 5 years before making it my sole job. As an only source of income, I've found it to be quite difficult at times and a huge amount of work....but very rewarding. I'm constantly marketing and working to generate and keep clients. For myself, I've found the best method of marketing is in person. Schools, pre-schools and youth sports leagues are my biggest money makers but there is a huge amount of competition to deal with. After that, families, children and high school seniors make up my next largest market (although I rarely shoot babies.....not that I don't want too but I think female photographers have somewhat locked up that market around here and I just can't seem to find an "in"......at least that's my theory). I also generate fairly regular sales from my stock work that I sell on Alamy along with a little bit of product work for some local businesses. If you're a stay at home Mom, then I assume that you have another source of household income......IMO, that's a great situation to get started in because you can practice and take on only what you so desire with no pressure of having to pay the bills with your photography. Having kids will also probably help in putting together a customer base as you get to know other parents and attend your kid's events.
IME, it's not an easy job (as so many outsiders seem to think). Most of my work time is not spent behind the camera taking photos....most of it is spent marketing, visiting schools, trying to get contracts, e-mailing, processing, keeping track of expenses and income, etc. In fact, my job is far more sales, customer follow up and accounting than it is photography.


Jason
www.secondglimpse.comexternal link

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Talley
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Joined Dec 2011
Houston, TX.
Feb 21, 2012 11:33 |  #5

robertwsimpson wrote in post #13935986external link
I just kept buying more gear until people started offering to hire me.

dammit that's the secret!?!?!?!

/runs to get his wallet...


Gear List

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ssim
POTN Landscape & Cityscape Photographer 2005
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10,884 posts
Joined Apr 2003
southern Alberta, Canada
Feb 21, 2012 14:17 as a reply to Talley's post |  #6

I started way back in the film era and never really had intentions to do anything professionally until my fiancee bought me a Pentax 6x7 for my birthday one year. I sought out part time employment in a studio so that I could learn it properly and did work for one of the upper local studios for a couple of years. He knew all along that I was going to be his competition at some point but he still took the time to teach me. I was the only non-family member that worked their. I did weddings and portraits as a primary shooter the last year that I was there and it felt good that he thought enough of me to entrust me with his customers. When I did decide to leave and go out on my own he sold me a number of gear items at a huge discount so that I was setup properly.

I initially did weddings and portraits on my own but commercial work was always my first love and that is where I poured my marketing efforts. I ended up getting some work from some very large multi-national corporations that I still do work for to this day. I kept my day job for a number of years and went full time about 6 years ago and it was the best decision that I ever made. It doesn't come without its challenges but if one works hard at it you can be a success. I had always said that I would keep going to my day job as long as I was having fun going to work. For 30 odd years I loved getting up and going to work but in the last year there was some personnel changes at the top and all that came to a screeching halt and I stayed true to myself and left that job to do this full time. Even when I was doing this part time there were years that it produced more than my day job (which did pay well) so it wasn't a hard decision as to what to do when I retired from that.


My life is like one big RAW file....way too much post processing needed.
Sheldon Simpson | My Galleryexternal link | My Gear updated: 20JUL12

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TooManyShots
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Joined Jan 2008
NYC
Feb 21, 2012 14:33 |  #7

robertwsimpson wrote in post #13935986external link
I just kept buying more gear until people started offering to hire me.


You are damn right. That's the way to do it. :)


One Imaging Photographyexternal link and my Flickrexternal link
Facebookexternal link

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Old ­ Coot
Senior Member
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295 posts
Joined Apr 2009
Alabama
Feb 21, 2012 21:09 |  #8

robertwsimpson wrote in post #13935986external link
I just kept buying more gear until people started offering to hire me.

I've tried that too. Still waiting... :)


5d | 50d | 1d mii | Rebel G 35mm | Polaroid 100, 210, 360 | Bigma | Tokina 80-200 | Promaster 19-35 | 580ex | Olde Tyme Novatron strobes

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tomcat7886
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Joined Jun 2011
Feb 21, 2012 21:16 |  #9

robertwsimpson wrote in post #13935986external link
I just kept buying more gear until people started offering to hire me.

haha pretty neat statement. in that case, the photo store would have attracted alot of people. ;)


Canon T2i | 18-55mm IS Kit | Tamron 17-50 f2.8 VC | Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoommmmm! | Black Canon Edition Crumpler Industry Disgrace
Crumpler on Sale: BLACK http://photography-on-the.net ...ghlight=industry+di​sgrace

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DTBaan
"male gigolo"
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12,955 posts
Gallery: 65 photos
Joined Apr 2011
Feb 21, 2012 21:33 as a reply to tomcat7886's post |  #10

i claimed to be one, nuff said :cool:

jkjk


baan - Go Hawaii
New to AMASS? One stop help is here ---> http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?p=17310910

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PhotosGuy
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72,253 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Joined Feb 2004
Middle of Michigan
Feb 21, 2012 21:39 |  #11

Your pathway to today

"How did you get started"

How I Became a "Professional": Will All that Free Work Ever Pay Off?


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1280 pixels on any side.

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PhotoMatte
Goldmember
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1,635 posts
Joined Jun 2008
Go Ducks!
Feb 21, 2012 22:05 |  #12

I started as a 2nd shooter for an established pro. I shot with him for 2 years and he kept referring clients my way when he was already booked. I've been on my own now for 7 years


the siteexternal link
the blogexternal link
Smugmugexternal link
My gear: Canon, Macintosh, Adobe

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peeaanuut
Goldmember
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Joined Feb 2011
Feb 21, 2012 22:07 |  #13

i was the only guy at events that had a camera.


Stuff
http://joetakesphotos.​com/external link : | : https://www.facebook.c​om/JKlingPhotosexternal link : | : https://twitter.com/jk​lingphotosexternal link
airbutchie - Joe was definitely right about adding contrast...
:)

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Csae
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3,350 posts
Joined Nov 2008
Montreal, Canada
Feb 22, 2012 00:17 |  #14

Someone asked me for a print and offered me their money.

The moment i accepted, i was a professional photographer.


Feel free to call me Case.
CasePhoto.caexternal link - FanPageexternal link
-Montreal based Photography.

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Fricks
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23,027 posts
Gallery: 8 photos
Joined Jan 2011
Feb 22, 2012 00:18 |  #15

my dad paid me $20 for a photo...


websiteexternal link

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How did YOU become a professional?
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