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Thread: Getting into the pro circle

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    Alis's Avatar
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    Getting into the pro circle

    Hi everyone,

    I have a weird question: how can I get into the professional photography circle to be able to watch what they do, during shooting and also postprocessing. I have tried a few ways, talked to a few schools here in Boston and even placed an ad in craig's list saying basically that I have this not so bad gear and am willing to work for free during weddings and occasions just to learn how these guys do their job. I have had no luck but thought you guys may have better ideas. Anyone?

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    Re: Getting into the circle

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I have a weird question: how can I get into the professional photography circle to be able to watch what they do, during shooting and also postprocessing. I have tried a few ways, talked to a few schools here in Boston and even placed an ad in craig's list saying basically that I have this not so bad gear and am willing to work for free during weddings and occasions just to learn how these guys do their job. I have had no luck but thought you guys may have better ideas. Anyone?
    That should be easy for you ...

    [BadJoke]

    "Make way ... I'm a Doctor!"

    .. and if that didn't work then I guess you'd just have to be "patient". Patient ... get it? (Mauhahahahah).

    [/BadJoke]

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    Re: Getting into the circle

    Colin, that was just awful!!
    Good question Alis. One that I would love the answer to. I have such a desire to learn as much as I can.

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    Re: Getting into the circle

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    That should be easy for you ...

    [BadJoke]

    "Make way ... I'm a Doctor!"

    .. and if that didn't work then I guess you'd just have to be "patient". Patient ... get it? (Mauhahahahah).

    [/BadJoke]
    I know, but you don't have to be a doctor to have patience...Patients...get it?

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    Re: Getting into the circle

    Quote Originally Posted by heather4279 View Post
    Colin, that was just awful!!
    Good question Alis. One that I would love the answer to. I have such a desire to learn as much as I can.
    Don't worry Heather, I know why he is doing this; first time someone asked a question here that he doesn't have an answer for...

    You see, I am selling myself and my time (only weekends) and no luck...

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    Re: Getting into the circle

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Don't worry Heather, I know why he is doing this; first time someone asked a question here that he doesn't have an answer for...

    You see, I am selling myself and my time (only weekends) and no luck...
    You're not selling it but offering to give it away!

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    Re: Getting into the circle

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    I know, but you don't have to be a doctor to have patience...Patients...get it?
    I always try to be a patient patient; even when saving doctors lives

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    Re: Getting into the circle

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Don't worry Heather, I know why he is doing this; first time someone asked a question here that he doesn't have an answer for...
    Or perhaps it's one secret I'm keeping to myself

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    Re: Getting into the circle

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    You see, I am selling myself and my time (only weekends) and no luck...
    Try a different corner.

  10. #10

    Re: Getting into the pro circle

    One of my daughters is just about to do 2 weeks job experience with a local photography firm. She wants to do an A level in photography at City Colleges Manchester (moving to a degree course in a related subject). I think that this is the crux of it really, a professional qualification will probably open up the pro world to you. Having said that I think you need to be careful since by definition selling a photograph makes you a pro and I have seen some appalling stuff for sale and sold. By pro I am assuming you mean people with reputations as commercially driven and qualified photographers. The pro side is about shooting, processing and marketing efficiencies. There are plenty of amateurs out there who consistently take stunning shots and have excellent technique. It depends what you want. Like any small business you do not have to be qualified or particularly fussy about the quality of output to make cash. I assume you want to steer clear of this kind of 'Pro'

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    Re: Getting into the pro circle

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    One of my daughters is just about to do 2 weeks job experience with a local photography firm. She wants to do an A level in photography at City Colleges Manchester (moving to a degree course in a related subject). I think that this is the crux of it really, a professional qualification will probably open up the pro world to you. Having said that I think you need to be careful since by definition selling a photograph makes you a pro and I have seen some appalling stuff for sale and sold. By pro I am assuming you mean people with reputations as commercially driven and qualified photographers. The pro side is about shooting, processing and marketing efficiencies. There are plenty of amateurs out there who consistently take stunning shots and have excellent technique. It depends what you want. Like any small business you do not have to be qualified or particularly fussy about the quality of output to make cash. I assume you want to steer clear of this kind of 'Pro'
    Thanks, Wirefox. I know they are not all the same but thought for example shadowing a respected wedding photographer would be a good way of getting a lot of hands on experience. There are courses for all aspects of photography where I live but that I is the theory I can learn mostly by reading or coming here and asking Colin

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    Re: Getting into the pro circle

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I have a weird question: how can I get into the professional photography circle to be able to watch what they do, during shooting and also postprocessing. I have tried a few ways, talked to a few schools here in Boston and even placed an ad in craig's list saying basically that I have this not so bad gear and am willing to work for free during weddings and occasions just to learn how these guys do their job. I have had no luck but thought you guys may have better ideas. Anyone?

    This is a question with which I am very familiar. I assume Boston USA. I do not live in the USA but I have trusted colleagues in the Wedding industry there, not in Boston, however.

    I think your getting into the W&P circle, in Boston, will depend upon what outcomes you want and the level of your desire to make them a reality: it will not be easy and it will not happen by placing ads on Craig’s List, IMO.

    If indeed you want to “watch what they do” and you are willing “to work for free” and you want to be watching reasonable quality operators: then in reality, what gear you have doesn't matter a scrap, for the first bit at least - I doubt you would shot one frame.

    I suggest you look at Professional Wedding Associations in the USA and look up the local Pros in the Chapter in Boston.

    Be prepared to push to meet them face to face with an offer of unpaid assistance in return for a view of what goes on - expect to be a bag carrier, perhaps. Above all be sincere, honest, presentable and punctual: state what it is you want and why.

    Good luck

    WW

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    Re: Getting into the pro circle

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Thanks, Wirefox. I know they are not all the same but thought for example shadowing a respected wedding photographer would be a good way of getting a lot of hands on experience. There are courses for all aspects of photography where I live but that I is the theory I can learn mostly by reading or coming here and asking Colin
    I suspect this comment is slightly tongue in cheek.

    But, if your aim is to be a Wedding Photographer, then one very good way is to more than shadow a Professional, being an Assistant / Apprentice is better.

    I disagree, as a general comment, that all the theory can be learnt by reading: interaction and hands on are very important in learning both the Craft and also the Theory: and the Theory is very important.

    I add that if W&P Photography is a business aim - then in a W&P business, Photography is only about 30%: you will need to learn the theory of business too, that too is about 30%.

    WW

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    Re: Getting into the pro circle

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    I suspect this comment is slightly tongue in cheek.

    But, if your aim is to be a Wedding Photographer, then one very good way is to more than shadow a Professional, being an Assistant / Apprentice is better.

    I disagree, as a general comment, that all the theory can be learnt by reading: interaction and hands on are very important in learning both the Craft and also the Theory: and the Theory is very important.

    I add that if W&P Photography is a business aim - then in a W&P business, Photography is only about 30%: you will need to learn the theory of business too, that too is about 30%.

    WW
    Hi William,

    I am not trying to start a wedding photography business; This is just to get some hands on expereince, so thankfully, no need to learn the business part...

    I agree with you about the importance of theory; just meant that it is possible to learn that one on my own, at least to some extent. It is the hands on experience that I can not have if I am taking pictures on my own. Actually I mean it will be much faster that way.

    I will try the association you suggested to see if I can find someone. And do not mind carrying bags, only on weekends though, since I am a looser and have no life!

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Getting into the pro circle

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Hi William,

    I am not trying to start a wedding photography business; This is just to get some hands on expereince . . . It is the hands on experience that I can not have if I am taking pictures on my own. Actually I mean it will be much faster that way.
    Hi,

    OK, Now I believe I understand better. You want experience (and thus helping to hone your photographic skills) by "sitting in on" working Professionals.

    I do not think you should limit yourself to Wedding Pros . . . though I glean that your weekends are free and the weekdays are not, and most Weddings happen on weekends, so I guess that is part of the equation?

    I'd reckon there would be a range of other activities you could consider: Photography Clubs which have weekend practical shoots / assignments; looking up some advertising people; sport’s shooters usually work on weekends . . . just some lateral thinking, that would be more fun than just focussing on Weddings, perhaps?

    WW

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    Re: Getting into the pro circle

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Hi,

    OK, Now I believe I understand better. You want experience (and thus helping to hone your photographic skills) by "sitting in on" working Professionals.

    I do not think you should limit yourself to Wedding Pros . . . though I glean that your weekends are free and the weekdays are not, and most Weddings happen on weekends, so I guess that is part of the equation?

    I'd reckon there would be a range of other activities you could consider: Photography Clubs which have weekend practical shoots / assignments; looking up some advertising people; sport’s shooters usually work on weekends . . . just some lateral thinking, that would be more fun than just focussing on Weddings, perhaps?

    WW
    Good tips! Thanks.

    Actually I don't mind doing things other than wedding to learn the skills and techniques. I am sure there are plenty there that I can learn! But that would be just to learn the general principles and I will still need to learn the specifics of portrait photography somewhere else...

    The reason I am looking for wedding photographer, and I may be wrong on this, is that I like taking portraits and picture of people and wedding photography is the closest. I enjoy that kind of photography more; I think I am doing something that will be there for a long time. I have not been able to convince myself that taking picture of a mountain or a building or a fruit is as important. With portraits, I can print them, put it on an album, be sure that 30 years from now, I can go back and look at them, can give it to people in the picture, etc. With a sunset picture, I don't know what to do! Hang it on the wall, but I have may be 20 walls worthy of a picture...

    Anyway, I know this is a naive view of photography but I guess at least in the beginning, it has to have a meaning to justify getting up early in the morning and shooting a sunrise or a bird

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Getting into the pro circle

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    The reason I am looking for wedding photographer, and I may be wrong on this, is that I like taking portraits and picture of people and wedding photography is the closest. I enjoy that kind of photography more; I think I am doing something that will be there for a long time.

    OK.

    There is a trend across the world for "Wedding Photojournalism".

    I suspect in Boston, (having worked there in another capacity other than Photography) because of the history, heritage and demographic, there would be some "old school" W&P studios - I would target that type of business fior your quest.

    Portraiture is more linked to wedding work in a more traditional style set up: that does not mean "stuffy" photography, but it is more likely a traditional studio set up will have the lighting and space where you will see and experience more Portrait Techniques.

    Lighting and “seeing” the lightscape is the single most important issue in Portrait work – even if one is using available light in the field or by a window light, in the studio.

    WW

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