I'm a senior, about to graduate this June, and interested in photography. My plan is to go to a community college for 2 years and learn all I can about photography before transferring to a better school. I have a few questions I would like answered.
1. How would I go about pursuing a career as a professional photographer?
2. Are there any "real" photography jobs that have to do with taking pics of coasters? If so what would it be called and what type of classes should I take in college.
3. Any idea of the pay?
Thanks, and any help would be greatly appreciated!
1. I would get a camera and just start taking pictures. I am not talking about one of those with auto focusing and all that. I am talking about a digital slr (or a film one if you want to go cheap for now). They can be bought for about 4-500 dollars. They have manual and automatic settings. When you get good, you can either get a job with a newspaper or a magazine if they like you. Or you can get your own website and sell photos that way.
2. Any travel magazine might, but one that deals 100% with coasters might be stretching it.
3. If you are going to a community college with a photography major, they have classes on it.
And, if you want, I can sell you a film slr with a non working auto focus for 50 plus shipping, but you can manual focus on the lense. Plus it will come with a flash gun. It is just sitting in my room and I want to get rid of it. It is a nikon n55.
As someone that lives with a professional photographer (she mostly does weddings and concert photography), I'll add what I can.
1 - You should definitely go to a school with a good photography program and work at it. Take advantage of as many classes and workshops as you can. And take pictures. LOTS of pictures. There's an old saying that every photographer has about 10,000 bad photographs in them, and it's good to get those out of the way. What this means is you need to practice with pro gear (get a good camera, you'll need it) as much as you can.
You should also take art classes, computer classes (knowledge of Photoshop is a MUST), design courses, anything that will give you a better sense of composition and lighting. Again, practice!
You also want to take business classes if you think you're ever going to work freelance. Being a great photographer but having no idea how to run a business is a sure path to failure. Plus taking classes in something that will allow you to get a job that pays the bills while you're looking for a photography job is a good thing.
2 - I highly doubt there's any sort of job out there where you could take photos of coasters and make a living. Doing some sort of advertising/marketing/industrial photography where coasters might be a part of it? Sure. But not coasters 24/7. I'd really look at a more open-ended career path.
3 - Again, a great school with a good program should help you with job placement. This is a tough field, like anything related to the arts, because there are tons of people out there that want to be a photographer because they think it's "cool", and will often work for almost nothing. It will be a cutthroat business to get into especially at the beginning. Most people want the "sexy" jobs, like working at a high-profile magazine, but there is a lot of work out there that might not be as exciting, but pays well. I used to know a guy who specialized in photographing food, and another who did nothing but extreme close-up work, mostly of machine parts. Yeah, not as exciting as photographing swimsuit models on the beach in Hawaii, but it's a much more likely career path.
If you want to freelance, you need to have an awesome portfolio. Again, your school program should help with this. And freelancing is all about contacts, so again, take advantage of every opportunity you can while studying. People you meet then might lead you to a job in the future.
Hope this helps. If you have any specific questions, ask away. If I can't answer them, my wife probably can (she doesn't post here, but I can forward them on to her).
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Thanks so much for all your help! I think I might do something in the amusement park business instead because I'm definitely more into coasters/theme parks in general. I'm definitely keeping photography as an option though. Thanks again.
If you're more interested in parks, you could do whatever with parks/coasters (designing coasters, managment at a park) and have a side business doing photography if you really wanted. Although its a limited job market, there are a few magazines like Amusement Today and FunWorld (I don't know of any other besides these) which might need photographers or writers, so you could also go that route.
I personally want to work in the field and plan on going to college the year after next for Hospitality Management (with a career track in Theme Park Management if i can get the $$ to go to UCF).
Professional photographers earn a living by taking pictures of the world around them. As simple as this makes the profession sound, it misrepresents the significant difference in expertise between an amateur or hobbyist and a professional who has spent years honing their the craft through training, study and practice
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