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    Member andrewwebster's Avatar
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    employment or educational

    How can some get start as an assiant?
    IS it better to have some sort of formal training under the belt. If so who should i approach?

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    u wanna play or u want a career?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    It depends. Some of the best photographers in the world did not a single day of 'formal' training. Others have Fine Art degrees which included a major in Photography. Each to their own how they learn. acquire and retain the skills needed to practice this craft.

    Which path you choose is entirely up to you.

    If you decide to 'teach yourself', ie not enrol in a course, then the best thing you can do is start showing others your photos. By others, I don' mean family and friends, I mean members on AP and other forums, maybe enter a couple of local comps where you get to hear what the judges have to say, etc. Other people will be both your hardest critics but also will be the best judges of when you might be ready to consider looking for a job as an assistant photographer.

    Remember that if there is an assistant position going, you can bet your dollars, that there are other people wanting the job too. You have to be the best person for the job, and having a good, solid photographic knowledge and ability will make you stand out from the pack.

    The other thing is photoshop, yep, editing. Get your skills in that area up to scratch as well, it is all part of being a photographer, and if you are seeking employment, then the higher your skills the better. No use applying for an assistant job if you bought your camera 3 months ago, cause someone else who applies will have had theirs for 2 years and spent that time learning and practising, practising, practising, until they have become quite good photographers in their own right, and they will win the job over you every time.

    So employment or education is up to you, but if you go the employment route, you need to at least do the self education first, after all none of us are born knowing how to blur the background and which part of the subject to focus on, or how high the ISO must be raised to balance needed quality against the needed shutter speed,
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Andrew, you joined 6 months ago, this is your only post, let alone post in any pics, so, how about participating ?
    Darren
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    While I have no aspiratons to 'get into the industry' myself, I thought I'd toss my two cents in wrt your second question:

    IS it better to have some sort of formal training under the belt?

    I personally believe self taught takes longer than formal training and is probably cheaper, while formal education will almost always quickly give you a firm foundation from which to start.

    If I relate my experience as a programmer, I can tell you that the university educated programmers seem very often much better then the self taught programmers (yes, there are occasional exceptions). While self taught programmers may know how to use the language, they have no training in how to develop the algorihms (thanks eternally to Ron House).


    Now, I am a self taught photographer, as I cannot afford the time or the cost of an arts degree, but I read a lot to try and compensate. I am OK with landscapes and I know I'm cr*p with protraits, yet even though I feel I know my way around the camera and basic compositional tricks, I often wonder if I really understand enough about the art.

    Can I explain what I like about a photo? Yes.
    Can I explain why the photo works or doesn't work? No, yet a trained artist likely could.

    I have the same questions as I now dabble in poetry. What makes one poem great and another rubbish? (maybe I need some literary training too lol )
    Last edited by Darvidanoar; 11-12-2010 at 9:17am.

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    Member jasevk's Avatar
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    I honestly don't think there is a correct answer for this question... everybody learns and develops differently, there are a number of ways to develop the knowledge and skills one needs to become successful in this field.
    Living the dream...

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewwebster View Post
    How can some get start as an assiant?
    IS it better to have some sort of formal training under the belt. If so who should i approach?
    Don't we just love giving advice, especially when someone asks for it.

    So, here is my "advice", for what it's worth.

    Just like most best selling authors read a lot of books before they became writers; study a lot of photos to see what you like, what moves you and why. Photography has to be a passion, and it has to be something that you will do even if you won't get paid. Then, one day, if you are good enough...

    As far as formal training is concerned, spend the money on the most basic camera you can find, in the olden days it used to be a Pentax K1000, and practice, practice, practice. Make a lot of mistakes, and learn from them. Get up people's noses, literally. Read lots of books. Study the masters. Join a camera club. Live breathe and eat photography.

    But most of all, answer this question: "Why photography?"

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    The beauty of formal training, Uni, TAFE, etc., is you get to participate in networks (much like forums but more focussed). In most professions this can be very handy when you're setting out, a good source of advice and often provides personal help when you're stuck on the job.
    There are pitfalls though. Often the course is tightly focussed across just a few genres and you get little experience in areas that may be right up your alley.
    I did my formal training 20 years after starting in the business and whilst it provided me with good contacts and other technical knowledge it only confirmed what I already knew. The biggest benefit to me was the qualification to teach photography in the public sector, something you can't do without a piece of paper.
    Just remember that "formal" training is simply an adjunct to acquired knowledge and hands-on experience.
    Photojournalist | Filmmaker | Writer | National Geographic | Royal Geographic

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    Also having knowledge of RAW development suites can be essential. Being flexible and being able to work with both PC and mac can also be beneficial.

    It doesn't hurt to do photography courses, sure they cost money but having a diploma or degree in photography on your resume can be the difference between getting the job or not. I have done a few courses myself, but I quickly found myself filling in for the teacher with the more advanced students when the instructor was busy helping the less experienced students. I got extra credit for that
    Last edited by Othrelos; 16-12-2010 at 12:25am.

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    thank you every one for your good advice.
    I have already started to read a few different books, magazines and articles from the various forums out there.
    IN regards to your question Tony why photography- i suppose it stems from taking snap shots of various things been involved in including the nsw rrural fire serive. i have a number of photos from various activities with them and quite enjoy taking photos and in some ways find it relaxing.
    thanks again guys.

  11. #11
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewwebster View Post
    i have a number of photos from various activities with them and quite enjoy taking photos and in some ways find it relaxing.
    thanks again guys.
    Consider your choice carefully then, the single easiest way to turn a fun enjoyable hobby into a chore is to turn it into your business. Photography as a business is about 70%-80% business stuff (marketing, contracts, client meetings) and 20% photography. The first thing you should do on turning your hobby into a business is..find another hobby.

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