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Thread started 04 Jan 2015 (Sunday) 19:46
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Advice for starting. Am I good enough?

 
the ­ flying ­ moose
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Jan 05, 2015 02:00 |  #16

gonzogolf wrote in post #17366705 (external link)
À professional in a land where there is only a couple of hours of daylight duringn the winter months learning flash is essential. You can't be a pro and shoot only when the light is good or when its convenient for you. Available light photographer usually means, intimidated by flash photographers. There are too many circumstances where available light is not sufficient or poor quality. Flash is the most available light because you can always bring it with you.

I've been told by local photographers that "flash is a crutch used by weaker photographers who cannot work with natural light".




  
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DC ­ Fan
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Jan 05, 2015 02:22 |  #17

the flying moose wrote in post #17366825 (external link)
I've been told by local photographers that "flash is a crutch used by weaker photographers who cannot work with natural light".

This is part of the 21st-century "not-happy-unless-unhappy" phenomenon. This can be safely and best completely ignored.




  
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sspellman
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Jan 05, 2015 03:36 |  #18

Some advice:

1) Even as a serious hobby, you should not wait to start your business. Focus on the family photography that you are good at now, make small reasonable investments now to expand your skills and sales ability to get more paid work.
2) Operating a business as your sole income is very stressful and competitive. Talk with your doctors about how this will affect your general health and stay focused on returning to regular work.
3) Work hard on expanding your lighting skills with flashes. You need to maximize the situations where you can work to make money. Buy an external flash, light stand, wireless trigger and practice hard. You can learn to better balance ambient and flash.
4) Investing $1200+ in the 70-200 lens is not a good business move right now. Instead spend a little on business cards, post card portfolio, website, the right licenses and forms to start your business, flash, and backgrounds. Buy that lens only after you have made that much income.
5) Use all the small business advice and counseling help you can find in Norway.
6) You will gain the best advice from actual working photographers in your city. Do your best to talk, network, and assist with them.
7) Be careful about mixing your passion for a hobby and business. Often the best business decisions are not fun or exciting.

Best of luck-
Scott


ScottSpellmanMedia.com [photography]

  
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dkizzle
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Jan 05, 2015 13:15 |  #19

First two b/w pictures do not look like Norway. All the other pictures look pretty good, a lot better from so called pro photographers I've seen.


I want to guest blog on your Landscape / Travel photography blog, PM for details

  
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linnjo
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Jan 05, 2015 14:54 as a reply to  @ dkizzle's post |  #20

Thank you :lol: The first two are from Nepal, some from Brazil, but most are taken in Norway.




  
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banquetbear
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Jan 05, 2015 15:56 |  #21

gonzogolf wrote in post #17366705 (external link)
À professional in a land where there is only a couple of hours of daylight duringn the winter months learning flash is essential. You can't be a pro and shoot only when the light is good or when its convenient for you. Available light photographer usually means, intimidated by flash photographers. There are too many circumstances where available light is not sufficient or poor quality. Flash is the most available light because you can always bring it with you.

...you actually can be a pro and only shoot when the light is good and convenient for you. And while in many cases "available light photographer" means "intimidated by flash photographer", that is not true in every case, and especially isn't relevant to the OP, who has stated that he/she will be learning flash because they have decided that it is important for their business, even though they don't "like the look."

I'm a big fan of off-camera flash. About 80% of my portfolio has added light somewhere in the mix. But it isn't a pre-requisite for starting a photography business. Businesses don't fail because the owner "failed to become a master of flash." They fail because they cannot convince enough people that they are offering a product/service that has value and are willing to spend money.


www.bigmark.co.nzexternal link

  
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Miki ­ G
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Jan 05, 2015 16:31 |  #22

Firstly, I like your picture style & think that you could make some sales from your work, but if I was in your position, I would go for a casual approach to selling images rather than going down the pro road which is very difficult and stressful.




  
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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Jan 05, 2015 16:41 |  #23

banquetbear wrote in post #17367734 (external link)
...you actually can be a pro and only shoot when the light is good and convenient for you. And while in many cases "available light photographer" means "intimidated by flash photographer", that is not true in every case, and especially isn't relevant to the OP, who has stated that he/she will be learning flash because they have decided that it is important for their business, even though they don't "like the look."

I'm a big fan of off-camera flash. About 80% of my portfolio has added light somewhere in the mix. But it isn't a pre-requisite for starting a photography business. Businesses don't fail because the owner "failed to become a master of flash." They fail because they cannot convince enough people that they are offering a product/service that has value and are willing to spend money.

A lot of it is attitude too. I had a client who came from another photographer who had told her that she was wrong for wanting photos with flash. She was told "a beautiful photo is one that is natural without the assistance of outside lights". I laughed when she told me this. I know for a fact this other photographer is intimidated by flash and instead of being honest, she makes tells the clients they are wrong and loses out on money.




  
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Van ­ Gogh
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Jan 05, 2015 16:45 |  #24

Nice pictures.
But honestly I think being a lighting pro is the single biggest factor that sets pros apart from good photographers.

I would just do photography as a side job/hobby and see where it takes you. I would still have a main job until then.


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rebelsimon
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Jan 05, 2015 16:48 |  #25

The beauty of photography for cash is that you're allowed to dip your toe in, there's never a time that you have to dive head first. If you're confident that you can produce the results you want consistently, start charging a fee (make it worth your time). When there's no takers, hand pick the type of people you'd like to shoot, and shoot it for free. Open a Facebook page and flood it with content. Keep it fun and focus on creating the kind of images YOU want to create. When the money does come in, put some back into equipment. It really I that simple when you're starting.

When and if business picks up, you'll know whether or not it's something you want to pursue full time. Your camera skills won't be the deciding factor :)


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Christopherm
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Jan 05, 2015 17:09 |  #26

Nogo wrote in post #17366433 (external link)
Making a living at photography requires you to be a business owner. Success at business can be stressful. If you feel you can't handle a "regular" job right now, you are probably not ready to take on the stress of running a business. There are customers to deal with, paperwork to handle, taxes, forms and a host of other things you will only know you need to deal with when the time comes. Being a professional photographer is not just about shooting photographs, no matter how good you are.

If you can find an established photographer who needs a second shooter, this would probably be a lot less stressful. Other than that, I would forget about becoming a business owner of any type if your motivation of doing so is to have a job that is easier to "deal with."

What HE said.^


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Jan 05, 2015 17:34 |  #27

banquetbear wrote in post #17367734 (external link)
Businesses don't fail because the owner "failed to become a master of flash."

I've lost count of the number of times other photographers have called me a hack and said I will fail because I have "failed to become a master of flash." Give me studio lights and I'd be lost as with the majority of OCF setups. I'm well into my 8th year in business and going stronger than ever. I still have no requirement or desire to "master" flash. Pretty much the only time I use it is on camera bounced at receptions.

The single biggest thing that sets apart successful photography businesses from unsuccessful ones is sales. Without sales (no matter what your photography is like) you don't have a business. Knowing your market, knowing how to reach them, knowing how to sell to them etc are what counts far more than anything else. Photography is just the product... you have to know how to sell it.


Peter

  
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Wilt
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Jan 05, 2015 18:25 |  #28

All this debate about the 'need to master flash' -- or not!...my response is
"You need to master the technical skills of your craft that will permit you to shoot the kind of photography in which you plan to specialize!"

Perhaps you will not hire out on location for event coverage, which requires the use of flash when ambient light is insufficient; in that case, you won't need flash! Not learning to use flash will limit your income potential, simply because the circumstances in which you can shoot are more limited.

For the kinds of photos which you depicted, portraiture in natural environment, the dependence upon ambient light in a Northern part of the world where ambient light might be only available for 5-6 hours a day during the winter, says that even for portraiture like you exhibited, you do need to master artificial light of some sort... So if you do not want your income potential to drop horrendously in winter when it gets dark fast, it might even be LED or incandescent and not flash!

You seem to have a reasonable eye for composition...some folks bullseye everything until they learn it is generally a no-no, but you don't.

But, as Van Gough said above, "But honestly I think being a lighting pro is the single biggest factor that sets pros apart from good photographers." There are a lot of 'flash hacks' and few who understand what makes for 'good photographic lighting' that flatters the subject.


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banquetbear
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Jan 05, 2015 18:28 |  #29

the flying moose wrote in post #17367784 (external link)
A lot of it is attitude too. I had a client who came from another photographer who had told her that she was wrong for wanting photos with flash. She was told "a beautiful photo is one that is natural without the assistance of outside lights". I laughed when she told me this. I know for a fact this other photographer is intimidated by flash and instead of being honest, she makes tells the clients they are wrong and loses out on money.

...what the other photographer is doing is called "doing business". They have weaknesses so they are marketing to their strengths. Nothing dishonest about that.

And I'm not sure what that anecdote had to do with what I said. Or how it would be helpful to the op. They have already said they will be learning flash.


www.bigmark.co.nzexternal link

  
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el5y
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Jan 05, 2015 19:34 |  #30

From what you said I'm not sure trying to start a business in your own is a good idea right now. Maybe try working as an apprentice with an established photographer so you can get a feel for what it is like doing photography for a living.


You have some great shots though.


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Advice for starting. Am I good enough?
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