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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 22 Jul 2011 (Friday) 20:15
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photography business

 
Bclaf
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Jul 22, 2011 20:15 |  #1

Hello, I'm a senior in high school and currently working on college applications.. I was wondering what in college did ya do to work as a professional photographer? I'm considering majoiring in photography and minoring in business.

However before I do all that I'd like to hear how the pros got to where they are at :)


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Edges_of_Twilight
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Jul 22, 2011 20:28 |  #2

I'd major in business and minor in photography. You can be self taught in photography - but you can't be taught to have an "eye". The business end of photography is much more difficult to just "pick up", but it is just as important (or some would argue much more important) to the success of a photographer than being a great photographer.


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Bclaf
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Jul 22, 2011 20:33 |  #3

I've done a lot of reading, and it seems like the stressful part is the business so that would be a good idea.. I totally agree that photography is self taught and the best way to learn is to get out and shoot.. Would a minor in visual arts suffice? Some schools don't offer photography but offer visual arts. The visual arts classes offer some photography classes in it.

I'd really like to get into sports photography business, the yearbook crew asked me to take their sports photos, doing that should build my portfolio up a bit.


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Edges_of_Twilight
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Jul 22, 2011 20:37 |  #4

I didn't go to college for photography. I opted instead to spend the money on gear. I already had a working knowlege of photography. I do wish, though, that I'd had the chance to take business in college. It would have saved me several years of learning the most difficult part of being a successful photography - the business.


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Edges_of_Twilight
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Jul 22, 2011 20:43 |  #5

I feel that any visual arts is helpful to develope the "eye". Other than the arts classes that I took in highschool, film school is the only other schooling I had. I went to a vocational film school, and I feel that it has helped me aproach photography from a more story telling sort of way. I also learned a lot about the business of film, which isn't exactly the same as photography, but there is a fair amount of cross over.


Christal ~ Music & portrait photographer (external link)
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Bclaf
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Jul 22, 2011 21:09 |  #6

I take a photography class at high school, and I learn and use my EOS-1 Film camera. I plan on getting a bachelors degree in either business or art. Honestly though, I'd much rather work for a business (SI local news, etc) rather than managing my own.. However I would do whatever it takes to acheive out in the world.


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Jul 22, 2011 21:14 |  #7

Join the PPA: Professional Photographers of America (external link) & get friendly with their education options.

Things you wish you knew before you started your photography business...

12 Things Photo Students Need To Know/Study Before Graduation

General Info


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Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
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Bclaf
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Jul 22, 2011 21:18 |  #8

Thanks, You're always there with links when I need em :)!


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ssim
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Jul 22, 2011 21:55 as a reply to  @ Bclaf's post |  #9

Photography is a pretty diverse subject. Have you mapped out where in photography you want to be working. I think that this will drive to some degree what you should be taking in college. If you want to be like so many others and have a business doing wedding and portrait type work then by all means I think a business course is a must. If you want to be working in some of the other fields in photography working for others you might want to rethink it.


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Bclaf
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Jul 23, 2011 08:04 |  #10

ssim wrote in post #12807240 (external link)
Photography is a pretty diverse subject. Have you mapped out where in photography you want to be working. I think that this will drive to some degree what you should be taking in college. If you want to be like so many others and have a business doing wedding and portrait type work then by all means I think a business course is a must. If you want to be working in some of the other fields in photography working for others you might want to rethink it.

I honestly want to do sports photography, but the job market for that doesn't seem to be looking good.. I'm looking at other fields right now though, I'm not too fond of portrait or weddings, but if its all I can do, I'll do it.


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gleemonex
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Jul 25, 2011 16:13 as a reply to  @ Bclaf's post |  #11

St. Edwards University in Austin, TX offers BAs in both Photocommunications and Business Administration: http://www.stedwards.e​du/academics/bachelors​/programs (external link)

I had looked into it after my photo instructor at community college told us about it. Life took a different route and I ended up in Hawaii at UH Manoa. I needed 1-2 classes to complete my minor in Photography but upon portfolio review, I was told my photos weren't "artsy" enough. The department head wanted me to re-take ALL of my photo classes just so I would have "artsy" photos in my portfolio. Forget all the years of experience I had in B&W and Color development and darkroom, a good handle on exposure and composition, I needed artsy fartsy photos as mine were too "commercial." Needless to say, I wasn't about to spend thousands of dollars retaking courses and opted not to get my minor.

Luckily my husband owned his own business before he went into the military, so we haven't run into too many issues in our start-up. I believe I have a good head on my shoulders and am pretty motivated. At the same time, I'm not in it for the money and this decision took YEARS because I thought I should find a "serious" career ;)

Good luck and I hope you find the right college for you.




  
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Bheims
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Jul 25, 2011 16:22 |  #12

Id major in business and minor in photography. A general business BA is far more useful and if it doesnt work out with photography you that to fall back on.


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airfrogusmc
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Jul 25, 2011 16:47 as a reply to  @ Bheims's post |  #13

I majored in photography and minored in art. I never regretted that decision. I worked for about 5 years for two of the top photographers in this area after graduation and learned more about running a photography biz than I ever learned in any business classes I had while in college. Most college courses (marketing/business) really prepare you to work for IBM but most do little to prepare you for a career in photography.

When someone comes out of college with an MBA, they usually don't start their own business right out of school. They usually work for while for a large corp or a company then might decide to open their own biz.

Chefs for instance will usually partner with or hire a business manager to run the restaurant which then allows them to do what they are good at, being a chef.

If you are really creative, business courses will drive you nuts. They did me and most of the really very successful photographers I know all have studio managers to run the studio and have great accountants to handle the money. Most when getting started had reps to market them. All of this leaves a photographer to do what they do best, create. And to get to a level in areas other than wedding and family portraits you will need MAD skills and connections which a degree in photography certainly won't hurt. It didn't me. In fact I wouldn't be as successful or working in the field I am now in without the degree in photography.




  
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