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Old 28th of February 2012 (Tue)   #46
Candyann
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

Steve I have to comment that your site isnt up and running, it says coming soon. You may not feel the same way as I do but you should never post your site before it is up and running, you get one chance to make an impression and if people click your site and there is nothing there... just saying.
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Old 28th of February 2012 (Tue)   #47
Steve Ruddy
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

^^ point taken , just updated it
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Last edited by Steve Ruddy : 29th of February 2012 (Wed) at 00:37.
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Old 29th of February 2012 (Wed)   #48
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loH7F...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxDf_...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V7Uk...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhalm...eature=related
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Old 29th of February 2012 (Wed)   #49
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

I started in photography 7 years ago by taking pictures of my kids. It was mostly shooting on full auto, but then i decided I wanted to actually learn how to use my cameras other functions. Fast foward a few years and after browsing this forum, Fred Miranda, and being inspired by several photographers whose work I admire, I decided to get a little more creative with my work. I took a job shooting nightlife in a club, and from there other doors opened for me. I'm currently shooting event and commercial jobs for several companies. My brother and I just started our own business doing web design and photography and we are working with our first client and already have 6 others lined up. To say the least, this has grown from a hobby in two years to a full blown business. It may not replace my income (can't expect it to, yet at least), but it'll supplement it nicely.
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Old 29th of February 2012 (Wed)   #50
Steve Ruddy
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

Good combo for a partnership. I have been learning web design and development myself. I feel it is a big advantage for the photographer to have these skills. I plan on having a large database and being able to plan it and manage it will be a big plus.
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Old 1st of March 2012 (Thu)   #51
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

Yeah, it's almost like a natural pairing. We have prospective clients that need either just photography, just a website, only logo work, or a combination of some or all of them. We've even tossed around the idea to get one of my lawyer cousins involved to provide business start-up advice and services. That may be a stretch right now though, but somethign to consider in the future.
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Old 1st of March 2012 (Thu)   #52
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

I shot some friends for minimal money and then decided to see what I could get from people that weren't inclined to like my stuff just because they liked me. I decided to incorporate and get insured when I dropped a flash onto a friends head off of a lightstand LOL.

It's still a side job, and if I ever make back what I've spent...I'll be shocked!
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Old 17th of March 2012 (Sat)   #53
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

Started as a hobby when I was 14, vowed never to turn professional in case it ruined it as a hobby (actually it did)

A friend was getting married and her photographer has a bike accident the day before and had to cancel, at short notice I was asked to step in. I really enjoyed it, she was happy with the pictures and suggested I start offering wedding photography.

I setup a website (nobody else had one in those days and nobody else was doing 'informal' either - can you imagine) and so I quickly became too busy to go to work anymore.
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Old 20th of March 2012 (Tue)   #54
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

First I got a bunch of professional business cards free from Vistaprint. Then I went to Best Buy and bought whatever DSLR was on sale that week.
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Old 20th of March 2012 (Tue)   #55
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Parkes View Post
Started as a hobby when I was 14, vowed never to turn professional in case it ruined it as a hobby (actually it did)
This comment intrigues me. Anybody else feel their real passion for photography was pushed aside by the business aspect when they became a working pro?
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Old 20th of March 2012 (Tue)   #56
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

Started out as an editor at an entertainment company in los angeles. Looked at some of the best photographers work on a daily basis....bought a camera and a lens...started shooting...paid gigs started to creep in. That was 12 years ago.
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Old 21st of March 2012 (Wed)   #57
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

I was a bodybuilder for about ten years, and had grown to the point where no clothes fitted me. I was wearing cut off trousers and vests because that's pretty much all that fit me.

I hit on the idea of starting a clothing company that catered for extremely muscular people, but rather than accentuate their muscles, hid them and made them look more fashionable. I created the company "Eat. Lift. Sleep." and began creating clothing designs. Eventually, I decided I needed to buy a camera to take pictures of the clothes, and had a bit of money, so decided to buy it a bit earlier. This was before I'd had any made.

I bought a Canon 400d, having never touched a camera in my life. This was in 2008. I didn't have a clue how to use it, so I took it out into some hills and shot a few things in auto mode, then started reading up about how to use the camera. Eventually I learned about manual mode, and took the camera out again.

I climbed a hill and took a shot of a monument and a bench, and put it on Facebook. The shot got a lot of replies of people saying how good it was and that I should enter it into a competition. I randomly searched Google and came across Digital Camera Magazine's Photographer of the Year competition, and entered the shot without paying too much attention.

I ended up making the shortlist out of thousands and thousands of entrants, and eventually placed third in the country.

At that moment I realised I could take pictures. I closed my bodybuilding company, quit my job, and started taking steps to methodically dissect as much as possible about photography techniques.

In the meantime I shot for a few people, and they liked my stuff, so I bought some lights and started shooting some more. Mostly for free, as I didn't have the confidence to ask for money, and felt that if I burned bridges and gave crap shots early on, they wouldn't use me. I continued to read everything I could about lighting, which is still my main obsession. I did a few weddings and stuff, too.

In the end, people started paying, and I started getting bigger and bigger clients. I quit weddings as early as possible, and focused on commercial photography.

It's now 2012, and I've shot for small jobs for Vogue, large, long jobs Kurt Geiger, Givenchy, BOND, CHOAS, and numerous advertising agencies. I shoot headshots for TV presenters and actors as a side-business, and have recently shot album covers for musicians. I've covered riots as a photojournalist, and I've been lucky enough to see my work on billboards, posters, magazines, newspapers, and in 2011, I was invited to exhibit my work at the Old Vic Tunnels in London.

Not boasting at all when I say any of that, but I am extremely proud of how far I've come. Especially given that the bodybuilding business would've probably flopped, because it was a crap idea to begin with!
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Old 21st of March 2012 (Wed)   #58
Steve Ruddy
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Default Re: How did YOU become a professional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by London Headshots View Post
I was a bodybuilder for about ten years, and had grown to the point where no clothes fitted me. I was wearing cut off trousers and vests because that's pretty much all that fit me.

I hit on the idea of starting a clothing company that catered for extremely muscular people, but rather than accentuate their muscles, hid them and made them look more fashionable. I created the company "Eat. Lift. Sleep." and began creating clothing designs. Eventually, I decided I needed to buy a camera to take pictures of the clothes, and had a bit of money, so decided to buy it a bit earlier. This was before I'd had any made.

I bought a Canon 400d, having never touched a camera in my life. This was in 2008. I didn't have a clue how to use it, so I took it out into some hills and shot a few things in auto mode, then started reading up about how to use the camera. Eventually I learned about manual mode, and took the camera out again.

I climbed a hill and took a shot of a monument and a bench, and put it on Facebook. The shot got a lot of replies of people saying how good it was and that I should enter it into a competition. I randomly searched Google and came across Digital Camera Magazine's Photographer of the Year competition, and entered the shot without paying too much attention.

I ended up making the shortlist out of thousands and thousands of entrants, and eventually placed third in the country.

At that moment I realised I could take pictures. I closed my bodybuilding company, quit my job, and started taking steps to methodically dissect as much as possible about photography techniques.

In the meantime I shot for a few people, and they liked my stuff, so I bought some lights and started shooting some more. Mostly for free, as I didn't have the confidence to ask for money, and felt that if I burned bridges and gave crap shots early on, they wouldn't use me. I continued to read everything I could about lighting, which is still my main obsession. I did a few weddings and stuff, too.

In the end, people started paying, and I started getting bigger and bigger clients. I quit weddings as early as possible, and focused on commercial photography.

It's now 2012, and I've shot for small jobs for Vogue, large, long jobs Kurt Geiger, Givenchy, BOND, CHOAS, and numerous advertising agencies. I shoot headshots for TV presenters and actors as a side-business, and have recently shot album covers for musicians. I've covered riots as a photojournalist, and I've been lucky enough to see my work on billboards, posters, magazines, newspapers, and in 2011, I was invited to exhibit my work at the Old Vic Tunnels in London.

Not boasting at all when I say any of that, but I am extremely proud of how far I've come. Especially given that the bodybuilding business would've probably flopped, because it was a crap idea to begin with!
Great story. I'm glad it worked out for you like that.

BTW I liked looking at your websites and got a few ideas from them. Thanks for sharing.
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