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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Starting a Photographic Career 2

Ok guys, here's what I'd like you to do this week.  Decide what aspect of photography you'd like to specialize in and then go and take at least one shot as if you were being paid to do it or you were doing it for a gallery show.  Then I'd like to take a look at them.  Now I can just hear it , "Maia, I'm not good enough. " Well trust me you couldn't be as bad as I was when I started out.  I was good at composition, but I'd forgotten everything techincal I'd ever learned and I had a copy of photoshop that I had no clue how to use. Or then there's the ever popular," I don't have a pro camera."  Well guess what, neither did I when I was starting out. 

I took me over a year of taking the most godawful shots you can imagine.  I have very forgiving freiends, neighbors and barnmates.  But I eventually got better. Here are the two shots that took me over the top and I shot them both with, I think was a 3mp Olympus prosumer camera.

I decided that I wanted to shoot weddings and horses and so I dressed up Tina, my neighbor's daugher as a flower girl and I volunteered at a horse show.  That's what I was doing every single week, trying and usually failing to take the type of shots I wanted to eventually be paid to do.

Clients and galleries are not going to come knocking on your door, I want you to get out and get started. Getting started sets a certain energy in place that eventually will bring the clients, trust me.

And remember if you are not taking the bad shots you will never take the great ones.

Happy shooting


  1. The last three modules of the online photography course I took involved assignments regarding figuring out the one area of photography you will specialize in. I wanted to specialize in pet photography. However, I'm finding there are more opportunities in sports photography, and I enjoy the challenge of amping up the shutter speed to freeze an action in mid-air. I love the expressions on athletes' faces when they are pushing themselves. So, on my website I display both sports shots and pet photography, but also a lot of nature and macro shots mixed in since it's a heck of a lot easier to find a flower than it is to get someone to take time out of his busy schedule to model for me or donate a pet to model for me. I'm having a hard time right now keeping it down to one specialty. I got a not-so-hot grade on my website due to its lack of focus. After thinking about it, I definitely don't want to do weddings despite them paying well. Social situations, ceremonies, dresses and me don't mix well. I am, however, willing to get down and dirty on an athletic field or in a pig pen.

  2. Here's what I want for you. I want you to talk to some local sport's team. I want you to take their pictures, no matter what. If you have to give it to them for free at first, don't worry, After you've done it once successfully, you will never have to give it away again. You just have to get started. It must not matter to you what's going on at work, or what you're neighbors are doing. You have to focus on what you want. Trust me,clients don't care. All they care about is the job they hired you to do. Give it to them and then tell you're crappy boss, to go to hell.

    I want you to get started. No excuses. No pity poor me. Just do it and watch what happens. You have everything it takes, just got for it.

    Gytupp: You are the one who will have the career. You have the eye, you are willing to try. Follow my advice if this is what you want. Girlfriend, you have what it takes in spades. You have what no class can give you. You have the eye and the art of a photographer. Hopefully you will want to do it.

    I can't make you do it. I just want you to.

  3. Maia~I thank you for your honesty and your unselfishness to put your knowledge out here for all of us to learn from.

    I have to say though that I've never thought of a career in photography. It's just something that I enjoy. But, I'm going to think about it. I can't even think of a "specialization"...I just like taking pics of life...other people doing what they do best...animals doing what they do.

    This weekend we'll be gathering cow/calf pairs and will be meeting up with the owners and their hands (usually lots of photo ops)...I'll post of course...and will be thinking about my shots in a more professional way as the day progresses...hopefully Colt will cooperate as most of the shots will be from his back!

  4. Gtyyup, you have what no one can give you. You have the eye. You can see the picture. Stick with me and I'll show you the way to get paid, if that's what you want.