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Starting Out

ZenTog 16 7.9k 1 England
5 Jul 2007 3:10PM
theres plenty of books on lighting, why not take a night school city and guilds or a A level, both wil lgive you an insite and should have some lighting modules. one or two of the specialised day or weekend courses are probally good value and have a lower pupil teacher ratios so more time spent learning.
dont give up dreaming of becoming pro , just take it slowly and make less mistakes, that wya you may make less costly mistakes and get what you want, when the income coming outstrips the outgoings for gear and you can draw a decent wage thats the time to step up a notch and give up the day time job

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samfurlong 12 2.5k United Kingdom
5 Jul 2007 3:57PM
First steps:
Practice, practice, practice.
Take pics of family and friends,assist at a wedding or two if you can, build a good portfolio.
Do you need a DSLR?:
Yes, get one as soon as possible. If you are getting one with a view to going pro soon you will need to budget 3-5k for gear. A good body (say a 5D), a pair of good L series zooms (say a 24-70 and a 70-200), flashguns / light modifiers / maybe a spare body.
If you are buying to learn with a view to going pro later on then a cheaper kit will be fine, a 30D with a couple of standard grade zooms and a flashgun will be fine - total probably no more than 1000 then you can invest the serious money when you're ready. Gear depreciates fast, no point buying the expensive stuff till you need it.
Do you need to do a course?:
I found doing a course useful for the sole reason that it gave me an excuse to practice all the time as I was wokring towards a goal, rather than idly taking pics for fun. The bit of paper at the end however is totally useless, no employer cares less about it.
Assisting is a brillaint way to learn, most photographers I know have done it at some point, I have done it, I take people out with me now and then from A level students from colleges to people like you just looking to start up themselves. It is good to see how a pro works, how we deal with different situations, then you sometimes get to see the pics afterwards so it all makes sense how they were arrived at. Some people just want the experience for their college course, some are simply no good and are a long way off being ready, some are already good togs and person who did work experience with us last year is just about to take a full time job with my agency next month. If you impress as she did, it can be a good foot in the door.
Photography is one of those industries where there are many ways in and no two photographers will give you the same answer if you ask how theygot into it.
Make contacts, make friends, impress with your work and attitude and make the most of the chances that come your way and you'll be fine.

And yes - if you don't ask you don't get. Don't be afraid to ask!
Geoffphoto 12 13.5k United Kingdom
5 Jul 2007 3:58PM

Quote:First steps:
Practice, practice, practice.

and then give up !!!!!!!!!!
5 Jul 2007 5:15PM

Thank you for your input I very much appreciate the time everyone has taken here to give me a helping hand especially the professionals.

I will definately be having a chat with the pro photographer at the christening I am going to on Sunday and asking him whether he would allow me to shadow him on a few occasions.

Thanks again to eveybody, I really do appreciate the advice and guidance you have given me. Hopefully I will be able to help others out some day when i've made it Smile


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