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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 27 Mar 2012 (Tuesday) 03:18
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The value of qualifications / professional memberships

 
CactusJuice
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Mar 27, 2012 19:25 |  #16

RedSloth wrote in post #14160911 (external link)
While I’m aware that the portfolio is key, industry competition and marketing in Australia pushes the qualification factor. Is a qualification something I should pursue?
Secondly, grateful any recommendations for online courses/qualifications that could help overcome the qualification/percepti​on barrier. [I do appreciate other PTON threads suggest books, online forums etc over online courses]. A face-to-face uni degree isn’t an option as I can’t fit it in with work.

For your background, I currently have a business degree which should assist with the ‘running the business aspect’. Appreciate I’ll have to upgrade my gear in the future… currently have a 60D, 17-55 2.8 IS USM, 10-22 3.5-4.5 USM, 580 EXII and 420 EX.

Professional qualifications and certs are not going to net any measurable amount of income from this type of work. Your referrals will. You portfolio can.

IMO online photo courses are not worth it. However, many local colleges and universities have quality on-ground classes.

And finally, it's not the gear -- it's the photographer.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Mar 27, 2012 19:38 |  #17

tim wrote in post #14165169 (external link)
Qualifications are irrelevant if you can make great images.

Just be warned that millions of other people want to make photography an earner, and prices are going down every day. Making a living from photography is going from not to difficult 20 years ago to difficult 10 years ago to very difficult now, in ten years I expect it to be really difficult. This is my view as a professional wedding photographer who's been in the market 7 or so years. I can't support myself with photography, and i'm pretty good.

I wouldn't be working in the field of photography I now work in if not for a B/A in photography. There are doors that are closed in many very lucrative areas of photography for those without the right skills. The requirements when I got my first job in this field were 5 years experience, a B/A in photography, a killer portfolio showing examples of all formats and work that I had personally printed. And an insane interview process.

Education doesn't end on graduation but its only one more step. I graduated in 1986 and have been working full time supporting my family every day since graduation. My first job was with a very successful photographer and I did portrait work in the studio for him as well as all of his custom color & B&W printing. I was there for a couple of years then went to work for one of the top photographers at the time in this area.

Without my education, my experience, my work and my abilities I would have never scored the job (medical/advertising/c​ommercial) in the field that I now work in. Its tough out there and an education and skill are just other ways to make yourself more valuable but you will need more and experience is just one other component. I use only graduates for assistants. I don't have time on shoot to explain what i mean when I tell someone to set up for a butterfly high key type shoot. I need them to know.




  
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tim
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Mar 27, 2012 19:40 |  #18

airfrogusmc wrote in post #14165256 (external link)
I wouldn't be working in the field of photography I now work in if not for a B/A in photography. There are doors that are closed in many very lucrative areas of photography for those without the right skills. The requirements when I got my first job in this field were 5 years experience, a B/A in photography, a killer portfolio showing examples of all formats and work that you had personally printed. And an insane interview process.

I should've qualified my comments saying I only know about wedding and portrait photography. What you do is quite different.


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Stelvio
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Mar 28, 2012 04:56 |  #19

I'm not an expert on this but I will note a couple of things that are relevant here (Germany) and may also be relevant in Australia.

Check out your laws - until 2004 you were not allowed to operate a photography business unless you were a qualified photographer i.e. 3 years full apprenticeship. This law probably doesn't apply in Australia but make sure you are legally able to operate without formal qualification.

There may also be a difference in strictly freelance work and paid job. Here I can sell my landscapes and fine art prints but am not able to do portraits, weddings etc (paid jobs) without registering a business and paying fees to a Industrial body.

You'll also need to take into account your potential market and national/local attitudes. Here in Germany there are many prefessions still protected by guilds where it's simply illegal to operate a business without full Master qualifications. This is still ingrained into the national psyche so a formal qualification would certainly open doors that could otherwise remain shut. I wouldn't go as far to suggest that a poor photographer with formal qualifications will get more work than a great photographer with no qualifications, but here at least the average layperson will look at qualifications first.




  
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blindshooter
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Mar 28, 2012 11:31 as a reply to  @ post 14165169 |  #20

I wish the US would subscribe to the art of apprenticeship. I think some of the finest crafts are best learned under immediate tutelage. I'm of the thought that while general education is fine, being taught exactly what you want to learn as a profession from someone who has being doing it for 20+ years is the best way to learn and eventually master a craft. I'm not certain that photography requires a 4 year degree before you venture into an internship.




  
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tim
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Mar 28, 2012 14:24 |  #21

Stelvio wrote in post #14167310 (external link)
I'm not an expert on this but I will note a couple of things that are relevant here (Germany) and may also be relevant in Australia.

AFAIK this is pretty unique to that part of the world.


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PMCphotography
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Mar 29, 2012 02:47 |  #22

Stelvio wrote in post #14167310 (external link)
I'm not an expert on this but I will note a couple of things that are relevant here (Germany) and may also be relevant in Australia.

Most definitely NOT the case in Australia. Buy a Rebel with a kit lens from Good Guys, and you're good to go.


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The value of qualifications / professional memberships
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