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Dieselstation Car Forums _ Photography _ Concerns/Questions of going into professional photography

Posted by: K.Schlotfeldt Aug 16 2011, 10:32 AM

I am just starting college this fall I plan to get a basic business degree from University of Phoenix, and I am very interested in going into automotive photography, but I have some concerns and questions about making that my main career.

1. I know to have a company one must build a client base first, but in this economy I really have odds of that happening against me....since I am a female and I am so ones going to be interested in some young chick that takes car pictures and expects money for it.

2. This goes along with concern #1 but where and how would I go about building a good solid client base?

3. I would like to start up some sort of website for people to look at my photos, but I want it to look as professional and stylish as possible, some of the pro photographers on this forum have AWESOME looking ones, how or where do I learn how to do stuff like that???

4. Does anyone know of photography businesses in the Phoenix area?

5. After college I dont know whether to go into a business (ie ProEx or Lifetouch) to get my foot in the door or if I should just focus on a career that will get me more money so that some day I can have my own photography business and not fall on my ass as money wise.

I appreciate any answers or supportive advise anyone can give me, I've been pretty stressed out about my future and would like to have some sort of plan.

Posted by: Razor Aug 16 2011, 11:12 AM

lol, good questions... but wrong forum. Let me get that for ya'.

Posted by: Jacob Photo Aug 16 2011, 01:11 PM

1 - There's no reason you can't start shooting now. Go shoot grassroots events / track days / friends cars, and/or assist photographers in your area who are shooting the types of photography you are most interested in. Get a good portfolio going, then move up to shoot bigger and bigger events / cars. Pretty soon, you'll be rubbing elbows around the clients you want to be shooting for long term.

2 - start with a great portfolio, and talk to anyone / everyone at a race. Clients hire just as much based on relationship as they do based on skillset.

3 - if you don't have great skills with website design or programming, I suggest hiring someone to build your site.

4 - check your local yellow pages or use google, there's HUNDREDS of them

5 - spend a day or two at a handful of photographers you find in step 4 above and talk with them, see what they suggest. My guess is that most of them will tell you that working at a mall photography business is a waste of time, but some might be able to point you in the right direction. Again, this is less about what you know and more about who you know.

PS - I think you'll find that most photographers these days will tell you that making a living doing what you want is fun, but not a way to get rich. Personally, I make a good 2nd income shooting freelance on the weekends, but my main income is made in a cubicle 9-5 m-f, and have no desire to become a full-time photographer.

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