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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 22 Mar 2009 (Sunday) 15:46
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Nick ­ Pro
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Mar 22, 2009 15:46 |  #1

I'm 16 currently, and am a Sophomore in High School. I would love to be a photographer when I grow up. To aid this, and help me see what it's really like, I work for several photographers, and shoot Sweet 16's for various kids in my school. (As I was writing this, I just got a call confirming a sweet 16 shoot!) I am starting to look at College's. I have already gotten several letters from different colleges, but I didn't really find anything interesting about them. I would really love to go to Emily Carr University in BC. It's perfect for me. Mountain Biking, Sailing, Snowboarding, etc. My dream job would be to work for various sports magazines as a photographer. My question is, how would I get such a position? I would love to go to college, but is it necessary? ( I always remember $100,000 on equipment is better than $100,000 College tuition)

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Nick Pro

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DDCSD
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Mar 22, 2009 16:04 |  #2

Go to a college with a good sports team and major in BUSINESS. Minor in photography or photojournalism or whatever the school has that is related to photography (or just get on the school paper staff). Go to a public school (so you'll still have $80k to spend on equipment), don't waste money on a private "University of Art + Design". I'm sure that Emily Carr is a great school, but there are plenty of broke artists with $100K in student loans. This is especially true if you want to get into sports photography.

Working on the school newspaper as a staff shooter will open more doors and gain you more experience than sitting in a classroom being taught how to compose an image and make "art". The most important thing about college is the experience. What they teach you in the classroom is secondary.


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MJPhotos24
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Mar 22, 2009 16:22 |  #3

A staff job at one of the various sports magazines is not easy, I just shot with an ex-SI intern and they told him to come back in 15 years and maybe they'd have a spot for him, so even a foot in a door takes years to get a "shot" at those jobs.

To run a photography business Derek already said it, take Business & Marketing classes. With that type of degree you can work in several fields if photography doesn't work out. Photography is not as easy as some think and there's a lot of photogs working full time jobs in other areas now because of the current trend of photog jobs getting cut first.


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rdompor
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Mar 22, 2009 16:43 |  #4

I agree about going to school for photography. I'm currently an electrical engineering student at Rutgers but I've taken a few photo courses on the side and am even a staff photog for the school paper. On top of that, I'm a staff photographer for the Blue Stream Media photo company. What I've learned both from the paper and Blue Stream Media is that the photography is the easy part of the job. The things they teach you in school either don't matter in application or are learned much earlier in the business than in a classroom. Business school is probably where you should be headed. It would also be good to get into some editorial company like the school paper or a small local magazine to get experience under your belt.

Honestly, it isn't a good time to be looking for a career in this industry. It might just be the newspaper side of me talking, but jobs are being cut in the print industry. Some say that magazines a niche industry, but I wouldn't bet against them fading slightly just like newsprint is doing right now.

Another thing I would suggest if you're really headed for a career in photo is to shoot a variety of styles and events.

Again, I'm going to relate things to photojournalism (PJ) and news work but it's what I know:
I posted in another thread that record numbers of PJ students are going into an industry where record numbers of jobs are being cut. What they're doing to beat the competition is learning a variety of skills including video (for web/broadcast), editing, lighting, shooting weddings/events, and writing. With the current state of the economy, those jobs that are being cut are also being consolidated into the fewest number individuals to get the job done as possible. I imagine it would be very difficult for you to make a living off of shooting for sports rags alone.


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Nick ­ Pro
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Mar 22, 2009 17:22 as a reply to  @ rdompor's post |  #5

Thanks guys. I'm on the school newpaper/yearbook and shoot all the sports already. I am defiantly going to go ahead and get a business degree. Hopefully, the economy will be in better shape by the time I'm in College...



  
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DDCSD
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Mar 22, 2009 17:31 |  #6

Nick Pro wrote in post #7575723 (external link)
Thanks guys. I'm on the school newpaper/yearbook and shoot all the sports already. I am defiantly going to go ahead and get a business degree. Hopefully, the economy will be in better shape by the time I'm in College...

I mean when you go to college get on the school newspaper. Have a look at what Adam Lewis has done in his time at Louisville.


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canonnoob
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Mar 22, 2009 17:35 |  #7

Mizzou (University of Missouri) has one of the best photojournalism schools in the country. I am saying this without going there also.. So I mean, Id definatly take a look there.

I shoot for my college's photo services. Shooting sports and other performances. I would definatly suggest getting involved somewhere.


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MJPhotos24
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Mar 22, 2009 21:10 |  #8

Another thing - you have two years of basic courses and you never know if you're going to change majors or want to do something else or just realize what you want to do may not be available. You have plenty of time to think about it and even entering college another few semesters to make sure it's what you want to do.


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computerguru3190
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Mar 23, 2009 03:15 as a reply to  @ MJPhotos24's post |  #9

I was always told that newspaper staff was the way to go in college, but that is totally wrong. Find a sports powerhouse school with a good business program and get in touch with the Sports Information photographer. That person is your ticket. Everyone that comes through knows him. SI, ESPN, AP, etc.

Try and get on as his assistant or just be around to help. The job does everything from the pictures you see on ads to images that go out to SI sometimes.

Within three months of starting my job, I already had three places calling me routinely for freelancing work, I have a great relationship with the local paper, I've already been introduced to some of the greats from SI and have shot hundreds of events. I get way more access than anyone else and get paid well. Also my equipment is top notch unlike newspapers. Powerhouse sports schools need good publicity. Pictures are a huge concern to them and they definitely pay for it. That is the way to go.




  
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Nick ­ Pro
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Mar 23, 2009 06:47 |  #10

computerguru3190 wrote in post #7578783 (external link)
I was always told that newspaper staff was the way to go in college, but that is totally wrong. Find a sports powerhouse school with a good business program and get in touch with the Sports Information photographer. That person is your ticket. Everyone that comes through knows him. SI, ESPN, AP, etc.

Try and get on as his assistant or just be around to help. The job does everything from the pictures you see on ads to images that go out to SI sometimes.

Within three months of starting my job, I already had three places calling me routinely for freelancing work, I have a great relationship with the local paper, I've already been introduced to some of the greats from SI and have shot hundreds of events. I get way more access than anyone else and get paid well. Also my equipment is top notch unlike newspapers. Powerhouse sports schools need good publicity. Pictures are a huge concern to them and they definitely pay for it. That is the way to go.


That defiantly sounds like a good idea. Do you have any idea of what schools would fit that description?



  
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MJPhotos24
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Mar 23, 2009 10:45 |  #11

...guru is right in that these schools pay well for events, but landing those jobs are not always that easy. Also right in that the "powerhouse" schools are like that while other smaller schools might just get images from the school paper, etc. and not pay extra as they don't care too much on top quality.


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Mike Janes Photography (external link) - Four Seam Images LLC (external link)
FSI is a baseball oriented photo agency and official licensee of MiLB/MLB.
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clarence
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Mar 23, 2009 11:21 |  #12

computerguru3190 wrote in post #7578783 (external link)
I was always told that newspaper staff was the way to go in college, but that is totally wrong. Find a sports powerhouse school with a good business program and get in touch with the Sports Information photographer. That person is your ticket. Everyone that comes through knows him. SI, ESPN, AP, etc. Try and get on as his assistant or just be around to help.

Nick Pro wrote in post #7579341 (external link)
Do you have any idea of what schools would fit that description?

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tomcat360
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Mar 23, 2009 15:50 |  #13

Yeah I am currently a photo major and to be honest....I haven't learned that much that has made me a better photographer. I do feel like I am excelling in my photography but I feel it is more to sitting around reading online and practice than anything else. Shooting for the school newspaper has made me a better photographer but only because the assignments are generally so boring that in order to be happy with the shots I have to get creative.

Now I feel that if the photo dept here had at least a couple photography-business related classes it would be great. Dealing with customers, invoices, budgeting, and maybe a photo law class, dealing with copyrights, image use, releases, etc.

I have fun in the classes and it will give me that darn piece of paper that everyone is so concerned with....but how much am I really learning that is pushing my photography? I am learning how to shoot 4x5 cameras and such but how relevant is that to photography these days?


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computerguru3190
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Mar 23, 2009 16:11 as a reply to  @ tomcat360's post |  #14

These schools know that they need good images. Getting on with them or even working for free for a little while is a great way to get some awesome experience and contacts.




  
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CAL ­ Imagery
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Mar 23, 2009 16:22 |  #15

First, it's definitely, not however else you all are spelling it (I wouldn't bring that up, but this is, ironically, a thread about colleges) and various other grammar and spelling mistakes.

Although I have no interest in being a PJ, attending Ohio State, the only university with all NCAA sanctioned sports, I have a very large sports portfolio. Don't go to some small artsy-fartsy "university", but rather try to get into a large, reputable university. Going to a large university in a big city will facilitate many different, cool, and pertinent stories one can shoot that can go into PJ.


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