Hi, I'm interested in becoming a photographer
You have to narrow this down, there's specialties you need to consider - the "I'll shoot anything" and then have a long list of crap they'll do type photographers you see on CraigsList are destined to fail because they don't know what they're doing in one of those specialities let alone the 10 they listed.
What is your website?
It's ripped apart and getting re-done once the off-season hits, but all my sites are listed in my signature at the end of this post.
How did you first get into photography and what subjects were you typically shooting at that time?
Got a graduation gift, film camera and lens - snowballed once started. Shot mostly, and still mostly shoot, sports with baseball leading the way. Shot a lot more concerts back then as well but that has died down drastically when I got out of music.
Was there a definitive moment in you life where you realized that photography was the career path for you?
When I realized coaching and teaching was holding me back, that could make more in a weekend than all season of coaching. Though love coaching it was getting in the way. NOBODY starts out and just starts making good money, you have to work your way there until you realize that's what you're doing.
Who are some of your favorite photographers?
Walter Ioss, Dustin Snipes, Brad Mangin, Peter Read Miller, etc.
What equipment would you consider a necessity for someone starting out with a photography career?
Depends what you want to shoot, a wedding photographer, studio photographer and sports photographer all differ in what they need.
How would you advise someone who is starting out in a photography career? Do you have any tips or tricks that you would like to share?
Don't be one of these idiots who buys a camera at Best Buy, realizes there's a Kinkos next door so that must be a sign to get business cards and start a business, not how it works! Photography is a field most people fail at, a VERY high percentage for several reasons. You better have a business plan, you better have goals, you better know what you wanna do and not be one of the before mentioned idiots on CL offering to shoot anything for a dollar just to say you're a photographer.
How important would you consider traditional education (as in, a degree in arts or photography) when it comes to being a professional photographer?
It can help, I have three degrees with no art or photography classes in them - problem is wish had something more and had done some classes like that, but wasn't allowed. You never stop learning though, even the vets are taking seminars and workshops still.
How do you balance your own artistic interests with the need to make photography profitable? Do you find that you must shoot outside your preferred genre in order to successfully manage a business?
I honestly only shoot what I want to shoot, however, you have to do what the client wants the best you can as well. Sometimes the "art" behind it is boring or very standard, you wish you had more time to work or more freedom - fact is you don't always.
What do you find most difficult about what you do?
You ever tried to run a business in a field that is flooded with people who think they're in the same business because they bought the gear last week? There's a lot of people out there calling themselves professional delivering sh**ty results that make clients not want to hire a professional anymore - after all they hired someone who SAID they were a pro and got crap, so why would they? Then you have tons of people willing to give everything away free just to say they're big time pro when they're not even close to it.
This doesn't even get into the fact that most the time you hear no, that you have to keep very good books, be an accountant as well as photographer, that when it's a hobby you shoot 85% of the time and it's so fun, but as a business you are shooting 15% of the time and the fun part is there but not like it is as a hobby.
Freedom, setting your own schedule, shooting what you want to shoot, taking chances and setting your own projects, landing a good gig, things like that, owning your own business.
Would you be willing to share a few of your favorite images?
Nope, I just honestly don't have the time to pull any and have a game to get to...haven't updated my portfolio in so long it's insane, so until then can't share any favs.