Tag: list

Reasons Why Photography is the Easiest Career

As a professional photographer, I regularly engage in discussions about my career choice. Sometimes it’s mentioned how lucky I am to be in a business where I get to take pictures all day and don’t really have to “work” like normal people do. Other times I get to hear inspirational stories from industry up and comers – how they took senior portraits of their neighbor’s nephew and realized they should open a photo studio.

The adventure through the career of a professional photographer is exhilarating to say the least. From photographing squirrels with an iPhone to shooting for National Geographic in a matter of months and from a fixed income to a 6 figure salary in less than a year, a professional photographer is truly blessed.

For career photographers the world over, there are a number of perks that make it a dream job. I’ve compiled 20 of the top benefits:

Jonkphoto Photography Easy Career

1. Anyone can do it.

The phone on your camera produces images 12 megapixels and up. With Instagram filters, it’s easier than ever to express your own unique view of the world with any of the built-in presets.

2. It’s a great career for shy people and loners.

The beauty of a camera is it creates a barrier between you and your subject. Just bring the camera up to your eye and all you have to do is watch and push a button. No more worries about actually having to interact with a person!

3. It’s all about the gear.

Photography is the great equalizer. It all comes down to the camera. As long as you have a better camera than the next guy, your pictures will come out better. It’s simple science.

4. One decent portfolio will get you any client.

People looking for a photographer tend to be incredibly open-minded. It’s natural and easy for people to look at beautiful pictures of wildflowers and instantly know you’re the perfect photographer for their upcoming fashion shoot.

5. All professional cameras are incredibly user-friendly.

Hi-end professional cameras (commonly called DSLRs) come with different “modes” that make shooting in any situation a breeze. Taking little Billy to his soccer game? Just turn the dial the icon for the person running. Showing off that stunning new azalea bush? Switch it over to the flower icon. So easy a child could do it!

6. Almost every photographer finds their true passion in a matter of weeks.

Portrait photography, advertising, and commercial product shoots make up for a surprisingly small amount of business in the photographic industry. The images that usually sell the fastest and for the largest profit are macro pictures of flowers and insects (which can be commonly found in your backyard), sunsets, any landscape shot from a moving vehicle, and cat pictures.

7. Social media pretty much handles your marketing needs for you.

Facebook, Instagram, Flickr… these are only a few of the hundreds of outlets at your disposal. With today’s rigid internet security measures in place, it’s never been easier to safely and securely show off your work. But even with today’s regulations on pirated imagery, you can never be too safe. Be sure to always add a large watermark of your company’s logo to the center of every picture.

8. If you can shoot one thing, you can shoot anything.

After all, it’s the same camera for each picture – there’s really not much difference. Weddings, fashion, and photojournalism all come down to the people. They’re nearly identical.

9. Customers are more than happy to let you express your individuality.

When it comes to photographing people, you’ll find very few customers have pre-existing ideas of how they want their pictures to look. Asking a photographer to replicate a picture they saw one time or to make their images look like a Vanity Fair ad is a terrible faux pas. Nearly everyone understands this breach of etiquette and it’s unlikely to ever hear such a request.

10. Copyright and licensing laws are surprisingly easy to understand.

Unlike the United States tax or legal code, the laws governing ownership of artwork is very straight forward. “The person who takes the picture owns the picture.” It’s so clear and to the point, hardly anyone will ever be confused about their rights to reproduce the images.

11. The money’s great!

It’s a standard of business that a quality product demands a respectable price. When it comes to cherished images of loved ones, advertisements for the season’s hot new product, or coverage of a once-in-a-lifetime event, you’ll find customers are more than happy to spend that little extra.

12. It’s all about the art.

Paperwork isn’t for everyone. One of the best reasons to become a professional photographer is knowing all you have to think about is crafting award-winning images. As a professional, I spend the majority of my days in “the field” capturing fleeting glimpses of the beauty in the world around me. In fact, writing this list is probably the most I’ll even look at my computer this week.

13. It’s one of the easiest jobs to talk about.

Imagine an efficiency expert meeting a new group of people. By the time they explain the intricacies of their job, people might be more confused than when they started. But, as a crafter of unique imagery, all you have to do is tell someone you’re a photographer and they’ll instantly understand that you take pictures at weddings.

14. Getting constructive feedback of your images is an almost effortless process.

Everyone has an inherent ability to determine what makes a picture aesthetically pleasing. All you have to do is send an email of a few dozen full-size, uncompressed pictures to a friend and they’ll be able to tell you what works about the images and what doesn’t. A few sources of good advice might include your grandmother, your neighbor, open-content online forums, Jim in the cubicle around the corner, and 4chan.

15. General education doesn’t really matter when your business is art.

Remember, a successful photography business is about the pictures. There isn’t really a reason to know mathematics or finances. That’s what an accountant is for. If you were never great in English class, don’t worry yourself too much. As we already discussed, photography is a business for “the lone wolf.” There aren’t many instances where presentations or one-on-one meetings come into play.

16. Contracts are a thing of the past.

Gone are the days when simple things like a stay at a hotel or joining a gym require pages and pages of paperwork. Integrity, honesty, and a sense of moral right and wrong are all people need to uphold a deal. The only legalese and business savvy you need to know is how flash those pearly whites and deliver a firm handshake.

17. Once they start, jobs don’t really change.

The professional art industry is one built on mutual respect. You’re offering a service that your customers are paying for and they understand the boundaries of what that means. One of the most delicate situations in a customer-photographer relationship is asking for more than the initial agreement. If at any point your customer asks you to shoot longer or include extra files, happily accept the request. Once the project is done, they will be eager to compensate you fairly for your extra effort.

18. Photoshop will fix any mistake.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a burger flipper, a federal judge, or a heart surgeon – people make mistakes. The beauty of photography is those mistakes don’t have to be permanent. Let’s say you’re photographing a bride after the big dance and her hair is stuck to her forehead sweat. There’s no need to interrupt everyone’s fun to brush the hair aside, just open the file in Photoshop and click the “Fix Hair” icon in the tools pallet.

19. Career advancement is virtually guaranteed.

Just like professional athletes, many of the highly successful photographers are “discovered” by talent agents. By utilizing photo-sharing websites like Instagram and Flickr, It’s easier than ever for agencies to find your work. Just upload a few photos a week and you’ll be solicited for projects in no time!

20. It requires almost no specific training or education.

In the end, your career is all about creating show-stopping images, conveying your unique view of the world around you. If you have an expensive camera, you’re guaranteed to craft masterpieces. Just throw it on “auto,” click away, then sit back and wait for the money to come rolling in!

A big thank you to Ben C. and Elayne G. for their inspiration and help with this list!

I’ve got an idea – Let’s inspire some people.

I put up that last post (100 Tips from a Professional Photographer) a few days ago.  Then, I was lucky enough to catch presentations by Rosh Sillars as well as one by SpiltSugar.  It got me thinking a bit.  I figured that since I have ideas, perhaps I should write a list.  The best way to advance as an artist is to try new things.  What better catalyst than an objective party’s suggestions?

But this could be bigger – WAY BIGGER.

I want everyone to participate.  Why should this be limited to one person’s concepts?

Over the past three days, I have compiled a list of photographers from across the United States and from around the world, that I follow regularly or know personally.  However, I don’t know everyone on the planet – so it’s a safe bet that I’ve missed one or two… million.  This is where I need your help.  If you are a photographer, know one, follow one, or simply know of someone that would be great for this sort of collaboration, please pass this along.

I’m looking for tips or concepts to keep in mind while we’re creating work – no long presentations, nothing proprietary to your businesses- just friendly advice.  If you were at a convention or presentation and a fan came up to you and asked for a couple tips, what would you say?

I sent the initial email to my list of people this morning.  Please forward this post to as many photographers as you know.

If you have a concept for the list or a person I should contact, please leave a comment.  Thank you so much – I look forward to hearing from you.  Let’s make something!

– Jon

100 Tips from a Professional Photographer

This was forwarded to me a couple weeks ago.  I’m not sure who sent it to me, it’s just been an open tab in my Firefox for a while.

It’s fairly self-explanatory: a list of 100 things that should regularly be rolling around in every photographer’s head.  Now, I’m not one to repost lists of opinionated stuff that I see on-line, but this is a bit different.  It’s not preachy, it’s not all opinion-based (black and white is better than color, digital sucks… so on), and it’s not specific over-stated tech talk.  Most importantly, it’s just good advice.

Eric Kim is a street photographer who teaches workshops all over the world.  This is his brain child:

1. Just because someone has an expensive camera doesn’t mean that they’re a good photographer.
2. Always shoot in RAW. Always.
3. Prime lenses help you learn to be a better photographer.
4. Photo editing is an art in itself
5. The rule of thirds works 99% of the time.
6. Macro photography isn’t for everybody.
7. UV filters work just as well as lens caps.
8. Go outside & shoot photos rather than spending hours a day on photography forums.
9. Capture the beauty in the mundane and you have a winning photograph.
10. Film isn’t better than digital.
11. Digital isn’t better than film.
12. There is no “magic” camera or lens.
13. Better lenses don’t give you better photos.
14. Spend less time looking at other people’s work and more time shooting your own.
15. Don’t take your DSLR to parties.
16. Girls dig photographers.
17. Making your photos b/w doesn’t automatically make them “artsy”
18. People will always discredit your work if you tell them you “photoshop” your images. Rather, tell them that you process them in the “digital darkroom”.
19. You don’t need to take a photo of everything.
20. Have at least 2 backups of all your images. Like they say in war, two is one, one is none.
21. Ditch the neck strap and get a handstrap.
22. Get closer when taking your photos, they often turn out better.
23. Be a part of a scene while taking a photo; not a voyeur.
24. Taking a photo crouched often make your photos look more interesting.
25. Worry less about technical aspects and focus more on compositional aspects of photography.