What advice would I give photographers just starting out? LEARN YOUR CRAFT! There is no magical pill in photography or heck, in life, besides hard work. Sure you can pick up a camera and make decent images today as the cameras are so powerful. However, the camera still does not make the image, you do.
Learn your craft, learn lighting, learn posing, do not allow the blinders of ego driven self-pity hinder your craft. Learn from the older photographers. You may not always agree with their approach, BUT they understand the harder part of photography, how to run a successful business.
Youth have a wonderful sense of freedom in this art so share that with the older generation and receive their knowledge in return. When working together, the art of being a professional grows and carries on for the next generation.
Finally (as mentioned a little above) don’t take only photography classes, take business classes. ANYONE can be a photographer, it is not hard to do. Join PPA, to many young photographers the PPA is like life insurance to an 18 year old. They see no gain in joining, only the cost of the membership. It is not until that 18 year old gets older and has friends start dying around him/her they realize the value of life Insurance. Same as young photographers, until they get clients who sue them, do they see the value of the PPA. Don’t mess up and then search for help from PPA. Join early – make lasting relationships which assist you in the learning process your entire life. The most successful photographers I know are often average shooters, but amazing business people. There is a big difference between being in the Business of Photography and the Photography business. Only the first one will allow you to be successful in the long run.
Mike Fulton is a key member of the team at TriCoast Photography and they need to be on your radar. Look for their workshops and programs. Follow them on Facebook too. If you see them teaching at a convention you're about to attend make it a point to grab a front row seat!
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