Taken classes, got a couple degrees. Now how can I get hired?

Discussion in 'Education' started by adam_golec, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Okay, I've spent quite a lot of time in the past four years being interested in photography. Problem is the parents don't approve, so I've been going back to school for education in a different subject. Going against them isn't an option.
    No car. No licence. Living in michigan (note: Not NYC, not Cali) Should I just give it all up right now? It's been four years since I first looked for a job. I've got nothing, aside from jcpenny and sears. (and all they'd have me doing is passing out fliers and trying to persuade people at the mall to flock into their studio. NOT what I went to school for. :/) Not to mention my friends that're into this are way better than I'll ever be. Is it even worth someone like me even trying?
    Too long; didn't read: Skip to the next thread unless you actually want to read some venting.
     
  2. You may have to sacrifice, save up some $ and move to get closer to actualizing your dream.
     
  3. Your parents are smart. If you want to actually make a living in photography, what you need first and foremost are the skills to run, market, and finance a business. The fact that that business happens to be the providing of photographic services and products is completely beside the point. Professional photographers spend far less time shooting than they do marketing, communicating, bookkeeping, filing taxes, dealing with contracts and insurance, and everything else. Some of the most successful ones aren't even particularly fabulous photographers - but they are competent business people.

    Convince your parents that you understand the truth of THAT, and demonstrate that by showing a desire to take classes in the fundamental business skills that you MUST have in order to run such an operation, and they will get behind you. Because they know that saying "I want to be a photographer" is like saying "I want to be a pro basketball player" or "I want to be a rock star."

    Or, do what so many other people have done. Get a "real" job that pays well, and allow yourself to shoot the things you like, on your own schedule, without someone else's needs and aesthetics and schedule driving you. And eventually you'll develop enough of a photographic style and focus to consider building a small side-business, and perhaps - just maybe - transition into it full time, having banked enough money to get you through the inevitable couple years of not making any money at it.

    I know I sound like I'm lecturing you, being a downer, and not exactly coming across as inspirational. It's because I'm trying to tell you the things that nobody your age (including me, when I was your age - and I worked at a pro studio!) wants to hear, but definitely needs to truly take onboard. If you love photography, don't kill that joy by tangling it up with a half-baked notion of how or whether to treat it like a profession. Do it for its own sake while you come to understand what makes real businesses tick - and you'll be "better" than any of your friends once the dust settles. Because 99% of photographers (and I'm being generous, here) don't get that. The "starving artist" cliché is real for a reason, but it doesn't have to be that way.
     
  4. I'm not going for business, though- just sounds like you made that assumption, and that's my fault for not clarifying- I'm going for environmental science, apparently.
    Honestly, I think with how astronomically bad my luck is, (and I'll never in my life be able to understand or work in the business world), I should just keep this as a hobby, since I'm pretty sure nothing better will ever come of it.
     
  5. Hi Adam,
    Here's something I noticed, please don't take it personally. If one has a strong desire for something, but does not have the strength to carry it out, it rarely ever comes true. Part of it is having faith in yourself. The belief, if I may add, that one has the capability to achieve what what wants. Anything good, is never easy.
    If this is something you think is important, keep at it, but at the same time understand that we are not perfect. It makes life alot easier.
    Alvin
     
  6. Adam,
    I think the advice that Matt Laur gave you is some of the most sound that I've heard on here and I encourage you to take it to heart. There's nothing dishonorable about photography as a hobby. In the long run, you'll probably get a lot more out of it that way honestly.
    And to second Alvin's thoughts, keep in mind what Thomas Jefferson said: "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."
    -Matt
     
  7. Think & Grow Rich.
    The Success System That Never Fails.
    See You At The Top.
    Read these three books over the next week, and then post here again and tell us about your new job. It very well might not be a job behind the camera, but it will be 1,000 percent better than things are now.
    Public Library, free.
     
  8. Adam- every word written thus far is gold, re-read every bit of, take time to absorb and understand it, and then leaving behind the emotional aspects of what is in your mind start utilizing the solid advise has been offered to you.
    And now I'm going to offer a bit of big brother tough love (and we don't even know each other). You, your parents, or preferrably both together in agreement- cut the cord that binds you. How old are you? (Rhetorical, don't answer that.) You're a college student at some level, correct? (Rhetorical, don't answer that.) I'll assume that during your upbringing, directly or indirectly your parents taught you how to differentiate between a good decision and a bad decision and which one you should choose. I'll also assume that you're at a point in your young life that doing "the right thing for the right reason" is a concept you understand and utilize daily. If my assumptions are correct, then stand up tall on your own two feet, chin up, shoulders back, eyes focused forward, and take charge of your life. You are not your friends, stop comparing yourself to them. You are not your parents, stop comparing yourself to them. If you want a career as a photographer, do as the others have suggested to make it happen. Or turn it into a life-long unpaid passion (a.k.a. hobby) and use it as your reason to have a different paying career. Whichever. (I work to live, I do not live to work. That means my career supports my life, my career is not my life.) But, do not do any of this without a well thought out plan, otherwise you'll be jumping into the deep end of the pool feet first and you'll sink to the bottom. Flourish or perish, it is up to nobody else but you.
     
  9. Adam - have you thought of joining one of military services as a photographer?? I know the Air Force has a terrific program (I think it's still based out of Charleston, SC - great place to live). This way you would be earning a living at what you love, get to travel the world photographing almost everything, serve your country, and if you get out later--get some nice benefits (GI Bill for college, VA home loan, etc). Also, I believe that the military is paying 100% college tuition nowadays (they paid 75% when I was in).
    I really think this might be a valid choice for you - it gets you out of where you're currently living, allows you to go to college paid for (makes your parents proud), and they will train you to be a great photographer. Of all the services, the Air Force is the most "civilian-like" - so don't let it scare you. I really enjoyed my time in the Air Force.
     
  10. Adam
    I have been in the profession since 1975-started out shooting babies-door to door for a diaper service. I REALLY needed to be a photographer, never took a photo class, took jobs like retouching wedding prints, never even knew about internships or assisting. If I knew then what I know now as far as where this profession is headed I wouldn't have ventured down that road. Anybody and Everybody can be a photographer - THAT"S the problem. One does not need expertise anymore to make great pictures. There is FlickR and art directors,photo editors comb it regularly and a lot of people who are dying to have their work published are actually GIVING their stuff away. The whole profession is going through a reeling sea change- I would say- stay out of it- It aint what it used to be- but If you HAVE to be a photographer- do it. but If you just would LIKE to be one- keep it as a hobby. Good Luck
     
  11. Adam
    I have been in the profession since 1975-started out shooting babies-door to door for a diaper service. I REALLY needed to be a photographer, never took a photo class, took jobs like retouching wedding prints, never even knew about internships or assisting. If I knew then what I know now as far as where this profession is headed I wouldn't have ventured down that road. Anybody and Everybody can be a photographer - THAT"S the problem. One does not need expertise anymore to make great pictures. There is FlickR and art directors,photo editors comb it regularly and a lot of people who are dying to have their work published are actually GIVING their stuff away. The whole profession is going through a reeling sea change- I would say- stay out of it- It aint what it used to be- but If you HAVE to be a photographer- do it. but If you just would LIKE to be one- keep it as a hobby. Good Luck
     
  12. Adam
    I have been in the profession since 1975-started out shooting babies-door to door for a diaper service. I REALLY needed to be a photographer, never took a photo class, took jobs like retouching wedding prints, never even knew about internships or assisting. If I knew then what I know now as far as where this profession is headed I wouldn't have ventured down that road. Anybody and Everybody can be a photographer - THAT"S the problem. One does not need expertise anymore to make great pictures. There is FlickR and art directors,photo editors comb it regularly and a lot of people who are dying to have their work published are actually GIVING their stuff away. The whole profession is going through a reeling sea change- I would say- stay out of it- It aint what it used to be- but If you HAVE to be a photographer- do it. but If you just would LIKE to be one- keep it as a hobby. Good Luck
     
  13. While shooting portraits at J. C.Penny's or Sears photo studios you can learn how to deal with and direct people... if you apply yourself. I wouldn't knock it.
     
  14. Adam
    I have been in the profession since 1975-started out shooting babies-door to door for a diaper service. I REALLY needed to be a photographer, never took a photo class, took jobs like retouching wedding prints, never even knew about internships or assisting. If I knew then what I know now as far as where this profession is headed I wouldn't have ventured down that road. Anybody and Everybody can be a photographer - THAT"S the problem. One does not need expertise anymore to make great pictures. There is FlickR and art directors,photo editors comb it regularly and a lot of people who are dying to have their work published are actually GIVING their stuff away. The whole profession is going through a reeling sea change- I would say- stay out of it- It aint what it used to be- but If you HAVE to be a photographer- do it. but If you just would LIKE to be one- keep it as a hobby. Good Luck
     

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