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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 05 Mar 2013 (Tuesday) 16:19
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Did any of you "go pro" with the kit lens?

 
cameraperson
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Mar 05, 2013 16:19 |  #1

I'm just curious about you pros. Did all of you start out with tons of gear? Did any of you start out with just a kit lens (and the camera of course.) Think portraits (outdoor or indoor), but I guess any type of photography would be interesting to know about.

Also, I know there are good and bad lenses, but is it true that as long as the eyes are in focus people are less likely to be upset?


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CactusJuice
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Mar 05, 2013 16:35 |  #2

You can go pro with whatever you want, and whatever it takes. Obviously a sports photographer needs to mortage his/her house to go pro. But other types of photographers may not need to. I have a friend who started his career with a 35mm film camera he bought for $5 at Goodwill.




  
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badams
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Mar 05, 2013 16:35 |  #3

I'm not any where near pro, but I still use my kit lens (no IS), mainly for landscapes since it is the widest I have. I've done a few weddings, and I used it when I had to for those as well.


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Mar 05, 2013 16:41 |  #4

I wouldn't go pro without backups of everything.

I'd love to see the consistently professional quality produced with cheap ass gear.


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cameraperson
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Mar 05, 2013 17:53 |  #5

I just like rags to "riches" stories. They are inspiring. I have no illusions about what a real pro does. it is not any easier a business than any other type. Yes, I know many that have a camera thinks they are photographer because they just pushing buttons. That's not what I mean at all. I mean someone that started meager and did not give up. I do not mean they still use the kit lens today, necessarily.


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tonylong
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Mar 05, 2013 21:30 |  #6

cameraperson wrote in post #15680968 (external link)
I just like rags to "riches" stories. They are inspiring. I have no illusions about what a real pro does. it is not any easier a business than any other type. Yes, I know many that have a camera thinks they are photographer because they just pushing buttons. That's not what I mean at all. I mean someone that started meager and did not give up. I do not mean they still use the kit lens today, necessarily.

Well, I'm not a pro, but I've been in this for a few years.

Sure, you see people who "start meager", and a few make it, although without a good solid source of income, well, most new businesses just don't make it.

Pitfalls:

1) As has been said, a "serious" photography business should have backups, both with reliable cameras and lenses and other needed gear (flash and lighting equipment). This can be a "make or break" deal for someone who is jumping into a "serious" project for a paying customer. That new camera an/or kit lens goes bad, and all of a sudden you are not a "pro"!

And then, there is the image of the qualities that come from your gear and your skills at the craft. For instance, the kit lens will be challenged in lower light and so a "working" pro would not want to have a kit without a lens/lenses that can better handle various lighting conditions. Of course if you have good lighting equipment that can help a lot, but at that point you are already moving beyond a "starters kit" expense-wise. Another quality since you mention "portraits" is having control of depth-of-field, being able to "master" the "look" of softer backgrounds and such. You'll find the kit lens to produce less-that-satifactory results in that regard.

Let me tell you a story. A long time ago, back in the '70s when I was less than 30 years old, I wanted to take on a "specialized" craft that some acquaintances were succeeding in operating out of my location in the Seattle Metro area. I figured that I could run a business out of Seattle and have a large "unopened" territory that I could cover.

But, how to get started? Well, I didn't want to be "sloppy"! So, I went to work with one of those acquaintances, he both had the skill set I wanted and he let me use tools/materials/suppli​es as I worked to learn and save and invest in my own "stuff".

And then, I set my goal, my "aspiration", which was to be the best craftsman in these fields in the Seattle area. So I worked and worked...eventually, we decided that I could handle my own customers, and then the "real work" of doing my own sales began. Out, visiting commercial businesses to offer my services, doing demonstrations, day in, day out, taking "spare" time to spread some flyers, back to the grindstone!

Well, guess what? My aspiration to become "the best", well, it came to be, I was quite "loaded" with repeat and referred customers and as a result was pretty successful!

That business came to and end after a few years because I had to leave Seattle and locate to a small town without the customer base, although I was able to open and run a shop doing a variety of things with a partner, we kept fairly busy, although in the process I went "back to school" to learn about the emerging tech fields and ended up with a career in the high-tech industry, oh well!


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cameraperson
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Mar 05, 2013 22:12 |  #7

Thanks for taking time to write this.


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tonylong
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Mar 05, 2013 22:20 |  #8

Well, sometimes a story can be a bit entertaining and maybe even encouraging or helpful in some other way:)!


Tony
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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Mar 05, 2013 22:45 |  #9

cameraperson wrote in post #15680968 (external link)
I just like rags to "riches" stories. They are inspiring. I have no illusions about what a real pro does. it is not any easier a business than any other type. Yes, I know many that have a camera thinks they are photographer because they just pushing buttons. That's not what I mean at all. I mean someone that started meager and did not give up. I do not mean they still use the kit lens today, necessarily.

Well, everyone started somewhere. I never really used a kit lens, but I had one. I started my digital career with a Tamron 28-75 and a 10D.

Six years ago, I had a negative net worth and lived in a ****ty garage apartment and took odd jobs off craigslist and worked at coffee shops to make ends meet and have enough time to shoot. Now, I'm doing pretty good. Last year I grossed a little under 200k solely from photography.

There you go. Rags to riches.

The key: I have worked at least 40 hours a week on photography every week for about 6 years. Most weeks are closer to 80-100.


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gigolo
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Mar 06, 2013 01:31 as a reply to  @ Thomas Campbell's post |  #10

Technically and artistically the equipment has not much to do with whether you can go pro or not, it's mostly a social status game where rich buyers try to discourage those using cheap equipment so that they avoid competition from newbie pro photographers. However, playing the camera/lens status game can help you gain the social status you may need among clients and other pros so that you can start getting some work, as you'll be seen as more serious if you've invested heavily in expensive gear and people may trust you more as a pro. However, after gaining some fame, your equipment won't matter at all, and it may never matter if you are actually talented or have access to rare photography situations. You can go pro with a mobile phone camera or anything as long as the equipment suits the photos you want to take and the people you may have to convince in order to do your job.

A kit lens may help you keep your photography business costs down, but some good cheap purchases are: 50/1.8, 40/2.8, 85/1.8, and 28/2.8 non-IS, as well as the Samyang 8/3.5.




  
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Mar 06, 2013 02:12 |  #11

Yep...I shot news for a looong time with just the kit lens...this shot was taken more than 6 months after I started at the newspaper...it made front page. Keep in mind, this is the old REALLY crappy kit lens, the original 18-55 non-IS on a 30D. The lens was a piece of garbage, the inner barrel moved a good 5mm up and down...whenever it would stop focusing, the barrel would drop haha.

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losangelino
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Mar 06, 2013 02:20 |  #12

^^Cool photo!



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splathecat
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Mar 06, 2013 03:33 |  #13

Either buy a cheap, used system to try that you really enjoy photography. Or get the biggest shiniest lenses and body you can at the time, because I can guarantee you you will have them in 18 months time.

It's better to go overkill and spend $2,500 at one time and be done for many years than to spend $1000... then another $1000... then $2000 to get the thing you actually wanted.




  
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Mar 06, 2013 06:22 |  #14

losangelino wrote in post #15682399 (external link)
^^Cool photo!

Thanks! I was out just about every night following hot on the heels of a serial arsonist. He was setting everything on fire...hay bales (here), fields, utility sheds, etc...on this night, I had shot all the pictures I needed and I was walking away, through the field back to my car. I turned around just to have one last look at the scene for myself and saw this...I snapped a few shots and they turned out like this...I was pretty happy. :)


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Mar 06, 2013 07:41 |  #15

gigolo wrote in post #15682338 (external link)
Technically and artistically the equipment has not much to do with whether you can go pro or not, it's mostly a social status game where rich buyers try to discourage those using cheap equipment so that they avoid competition from newbie pro photographers. However, playing the camera/lens status game can help you gain the social status you may need among clients and other pros so that you can start getting some work, as you'll be seen as more serious if you've invested heavily in expensive gear and people may trust you more as a pro. However, after gaining some fame, your equipment won't matter at all, and it may never matter if you are actually talented or have access to rare photography situations. You can go pro with a mobile phone camera or anything as long as the equipment suits the photos you want to take and the people you may have to convince in order to do your job.

A kit lens may help you keep your photography business costs down, but some good cheap purchases are: 50/1.8, 40/2.8, 85/1.8, and 28/2.8 non-IS, as well as the Samyang 8/3.5.

Haha, good luck with that. You don't know what you are talking about.


Sure, you could go pro with anything, but being successful at it is a totally different story.


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Did any of you "go pro" with the kit lens?
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