#10 – Breathe! – I can’t tell you how important it is to constantly breathe when you are professional photographer. Not only does it help you make great photos but if you can keep breathing long enough after a photoshoot then you’ll be able to collect the check from the client. Try different kinds of breathing too! In through the nose and out the mouth. Or in and out of the mouth. Talk to your customers about how you like it in and out of the mouth.
#9 – Try out a digital camera! - Boy howdy! Digital cameras are becoming all the rage in 2011! For only a few hundred dollars or a few thousand dollars you can take photos that don’t need film! Digital photography allows you to take pictures and see them as soon as they are downloaded on a computer! It’s almost instant! The Russians have now developed computer tools to work on your digital photographs! Check out this internet web site with all the details! If you buy a digital camera make sure you get a good one like a Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, or iPhone.
#8 – Everytime you see a tree… take a photo of it! – Have you ever thought about how important trees are in the world? They help us achieve number 10 on this list! Everyone loves trees and if you have a lot of pictures of trees everyone will love you. When showing your photos of trees to people talk about how you were thinking about the innocence of that tree at the moment of capture. Or point out the transcendental qualities of light and form as the moon beams of uranus waft through the branches. People will think you’re quite the artist.
#7 – Make a portfolio! – Take two or three hundred of your best photographs and make a portfolio! You need this to show to people how good of a photographer you are! I like to make mine out of half inch galvanized steel because it’s really impressive and useful for many other things in life!
#6 – Take pictures of kids! – Parents love their kids and they love photos of their kids! If you don’t have kids then go to your local park and take lots of photos of children. Try shooting from different angles like from inside the bushes, behind trees, or from your parked car for really “exciting opportunities.” You’ll soon meet all of the parents of the kids you are taking photos of as well as lots of local law enforcement officers who, lots of times, have kids too! If they come up to you with baseball bats in hand be sure to have your portfolio from #7 with you. That steel cover is going to be useful to protect yourself. Drop a few of your business cards as you run away. Always market yourself!
#5 – Move to New York City! – Lots and lots of photographers are in New York City. Lots of people who love photography are in New York City. It only makes perfect sense to grab your camera bag and move there to open as big of a photo studio as you can find! Fill that studio with things like backgrounds, lighting, and tripods of different sizes and colors and you’ll be on your way to the bank! I’m not sure what you’ll be doing once you get to the bank but it might involve a ski mask and a paper bag with a note attached to it. Ask the teller if they have kids.
#4 – Join the social media revolution! – With internet web sites like myspace and friendster becoming so popular these days you’ll need to be on there to meet people. You’ll also find many opportunities to win free stuff for all of the online surveys these internet web sites have to offer! Add lots of spinning cameras that make noises to your internet web site pages because you want people to notice you and nothing is better than animated gifs of cameras. Also try out Xanga. Check out another awesome version of my blogto see what I’m talking about!
#3 – Make your own lenses! – Did you know that professional lenses can cost up to $189? As you are getting started you might need to save some money and one way to do that is to make your own lenses. The most important thing to remember is the convex lens curves outward; a biconvex lens curves outward on both sides, and a plano-convex lens is flat on one side and outwardly curved on the other. There are also concave lenes, biconcave, and plano-concave lenses. The elements are not necessarily symmetrical and can curve more on one side than the other. Thickening the middle of the lens relative to its edges causes light rays to converge or focus. Lenses with thick edges and thin middles make light rays disperse.
#2 – Wear socks! On your feet! – I’ve met a lot of professional photographers in my life and one thing that they all have in common is almost all of them, with few exceptions, wear socks… on their feet. I notice this because I’m a photographer and I’m supposed to notice the details in life and find beauty in those details. The next time you meet a professional photographer ask them to take their pants off and see if they are wearing socks. You’ll be shocked at how they react to your noticing details like this and they will know that you are a lot like themselves. You will now have friends in “the industry”! Talk about the moon beams from uranus with your new friends.
#1 – Try to get people to comment on your blog by asking them what the #1 way to become a professional photographer is….
you may be fine with the title "picture taker", but your photography is amazing. i just scrolled through a few pages and was blown away. some of this is nostalgia... i grew up in new orleans... but, that notwithstanding, your photos are awesome. you have an excellent eye. my only complaint (with tumbr, not you) is that i realized many of these photos had never shown up on my dash, even though you posted them after i started following you. not sure why that is, but i wish they had.
Thanks, man. I guess my main reasoning for avoiding any kind of formal title is that every camera-toting-teenager with a digital camera calls themselves a photographer, and in some ways, it dilutes what is a profession and a real art. I’m not saying everyone in that crowd takes bad photographs, and hell, some of those kids do amazing work and jump right into lucrative careers (Joey L for example, even though he’s a little punk…), but that’s the exception, and not the rule. I suppose I’d be just as annoyed if all the cool kids decided to start calling themselves Amateur Engineers…
Hahah, you hit a touchy subject, so I hope you weren’t looking for a short answer…
In black-and-white terms, I would have to say New Orleans has been my favorite. It is filled to the brim with character, humming with activity, and has depth to its existence and traditions that is hard to find in almost any other city. Although it has almost all of the benefits of a major metropolitan area, it is the biggest small town I’ve ever been to, and I have a hard time not seeing someone I know or falling into similar routines and patterns as a rotating cast of familiar faces.
But as alluring as New Orleans is, I know it will never be Home. I really would like to move there again, and this time on my own terms, but when I moved there in December of ‘09, I initially fought it. I was transferred because of work after spending 8 months living in Freeport in the Bahamas. That was my first major move away from Florida, and it wasn’t an easy transition. I have some of the best friends anyone could ever hope for, and going from having almost all of them less than an hour or two away to not seeing them for months at a time was tough.
Between the time in the Bahamas and the move to New Orleans, I got really good at doing things on my own, and being able to enjoy time spent alone. New Orleans makes it easy. There is always something going on regardless of your situation–– in-spite of your situation. There’s an energy that draws you in and sets a place at the table and pours you a drink and tells you to make your self at home. It may be a sirens’ song, but the company I work for has long had its wax in my ears, and after another 8 months, I was transferred to a small town an hour outside of Seattle (Bremerton, WA).
It was nice up there. The people were nice, the scenery was nice, but it wasn’t home and it wasn’t New Orleans.
And now, I’m living in a small town (Houma) almost exactly an hour southwest of New Orleans. The people are genuine and kind, I’m comfortable, and the work that I’m doing has allowed me to focus on my hobbies more than I have had the opportunity to in years. I try to drive the hour into the city as often as I can, and I now manage to make it back Home (St. Augustine, FL) once every 6 weeks or so.
I’m one of the best I know at having a good time on my own, but lately, I’ve been debating the pros and cons of living in an amazing city and starting from scratch (again), or trying to find something back home and enjoying the company of the friends and family who shaped me into who I am.
I realize that’s probably WAY more than you were expecting (or wanting) but I’ve been needing to vent for a while now.
I love this quote. My job has moved me every 6 to 8 months for the past three years, so any roots I have are shallow at best. Louisiana has grown to be a second home to me, and recently, the idea of moving to some yet-to-be-determined place sometime after November has started lingering in almost daily thought. I’ve settled-in in some ways, but there’s a fear that the second I truly make myself at home, I’ll get the call telling me to pack my bags. The moving boxes I first brought with me still line a wall in my apartment, and it’s not an if, but a when that I’ll need them, so there they will stay.
On a side note, one of my favorite people, who’s always a few hundred if not thousand miles away, will be visiting this weekend. I think this will be the first time I’ll have a good friend in New Orleans for more than 24 hours.