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  #1  
March 1st, 2012, 07:26 PM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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So I think plenty of people have seen You Are Not A Photgrapher, which mocks the uprising in "Professional" Photographers we all see plastered on our Facebook accounts after a friend gets a DSLR and a few backdrops and thinks she's now a Pro.

So here's the debate- when do you cross from Amateur who can take some shots on a DSLR, to a Pro who SHOULD charge people money? Yes I get legally you can charge anyone who will pay, but when is it fairly acceptable to consider yourself Pro?

Do you think anyone should buy a camera and start charging, or should there be some kind of frame work like time interning, classes, experience? What would make you willing to pay money for Family pics or Newborn Shots?
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  #2  
March 1st, 2012, 08:11 PM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
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I don't think there is a magical line, to be honest.

I've literally seen people get their very first camera and in that first week manage taking some of the most amazing shots I have ever seen, with little to no editing.

I've seen professionals take some really crappy shots too.

It's all relative to what you put in it.

I do believe for most you should have a working knowledge of what you're doing. Classes, books, whatever can help you out, quite a bit for some people, but I don't find them necessary. I personally think experience is the best teacher, when it comes to that sort of thing. In time you get to know your camera, your environments, your subjects, how lighting affects things and how best to use natural light to your advantage, how to best pick and use a background, when props are appropriate, etc...

Personally I think most professionals are overpaid, because they're compensating for their equipment cost. But that's a whole different topic, I guess.

I don't do the whole newborn shots thing, and never would, so I can't answer that. But for family shots, or any other kind of photo shoot, I would pay if I got a good feel from their previous work that they weren't a one shot sort of deal. As in, it's not all studio lighting, generic photo-studio-found-in-any-mall-or-store type of deal, same old props and backgrounds, that sort of thing. I prefer diversity in not only subjects, but backgrounds(and I don't just mean canvas, and whatnot backgrounds, I mean ACTUAL backgrounds and locations), props(minimal use of them that is), lighting, angles...I'd look at it all.
As great of pics as studios and people who use them do, I find them all to be pretty cookie cutter, and I don't like them. It's not hard to get a job in that kind of place, either. Which should tell you what kind of work they not only expect, but accept.

My science teacher 7th-12th grade was a photographer. He's actually really well known locally(as in the northeast area of this state, lol) for his work. He does have a studio, but uses it very little. He does a lot of graduation pics, family shots, wedding, birthday, kids, newborns, etc... He does amazing work and he does the majority of it without a crap ton of equipment and junk. That's the kind of person I'd pay. I prefer more natural shots to entirely posed and sittin' pretty.
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  #3  
March 1st, 2012, 08:21 PM
BittyBugsMama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frackel View Post
I don't think there is a magical line, to be honest.

I've literally seen people get their very first camera and in that first week manage taking some of the most amazing shots I have ever seen, with little to no editing.

I've seen professionals take some really crappy shots too.

It's all relative to what you put in it.

I do believe for most you should have a working knowledge of what you're doing. Classes, books, whatever can help you out, quite a bit for some people, but I don't find them necessary. I personally think experience is the best teacher, when it comes to that sort of thing. In time you get to know your camera, your environments, your subjects, how lighting affects things and how best to use natural light to your advantage, how to best pick and use a background, when props are appropriate, etc...

Personally I think most professionals are overpaid, because they're compensating for their equipment cost. But that's a whole different topic, I guess.

I don't do the whole newborn shots thing, and never would, so I can't answer that. But for family shots, or any other kind of photo shoot, I would pay if I got a good feel from their previous work that they weren't a one shot sort of deal. As in, it's not all studio lighting, generic photo-studio-found-in-any-mall-or-store type of deal, same old props and backgrounds, that sort of thing. I prefer diversity in not only subjects, but backgrounds(and I don't just mean canvas, and whatnot backgrounds, I mean ACTUAL backgrounds and locations), props(minimal use of them that is), lighting, angles...I'd look at it all.
As great of pics as studios and people who use them do, I find them all to be pretty cookie cutter, and I don't like them. It's not hard to get a job in that kind of place, either. Which should tell you what kind of work they not only expect, but accept.

My science teacher 7th-12th grade was a photographer. He's actually really well known locally(as in the northeast area of this state, lol) for his work. He does have a studio, but uses it very little. He does a lot of graduation pics, family shots, wedding, birthday, kids, newborns, etc... He does amazing work and he does the majority of it without a crap ton of equipment and junk. That's the kind of person I'd pay. I prefer more natural shots to entirely posed and sittin' pretty.
Very well said.
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  #4  
March 1st, 2012, 08:35 PM
Poncho06's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Though I think a few may be born with somewhat of a natural talent. They are few and far between. If you look at the fine arts historically, the greats almost always had some type of apprenticeship or education to learn how to apply their skills.

As far as photography specific goes, I tend to find anyone who buys a digital camera these days fancies themselves a photographer. Without having a expert level of understanding on traditional photography, the digital photographer is doing little more than letting the camera do the work and is lucking out with some good shots.

I can't say I'd be willing to pay money for someone who hasn't had any formal training, either via apprenticeship or academic. I can dress my own kids up and sit them in front of a sheet and fire off 100+ shots and get a few presentable ones for free.
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  #5  
March 1st, 2012, 09:25 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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I'm with Frackel.

I also won't do newborn photography. After what I saw on Pinterest about it, it's not real. It's composite shots... and while I don't mind fixing a lil bit here or there on a picture... a photo where you have to photoshop out the assistants hands cause she's holding the baby's head up to get the shot? No thanks

(this is what I was rambling about: Don’t Be Hanging Babies From Trees- A Newborn Photography Safety Lesson from Jennifer Dell | Baby Rabies)
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  #6  
March 1st, 2012, 09:33 PM
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I guess I am failing to see what's wrong with editing in order to get a cool shot. That's artistic to me. I don't know. I'm not a photographer at all. In fact, I can't imagine even pretending to be if I hadn't been taught any actual skills toward the trade or at least showed a natural eye for taking pictures.

Have I taken some great pics in my life? Sure. Everyone gets some good shots from time to time, but I don't think that makes one a photographer.

I guess I'd need to see a portfolio of work and judge based on that. If it had things that looked like something I couldn't do myself then I'd pay for it. If it looked like someone just took a picture and then put it in black and white and called that "professional" then I'd pass.
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  #7  
March 1st, 2012, 09:35 PM
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If there's people willing to pay for it, whatev. Just remember that you get what you pay for. There are people with studios in their basement that have been "professionals" for all of five minutes that expect to be paid $100's for their subpar photoshopping skills. I mean, if they get work, good for them! True talent will show, so I don't care who wants to play photographer.
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  #8  
March 2nd, 2012, 05:56 AM
WineKeepsMeSane's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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1) You have to understand the fundamentals of photography. Aperture, shutter speed, light, ISO, how they all combine to create the effect you want. Different combinations will do different things. You also need to understand depth of focus, focus points, etc. Your aperture will affect this. Your lighting will affect what aperture and shutter speed you can use. It all works together. You need to have a basic comprehension of this. Otherwise, you're probably doing #2:

2) You'd sure as hell better not have that fancy DSLR set on Auto.

3) I'm okay with digitally enhancing photos - but you cannot rely on it. If you can't take a good shot SOOC (straight out of camera) then you probably don't qualify as a professional.

4) Understand composition, posing, etc.

5) I shouldn't be able to take one glance at your picture, as an amateur, and be able to point out problems. If I can, that means I can probably do better with my own DSLR and basic knowledge, and I'm not paying you.
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  #9  
March 2nd, 2012, 08:08 AM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WineKeepsMeSane View Post
1) You have to understand the fundamentals of photography. Aperture, shutter speed, light, ISO, how they all combine to create the effect you want. Different combinations will do different things. You also need to understand depth of focus, focus points, etc. Your aperture will affect this. Your lighting will affect what aperture and shutter speed you can use. It all works together. You need to have a basic comprehension of this. Otherwise, you're probably doing #2:

2) You'd sure as hell better not have that fancy DSLR set on Auto.

3) I'm okay with digitally enhancing photos - but you cannot rely on it. If you can't take a good shot SOOC (straight out of camera) then you probably don't qualify as a professional.

4) Understand composition, posing, etc.

5) I shouldn't be able to take one glance at your picture, as an amateur, and be able to point out problems. If I can, that means I can probably do better with my own DSLR and basic knowledge, and I'm not paying you.

And for all the reasons you've listed, is why my mom will photograph anyone, and everyone... for free

(she actually charges a Tim Hortons tea and muffin, so about $3... and less than she spent in gas to come take em. lol... can you tell anyone who needs her to do pictures is a friend?)
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  #10  
March 2nd, 2012, 08:21 AM
Undomesticated Housewife's Avatar Master(de)bater
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I haz expensive camera and I am a military wife. I'm PREEEETTY sure that each of those alone make me a photographer...both at the same time? Professional photographer here!
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  #11  
March 2nd, 2012, 08:39 AM
Repti.Mom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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LOL in those photos from that link you can totally see there is a chunk missing out of the kids head in the basket photo.

I think as long as you have people that are really bad at taking their own pictures, or simply don't have time, or just don't want to, and next to them you have people with fancy looking cameras that charge for a photo you're going to have lots of "photographers". As long as the person paying is satisfied with the result then there's no harm to anyone, well except maybe if they're literally hanging babies from trees.
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  #12  
March 2nd, 2012, 08:41 AM
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There is definitely an annoying trend right now of people, mainly SAHMs buying a dslr and suddenly becoming "photographers" without any training or experience. Putting up a canvas in your basement and having some of your own kids toys for the subject to hold while you take pictures with your mid range camera and then turning them into black and white on photobucket doesn't make you a photographer any more than my husband putting on expensive shoes and shooting hoops at the church with his buddies makes him an nba player.
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  #13  
March 2nd, 2012, 08:46 AM
Repti.Mom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she's a photographer.
Ooh, you took a black and white picture of a lawn chair
and its shadow and developed it at Sav-On. You must be so brooding and deep.

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  #14  
March 2nd, 2012, 09:04 AM
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I think anyone can call themselves a "professional" and advertise as a photographer if they want to. However, if they have the same amount of experience as I do (which is zilch), I won't be paying them a dime or taking my kids in for photos. I can do my own thanks. Myself, I prefer non professional photos for most family shots. Special occasions like graduation pics and wedding pics I would definitely use a professional. Yearly school photos? We don't order those anymore as they're too expensive and the quality/photo selection/poses just isn't very good.
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  #15  
March 2nd, 2012, 09:24 AM
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I remind my husband that he can still dunk with the boys, but he's no Jordan.

IMO, in order to declare yourself a professional anything, you should not have some experience and training under your belt. Without that, I'm sorry but you're not getting a dime from me and should not expect people to pay you for your work while you're technically in "training."

Getting a new fancy camera and using a Photoshop program that does most of the work for you, does not equal a professional photographer. Actually, IMO, it demeans the true professionals out there who took the time out to learn the trade be it by apprenticeship or classes. As Ashley, said there is more to taking pictures than just pointing and shooting.
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  #16  
March 2nd, 2012, 10:13 AM
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I have a photo on the wall of my office, blown up to a fairly large size. People alwasy ask about it and are amazed when I say I took it.

It's a great picture. It's SOOC. I'm still not a photographer. Although if someone ever comes in and offers me money for it, I'm totally going to take it
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  #17  
March 2nd, 2012, 11:31 AM
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I also have to say, though, that there is nothing wrong with amateur photographers. I've paid friends to take pictures of my kids. They did a great job too. But if your only experience is taking a few pictures of your own kids, let people know its your hobby, and you're not a pro.
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  #18  
March 2nd, 2012, 11:48 AM
WineKeepsMeSane's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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^^ITA.
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  #19  
March 2nd, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undomesticated Housewife View Post
I haz expensive camera and I am a military wife. I'm PREEEETTY sure that each of those alone make me a photographer...both at the same time? Professional photographer here!
OMG, that drives me nuts.

Fauxtographers make it difficult for real photographers. They undercharge and occasionally pop-out a decent photo. They get a couple decent shots and customers already spent money so they likely won't go to a nice place because they got a couple useable shots and just deal with it. It's quite sad for the good people out there, some that have student loans and are **** good photographers. You get what you pay for, so don't expect to go to someone that's under-charging and expect to get as good of pics as someone charging 4-5 times that amount. Sometimes I feel embarrassed for these people because they don't even realize how bad their photos are. I also think it's terrible for people to start charging people anything before you have lots of photos that you did for free to learn and build your portfolio. I think it's ripping people off. Just because you got a couple decent shots of your kids does NOT make you a photographer. You don't have to have formal schooling, but you do have to become consistent and have a lot of practice before I consider it appropriate to charge people.

The military wife thing baffles my mind. It's like living on a military base and being a SAHM = instant photographer. A chic I know had the nerve to stand my mom up on picking up the rest of her pics and paying her balanced owed and then had the nerve to start her own business and start writing my mom asking her for advice! That's hella nerve right there!
Then, another one my mom took pics of her and her husband at the beach. She started her own business a couple months later and used THOSE pictures on her site! Uhhh,, you are in them, no one is going to think you took them!!! So freaking rude!
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  #20  
March 2nd, 2012, 06:09 PM
HappyHippy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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This slightly irrates me. Here it's not the SAHMs doing it, it's young 20s asking for a spendy camera for Christmas and then thinking they can just go out and charge people money without any experience. There is this one young lady who was taking photos at the airport my DH use to work at and was taking pictures of DH's friend who was flying pretty low because he was just looking at something with the plane. So anyways he didn't know that at first, and then found out and asked her for the photos. She then told him that he had to pay for them because she's a professional photographer. He was pretty mad, and she wasn't even allowed to take pics at the airport anyways and eventually got the pics. I'm sure she made copies though.

I think photography is an art and you have to have an eye for it. You don't *have* to be certified, take courses or have a degree in it, but I think it certainly helps especially if you want it to be your career.
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