G'day fellow AP'ers!
I know that there are many who will frown and shake their heads at this non-sensible career choice, but I need advice so I'll brave it and say... I'm going into full-time photography!
That said, I know it is a really really difficult industry to get started in. What advice do you have for me in regards to how to get established?
I'm mostly into people photography. I think that somewhere down the track I'd like to do commercial people photography, but I think it is well nigh impossible to get into that right away (even if a door opened, unless there is some good mentoring happening I'm going going to be able to get up to speed quickly enough). So before that, I'd like to get into wedding photography, events and portraiture (and maybe pet photography, but that's another story). However, it takes quite a while to build up a reputation to live off word-of-mouth referrals and I can't get my website onto the first page of a google search for 'sydney wedding photography,' so in the meantime... I've started in real estate photography.
The RE photography is picking up slowly, and my skills are improving quickly! (You may have seen my RE photos for CC, which I now realise were pretty poor! I'll post some new ones up soon for CC). I've been canvassing all the RE agents within 20 min drive, and I'm getting some work. If anyone has any tips on getting RE work, I'm listening! RE photography is enjoyable, but I see it as something to keep me (get me) floating while I figure out how to get into shooting people. Actually, at this stage I'd be happy for a part-time job shooting black rats in a dark room if it kept me shooting and helped me make a bit of money from photography while I get more established.
So back to people photography... How do I get started? I've recently been thinking that maybe trying to work for someone else, in a studio or school photos or even the mall-portrait-stand-photos-with-santa kinda thing as notorious as they might be, could give me a good start, and might be a better way to go than going freelance straight off the bat. Personally, I'd love to work in a photography studio part time and get some good experience and mentoring while I work on freelance photography part time, but... I think it's going to be tough trying to get studio work. Actually, for the experience, I've started asking around the studios if anyone wants a volunteer P/T photographer.
Quick bio, if it is relevant: I'm 28yr old, married, wife makes enough money to keep us going, studied Mechanical and Mechatronics engineering and worked as an engineer and as the manager of a small college. Wanted to do something more artsy - creative than engineering and more flexible / challenging than a regular 9-5. I've been shooting for fun for a long time and in earnest for a few months. I've done a stage 2 community college 8-session photography course (although that doesn't count for much). I've shot 4 weddings, first two as a I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing-so-why-did-you-ask-me friend and second two as an approved 2nd shooter. For more on my photography you could have a look at my site - www.gindyphotography.com
Wow, that's a lot of rambling! Anyway, if have have any advice on any aspect of the above let me know!