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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 28 Dec 2010 (Tuesday) 17:41
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Qualifications? what do you need?

Mostly Lurking
10 posts
Joined Oct 2010
Dec 28, 2010 17:41 |  #1

Hi All,

A question for those of you who are in business for yourselves.

I have recently got into photography in a big way an purchased a 60D with a Sigma 17 - 70 f2.8 - 4 OS HSM lens. got myself a couple of books which I am working through and am loving it.

I am now thinking I would like to turn this into a business one day when my skills improve. Could you tell me if you went to collage/uni in order to do this or is it simply a case of building a portfolio.

I am currently running my own business so I know the basics of that stuff, just need info on qualifications if any.

As with most things, i more than suspect its experiance experiance and more experiance to be the key

let me know

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61 posts
Joined May 2010
Location: Canada
Dec 28, 2010 18:09 |  #2

Really that's up to you to decide. There are people on both sides who have made a successful living by going to school or just being self taught. I am learning by the self taught way with a course here and there to speed things along. I have friends who went to school and spent $40,000 and said it was the biggest waste of money. They got more out of trial and error and practice, practice, practice. it again really comes down to you. Personally I prefer to spend my money on gear so that as my talent progresses I can add more equipment. Hope this helps. Cheers

1,842 posts
Gallery: 2 photos
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Joined Jul 2006
Location: Texas
Dec 28, 2010 21:02 |  #3

I guess it depends on how much time you want to invest in perfecting the craft, and also what type of photography you'd like to make money at?
Seems like lots of folks are getting themselves a nice digital camera these days and running out trying to make a living with it. I'm sure you'll get loads of different views and opinions here.
I got back in to photography about four years ago as a hobby. NEVER in a million years did I forsee a business coming out of this. But I needed something to occupy myself with an 'empty nest' at home. I teach school and just started shooting local sports and activities for fun. Then I got brave and kicked up a personal website and tinkered with that.

I spent tons and tons of hours learning, playing, practicing and reading. Next thing you know, people started noticing my work and calling me to do team shots for local kids leagues...then weddings, Sr portraits, family portraits...etc. I used the money I made to buy better gear...and now I have a nice little supplemental business that has really payed for itself in numerous ways. Lots of people ask me if I'm going to quit teaching and 'turn pro'. I always laugh and tell them I don't want to 'HAVE' to do this...I'm enjoying myself too much now as is. Maybe someday when I retire from teaching. But just go out and enjoy your craft and get good with it. Those doors of opportunity will open for you in due time.

I use Canon gear...have several bodies and lenses and am quite pleased with them.

"A person's gift will make room for itself."

Mostly Lurking
15 posts
Joined Jun 2010
Dec 28, 2010 21:48 |  #4

I just built my portfolio. Make sure you read everything on photography you can get your hands on (especially your manual) and take your camera everywhere you go.

Senior Member
261 posts
Joined Jun 2010
Location: Metro Detroit
Dec 29, 2010 08:34 as a reply to  @ soulfulll's post |  #5

Sadly there are no barriers to entry in this business. I've seen people selling their services using point and shoot cameras and producing images that look like they were taken by blind monkey having a seizure.

Now if the question was: What qualifications do you need to have a Successful, Profitable and Sustainable business.. that's a completely different answer, one that has been discussed ad-nauseum on this forum.. just run a few searches and you should come up with a ton of posts regarding it and have a good idea where you should start..

Gear List: Kodak Funsaver MAX Cameras, Epson Scanner, MS Paint & some Crayons

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Gallery: 8 photos
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Joined Feb 2004
Location: Middle of Michigan
Dec 29, 2010 09:04 |  #6

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Mostly Lurking
10 posts
Joined Oct 2010
Dec 29, 2010 15:51 as a reply to  @ PhotosGuy's post |  #7

Many thanks for the advice guys, I will look into the aboves.

Please understand I am not looking for shortcuts and am fully aware of the substandard quality produced by people playing at being professionals in my own industry. I am simply looking at what first steps to take so that I can use this as a subsidised income.

Senior Member
373 posts
Joined Apr 2010
Dec 29, 2010 16:17 |  #8

I'm one of those self-taught people that never went to school for it.

I have a masters degree in something completely unrelated and it just kinda happened to me.

I work for all sorts of magazine editors and the thing they have NEVER asked is, "where did you go to school for photography?".

Never. Not once.

They'd rather see the quality of my work, because to them that means more than some fancy expensive piece of paper.


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Light Bringer
50,998 posts
Likes: 364
Joined Nov 2004
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Dec 29, 2010 19:35 |  #9

Business skills. The market is flooded with wannabe photographers, to make it you need to be a good to great photographer and an awesome business person.

Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

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Qualifications? what do you need?
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