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Thread: A budding photographer

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    A budding photographer

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    So, I've been interested in, and doing photography since I was a child. And when everything always changed for me, wanting to be a photographer always stayed the same.
    I just got my tax refund (my DH filed his taxes before I even got my W2 so we filed separate) and have gotten full permission from the hubby to go all out with that money and get whatever equipment I need/want to finally follow my dream.
    But now, I'm trying to figure out how to get started. I'm living in Hawaii, so everybody with a camera thinks they can take a picture of a mountain or sunset and *poof* they're a photographer. How do I stand out? How would I build a clientele?

    Here's some of my work...

    People and animals:
    My puppy


    My grandparents


    Friend's son


    Husband and friend's sons in the distance


    My puppy again


    Things:
    Lake by my childhood home


    Beach


    Fire pit


    Tree in my backyard


    Random pointless shot of old headphones
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    #2
    I really like that tree photo!! Happy for you for following your dream.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KittenMittens View Post
    I really like that tree photo!! Happy for you for following your dream.
    Thanks. I'm so lucky to have a husband that supports me 150%
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    #4
    Take some photography claases, and processing classes (how to color correct, white balance, etc.)
    You stand out by producing better pictures.
    What kind of photography do you want to do?
    If you want to do portraits and events, volunteer at church events and other group events to get yourself out there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guynavywife View Post
    Take some photography claases, and processing classes (how to color correct, white balance, etc.)
    You stand out by producing better pictures.
    What kind of photography do you want to do?
    If you want to do portraits and events, volunteer at church events and other group events to get yourself out there.
    This. My friend did photography school. She decided to raise a family instead of be a photographer....BUT the things she told me about her classes sounded like they learned a lot! Not only how to shoot and get the best picture, but how to market yourself and start a business. I'd look into a school like that.
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    #6
    To add to what PP's said, do some research into what programs (photoshop, creative cloud, add on programs editing tools), and what you think would best suit your style and what type of photographer you're wanting to be. It could be beneficial to even take a course in any of those to familiarize yourself with them even more.


    That's awesome that your hubby is on board with investing in your business, as a fellow photographer, I'm well aware of the financial burden it takes when starting out, but it's completely worth it if it something you love and have a passion for. If you have any questions, need a fellow photog to bounce ideas off of, or if you're interested in any photography groups, I'm part of few that do all kinds of sales on props (again, depending on what type of photography you're going for). I mostly do newborn and family photography


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    Quote Originally Posted by *IGrow'EmXL* View Post
    To add to what PP's said, do some research into what programs (photoshop, creative cloud, add on programs editing tools), and what you think would best suit your style and what type of photographer you're wanting to be. It could be beneficial to even take a course in any of those to familiarize yourself with them even more.


    That's awesome that your hubby is on board with investing in your business, as a fellow photographer, I'm well aware of the financial burden it takes when starting out, but it's completely worth it if it something you love and have a passion for. If you have any questions, need a fellow photog to bounce ideas off of, or if you're interested in any photography groups, I'm part of few that do all kinds of sales on props (again, depending on what type of photography you're going for). I mostly do newborn and family photography
    Oh wow! That'd be awesome!
    Scenery photography will always be my hobby. I love it. Hubby says I should go around island and take shots, print and sell them. But I don't know how lucrative that would be.
    And I'd love to do all sorts of family photography (including newborn). But I like candid shots more. Like before we were married, my husband and his family did a shoot where they just went around being ridiculous and joking around and the photographer kept shooting. And I love those photos! Real smiles!
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JacquiM View Post
    Oh wow! That'd be awesome!
    Scenery photography will always be my hobby. I love it. Hubby says I should go around island and take shots, print and sell them. But I don't know how lucrative that would be.
    And I'd love to do all sorts of family photography (including newborn). But I like candid shots more. Like before we were married, my husband and his family did a shoot where they just went around being ridiculous and joking around and the photographer kept shooting. And I love those photos! Real smiles!
    Those are always my favorite. I always tell my clients that I will happily do some posey ones, but I just want them to try and be comfortable and have fun. I try to make jokes, and especially with toddlers, I've found that "threatening" to tickle them, gets them to laugh and smile really easily.


    Where in HI are you? I lived on Oahu for 3 years, and landscape/nature shots are amazing there, but because of where it is, you will find a lot of stiff competition when it comes to trying to sell your photos if you chose that route. There's also some stiff competition for family photographers, but they tend to be extremely pricey, so if you can offer competitive prices that aren't outrageous (like many of them are), you could probably bring in some cliental.

    Advertisement and word of mouth will be your biggest sellers. Also, look into an actual webpage, not just a FB photography page. Wix.com offers free layouts, which is a great place to start off at.

    When I first started up, I offered a few free mini sessions to build up my portfolio. Then those clients told their friends and family, and things grew. I'm not sure if they have one where you are, but look on FB for a swap and shop page in your area. That's where I drew in a LOT of my cliental from, and then I'd send them to my webpage and the rest is history


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    #9
    I think your candid photos are nice and taking classes will very much help you with going from being the dreaded "fauxtographer" that everyone rolls their eyes about to becoming a photographer.

    While you're taking some photography classes, I would research photographers in your area and find someone with photos you really admire and contact them and see if you could apprentice with them. You can do a lot with editing and the programs, but you have to have the initial shot correct to have something to work with. Finding someone already in the business that you like the composition and staging of their photos to work with could be invaluable for picking up tips and tricks, in addition to you getting to see how they interact professionally with their clients.

    Go slow. Learn, get your technique, find your niche market and get things rolling. It will take time.

    I *think* that I remember KarmaRocks posting about taking photography classes in Hawaii. And her photos are simply stunning. I would shoot her a PM to a link to this thread to see if she has a pointers for local info to you.
  10. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #10
    I'm not a photography expert or anything but for the customer side, what make people stand out to me is honestly a good portfolio. Like you said there's a ton of fauxtographers out there, but people can have the nicest equipment or flashiest website they want, it still doesn't make bad photos into good photos, so I always look at the portfolios.

    Some things I notice that seem to sort of stand out in a bad way: blown highlights, selective coloring, bad crops (cutting people/subjects off in the frame), crooked horizons ... I mean some of it is just finding someone who matches my styles but crooked photos really come off as lazy and unprofessional to me.
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