Steps to Going Pro

VoguesVogues Big grinsPosts: 25Registered Users Big grins
edited April 17, 2012 in Mind Your Own Business
I just finished college with a BA in Sociology and I'm miserable. I'm ready to make the plunge and go into photography full time. I dabble on the side but I really want to get serious. My fiancé is in the military and we are moving to middle of no where North Carolina with no photo school in sight.

Anyone know of any quality online classes? I'm skeptical of most I see and I'd probably prefer some through a university-- right? I've looked at NYIP and some others but they just feel like a rip off. I've searched for some reviews on here but they're moderately positive vague. I guess I'm just turned off about how they're hounding me on the phone...

I know I can probably find anything I'd ever want to know about photography online for free but I think I'd benefit from the structure of a class and the guidance from a professor as well as resume building.

Any advice?

Comments

  • johngjohng Sports Shooter Posts: 1,658Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    Vogues wrote: »
    Any advice?
    Depends on your family goals and how your career fits into them. The reality is: it is extremely difficult to earn a living from a photography business. It's a vastly over-saturated market with LOTS of people doing it as a part-time job and hobbyists just doing it for free. I'm sure you'll get some well-meaning advice to the affect of: "if you really want it bad enough, you can make it happen" and such. That's all fine and good, but it's naive. You also need to consider your spouse' military situation. Will they be re-deployed in another 2 years or getting out? My advice: ONLY pursue this if you and your spouse can live entirely off their salary and anything you make is "a bonus". If your family is going to rely upon your income as well then investing money into school for photography (and equipment and lost income due to spending time on photography instead of better paying job) is a very poor decision. The odds are just against a successful career in photography. There are too few opportunities and too many suppliers.
  • orljustinorljustin Major grins Posts: 193Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    Vogues wrote: »
    I just finished college with a BA in Sociology and I'm miserable. I'm ready to make the plunge and go into photography full time. I dabble on the side but I really want to get serious.

    You're going to throw away four years of education because you like taking pictures?
  • VoguesVogues Big grins Posts: 25Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    Thanks johng. My fiancé makes enough for us to live comfortably but I do intend to make a serious go of this, regardless.

    orljustin, I'm not sure if you went to college/when you went to college and if you did it sounds like it wasn't in the humanities/social sciences and was probably in photography. Very few sociology majors go on to be come sociologists. Unless you're going into something like business or pre med, it really doesn't matter what your major is. Right now I work in social media, I've had jobs at adoption agencies. People just want to see if your smart/dedicated enough to complete a degree. I've learned research, writing and theory--that can be applied to many, many things. I plan on trying to combine my interests in social justice with photography. Bottom line, theres no such thing as throwing away education, every educational endeavor is worth while and makes you a better person.

    The thing with photography is that its much more technical which is why I'm pursuing some form of structured education. I can apply my writing skills to some kind of photojournalist angle but besides that I have a lot of work to do

    If you think I should make a career out of something I hate because of a decision I made at 18, well, I respectfully disagree. I'm 22 years old, I have time and a little bit of money and my decision is made. If you have ideas on how I can pursue this I'd appreciate it. If you have more constructive/specific guidance I'd appreciate that too.
  • orljustinorljustin Major grins Posts: 193Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    Nope, just that I've read plenty of threads from young military wives who think that because they like taking pictures, they can start a "business" shooting their base friends' families, and they just find that all their friends think they are photographers as well since they all bought cameras and have lots of time on their hands. I'm not sure how much success you'll have here.
  • VoguesVogues Big grins Posts: 25Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    That drives me up the wall too. And I'd like to say I'm different--but everyone says that, right?

    But really, I think I am.
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    orljustin wrote: »
    You're going to throw away four years of education because you like taking pictures?


    You're kidding me? Changing direction is not throwing away four years of edu. Not at all.

    And changing direction especially while young is prudent.

    Success in photography is similar to success in almost any business: WORK, diligence and more work.

    Wanting a structured environment to learn in is something you feel you need. So it's time for you to get your interview hat on and go and interview colleges in the area you'll be moving to. You say it's the middle of No-Where, but where is that exactly? I lived in NC for years and can't think of anyplace that resembles that except maybe a Mountain hamlet or two. where it might take an hour just to get to town.
    tom wise
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    Vogues wrote: »
    The thing with photography is that its much more technical which is why I'm pursuing some form of structured education. I can apply my writing skills to some kind of photojournalist angle but besides that I have a lot of work to do

    I'd suggest there is a huge amount of technical detail, if you like to get technical. And as in other occupations there are myriad ways to earn a decent living in photography. One idea that just came to mind is to check with the base/camp media-marketing specialists and see if you can get some part time work or contract work once you establish your skills.
    Also the gov't has jobs for photography in almost every branch: Justice, TSA, HSA, etc.

    Just thoughts~
    tom wise
  • kevingearykevingeary Major grins Posts: 194Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    Vogues wrote: »
    I just finished college with a BA in Sociology and I'm miserable. I'm ready to make the plunge and go into photography full time. I dabble on the side but I really want to get serious. My fiancé is in the military and we are moving to middle of no where North Carolina with no photo school in sight.

    Anyone know of any quality online classes? I'm skeptical of most I see and I'd probably prefer some through a university-- right? I've looked at NYIP and some others but they just feel like a rip off. I've searched for some reviews on here but they're moderately positive vague. I guess I'm just turned off about how they're hounding me on the phone...

    I know I can probably find anything I'd ever want to know about photography online for free but I think I'd benefit from the structure of a class and the guidance from a professor as well as resume building.

    Any advice?

    Don't spend the money on school. Here's a timely article:

    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2012/04/all-artists-are-self-taught.html

    You can figure out everything you need to know from blogs and a few books. The rest is up to you as you SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT.
  • VoguesVogues Big grins Posts: 25Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    Thanks, its not the first time I've heard that. My photo professor recommend I take the money and give myself a year and some improved tools (I know its not about the camera but I'd like to be able to shoot in RAW etc...) to learn as much as I could.
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,019Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    You're kidding me? Changing direction is not throwing away four years of edu. Not at all.
    orljustin, I'm not sure if you went to college/when you went to college and if you did it sounds like it wasn't in the humanities/social sciences and was probably in photography. Very few sociology majors go on to be come sociologists. Unless you're going into something like business or pre med, it really doesn't matter what your major is. Right now I work in social media, I've had jobs at adoption agencies. People just want to see if your smart/dedicated enough to complete a degree. I've learned research, writing and theory--that can be applied to many, many things. I plan on trying to combine my interests in social justice with photography. Bottom line, theres no such thing as throwing away education, every educational endeavor is worth while and makes you a better person.

    thumb.gif thumb.gif

    I'm really glad you guys already said this. I started a post along these lines this morning, but I was rushed and, frankly, a bit annoyed, so I didn't post it lest it was a bit, er, forceful lol3.gif Y'all have said what I wanted to, so I'll just add my empahtic agreement: a university degree is about a lot more than the undergraduate subject pursued.

    While yes, there is a lot technical with photography, it is (or should be) considered an ARTISTIC pursuit. Therefore, you need to do it because you *love* it, and can't imagine life any other way, not because you think it will be a fun way to support yourself. You may or may not be somebody who can support yourself with your camera, but it's wise to assume it will be tough to make it a full-time living, as others above have said.

    I think anybody considering a self-employed (particularly artistic) career needs to learn about:

    - self-marketing
    - networking
    - taxes/business skills

    Those can sometimes be the difference between making it as a career and not.

    It seems to me that the people in my acquaintance who have successfully "made it" as photographers have had working mentors to guide them, and also start throwing work their way. You may want to keep your eyes open for opportunities in your location.

    While a Community College AA degree may not be as advanced as you want, some community colleges do terrific work, and it would give you an affordable way of getting some of the technicals you're seeking.... as well as possibly help you find the mentors mentioned above.

    Best of luck pursuing your goals!
  • adbsgicomadbsgicom Texas-Sized Grins Posts: 3,615Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    Where in NC are you? There is an After Dark in Charlotte in May.
    - Andrew

    Who is wise? He who learns from everyone.
    My SmugMug Site
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    adbsgicom wrote: »
    Where in NC are you? There is an After Dark in Charlotte in May.


    In fact Charlotte has lots of opportunity and large community of photographic artists~
    tom wise
  • orljustinorljustin Major grins Posts: 193Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    divamum wrote: »
    Therefore, you need to do it because you *love* it, and can't imagine life any other way, not because you think it will be a fun way to support yourself.

    Please. "Can't imagine life any other way"? You can certainly be a photographer who makes a good living without bringing out the cliched "P" word ( Oh, I have so much Passion for photography! ).

    I'm not saying any education you've gained doesn't help in your daily life, but that's like saying I took four years of pre-law, but I love to make soup, so I'm going to be a chef.
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,019Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 15, 2012
    No, I'm not referring to that overused word "passion". I'm referring to drive, obsession, and willingness to perhaps forego other things in life - things that your law-school, med-school, business-school, and corporate friends take for granted - because the artistic path is so consuming that you can't live with yourself if you don't do it. Because doing the job itself is satisfying enough to make even the bad times feel worth it.

    I will say that photography is in some ways different than some of the other arts because you can forge a career built on technical skill without necessarily having that artistic drive (see above re the various photographic discplines which are more scientific in nature than artistic) but I respectfully submit that the best photographers are artists rather than precision button-pushers.

    I've known plenty of people study for practical careers and then ditch them for what they really wanted to do - many people do their undergraduate degree because they were advised to do something that would make normal money, but then realise they miss the arts too much and switch. I could give you a list of successful classical singers and other musicians who were pre-law, pre-med, chemistry and other subjects as undergrad and then went on to build musical careers. I know at least one ft pro photographer with a similar story, and I'm willing to bet there are more than a few people here at dgrin who abandoned the corporate cubicle to follow their dream.

    (It works the other way too, of course, ie people who study the arts for undergrad and then realise they want more "normal" lives, and switch to a different path after they finish their undergraduate degrees.)

    Btw, I'm a professional classical musician, so I live with my own decision to take "the road less traveled" - and the joys and complications it brings with it - every single day.
  • VoguesVogues Big grins Posts: 25Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 16, 2012
    Jacksonville--Camp Lejeune (sorry if you don't consider that the middle of nowhere, I'm a city girl). I'm hoping for something in Wilmington. There might be some opportunity at Costal Carolina Community College so I'm hoping thats a good start.
  • adbsgicomadbsgicom Texas-Sized Grins Posts: 3,615Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 16, 2012
    I only moved to Greensboro 9 months ago. I don't have any great leads down in your area, but check out the NC Photographers Group on FB or Meetup. It is about 1000 models, photographers, and makeup artists. Most of the teaching happens around High Point but sometimes there is stuff toward Raleigh. And you may be able to connect with some folks in your area.
    - Andrew

    Who is wise? He who learns from everyone.
    My SmugMug Site
  • marionetmarionet Bill Posts: 382Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 16, 2012
    IMHO, what I'm going to write here isn't nice.

    Gee, sorry you're miserable; but if you can manage to make good pictures of Misery, you can probably find markets for them. I also feel a little bit miserable after having clicked your link to your smugmug site- basically, they say that page doesn't exist. (Dude, if you're truly miserable, it might be best if you address that issue first instead of trying to escape it.)

    I'm sure you're serious enough about this to have already contacted NYIP and some others, have expressed your concerns to them and have received replies, right? How many people are in photo clubs in Lejeune and nearby communities? What kind of photography do you plan on doing?
  • VoguesVogues Big grins Posts: 25Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 16, 2012
    My smugmug site is up and running just fine. Thats an old link and I chose not to update it because of exactly this kind of thing. I'm not really here for critique yet. I'm really not here for you to tell me if I should do this or not.

    If you need to know more details about my goals, well thats another story. In my ideal world (I mean, you have to start somewhere, right?) I would travel and take pictures for non profits around the world. In a more practical sense, I am drawn to portraits so probably something related to that. I sell a little work on the side, mostly through word of mouth, nothing big. The most successful images are wildlife. I was thinking a school either for photography and/or business would help me narrow that in to something viable.

    There are about 50 people in the photo group. Some of them are nice moms taking pictures of their kids. Some of them are professional. I was thinking working as a second shooter for a while would be a good step but I'm not sure what to expect to get out of that experience-- I'll keep reading about it.
  • DemianDemian Major grins Posts: 211Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    orljustin wrote: »
    I'm not saying any education you've gained doesn't help in your daily life, but that's like saying I took four years of pre-law, but I love to make soup, so I'm going to be a chef.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost_fallacy#Loss_aversion_and_the_sunk_cost_fallacy

    That aside, a four year degree is essentially a ton of general education slightly weighted towards your major. Social science majors in the University of Wisconsin, for example, only require 30 credits in your department (out of a 120 credit degree.)

    And many people end up finding jobs not strictly in their field of study. A bachelor's degree offers many things, but a specialized skillset isn't really one of them.
  • RyanSRyanS Always Learning Posts: 507Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Laura,

    Based on what I've seen, I think you have a knack for finding a story. You might get more traction from your degree and current experience if you focus on journalism instead of commercial portrait/wedding photography. Playing PJ will train you to do what non-profits need done in the field. Beyond that, I sincerely wish you the best of luck. Awfully tough out there right now. So many people want this crappy job, it is crazy. I don't get it. You'll need to really want it, bad.
    Please feel free to post any reworks you do of my images. Crop, skew, munge, edit, share.
    Website | Galleries | Utah PJs
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,525Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Vogues wrote: »

    If you need to know more details about my goals, well thats another story. In my ideal world (I mean, you have to start somewhere, right?) I would travel and take pictures for non profits around the world. In a more practical sense, I am drawn to portraits so probably something related to that. I sell a little work on the side, mostly through word of mouth, nothing big. The most successful images are wildlife. I was thinking a school either for photography and/or business would help me narrow that in to something viable.

    The only bit of this thread that I know a smidge about is related to wildlife pics ... and as an amateur, it's not much :)

    From what I've read / seen, you've certainly got be 'different' in some way, obviously take pics that people want to buy (if a business), probably engage yourself in a targetted project -whether your own choice or not, cover complete life cycles, conservation etc.

    If you know one end of a cam from t'other (as seems to be the case) and you want to take things further - from a w/life aspect - maybe look for local animal refuge / conservation type projects that need help promoting their causes?

    They may well have other 'togs already offering their services - but that'll be your chance to show that you're capable of producing something better / different ... as you think you're capable of doing.

    The nearest I'd get to 'paying for learning' would be with an established pro, doing stuff that I *really* liked - and only then after I'd figured out (for myself) the nitty gritty of the technicals.

    I've added a couple of blog links I find of interest - as various topics are covered ... and a book I'm currently trying to get out of the library because it appears to cover wider issues than the basic stuff like what settings to use etc.

    If you think the above is irrelevant 'cos I'm in the UK ... then fine, no probs:)

    Personally, I believe that it's not necessary to travel vast distances in order to take a decent w/life shot - even of a 'boring / commonplace' subject. I'd rather have a superb / different shot of a local subject than a mediocre 'record' shot of a so-called exotic - getting a decent shot is a different matter, of course :)

    Best of luck, btw

    pp

    http://imagesfromtheedge.com/blog/

    http://blog.northshots.com/

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wildlife-Photographer-Course-Creative-Photography/dp/0711231192/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334651064&sr=8-1
  • VoguesVogues Big grins Posts: 25Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Thank you! This is all very helpful. I think photojournalism would make a lot of sense and could apply my sociology background! I'll start reading about it.
  • johngjohng Sports Shooter Posts: 1,658Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Vogues wrote: »
    Thank you! This is all very helpful. I think photojournalism would make a lot of sense and could apply my sociology background! I'll start reading about it.

    Make sure your research looks into your local job market. In general in the U.S. the PJ market is shrinking drastically. Lots more layoffs than hires. Each area is different, but in general it is a really poor industry right now to look for work in.
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul low down bum Posts: 1,525Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
  • adbsgicomadbsgicom Texas-Sized Grins Posts: 3,615Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Don't forget that NC has state sales tax, and if you are doing a business, you need to collect taxes for sessions, prints, etc.
    NC also has what they call a privledge license that a Photographer is required to have. You only need to provide some basic info an $50. No idea why this exists, but it does and there are fairly steep penalties for not doing it. In general the Dept. of Revenue is pretty humorless.

    Check into the PPA (National Organization) http://www.ppa.com. They have a lot of material (more if you join). The state-level PPA (PP of NC) http://www.ppofnc.com/news.php also exists. They are having a business seminar on the weekend of May 5th. I haven't plugged into this group, so I can't vouch for the quality of the state organization.
    - Andrew

    Who is wise? He who learns from everyone.
    My SmugMug Site
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,019Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Vogues, I've thought a lot about this thread and discussion (and do excuse my slightly tangential musings, earlier - I do realise that musical and photographic paths aren't identical, although I still say there are similarities which bear comparison thumb.gif).

    You've had some really good input so far, and seem to have a good sense of perspective about what you're getting yourself into. I haven't seen your work so no idea what you actually do, but it seems to me your sociology background could offer some interesting insights, and possibly let you see a different angle than others might. What is your "unique selling point"? What makes YOU different? What do YOU bring to your work? What do YOU want to "say" with your photography? PJ, as mentioned above is one suggestion to possibly combine your degree with future photographic activity. Are there are others that grow directly out of sociology-related fields? Associations with not-for-profits? Psych resesarchers? Sociological researchers? (just brainstorming here - obviously, not my field so if I'm way off base, do forgive me). College friends building businesses who might be able to use your services? Just throwing out ideas. You say you've worked in/with social media. Can you leverage that into a market for your photos? Do you have other interests/skills which could be a potential market either separately, or in conjunction with your degree?

    Rambling here, but I guess I'm trying to say leverage what you already have. There are zillions of folks out there shooting weddings, and pictures of kids, and sports - obviously a big market offering a lot of clients, but there are a lot of people trying to break in and sustain careers in those areas, and you have to make them YOUR clients to make it profitable. What can you do that nobody else is doing (or at least how can you do it in a different way than the rest of the folks?)

    1 Learn to take good pictures.
    2 Figure out what you're best at as well as what you most enjoy shooting.
    3 Identify the market for what you figure out in step 2.
    4 Pursue it through hard work, networking like crazy and generating as much word of mouth reputation as you can.

    Just thinking out loud, really.

    PS Not wildlife as such, but I've seen requests from animal rescue organizations that need photographers to take decent pix of the animals to post online and when they're looking for homes for them. I'm sure it's volunteer rather than paid, but it might be of interest as you are skill-building.
  • johngjohng Sports Shooter Posts: 1,658Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Divamum - while I appreciate your optimism, your suggestions seem more geared toward "how do I make a little pocket change on the side" as opposed to "how can I make a viable career in photography". There is a HUGE difference. There's just a huge difference between making an extra $1-2,000 a year and having a $20,000+ career. I may seem jaded, but I have several friends that followed this approach - we're in our 40s now. Neither one has health insurance, any type of retirement savings. One is working anime shows selling various products and the other keeps going from one $8-10 an hour job to another and can barely pay his utility bills and has no credit whatsoever because of all various medical and other bills he's had to default on.. As a sports photographer I pay a lot of attention to discussions over at sportsshooter.com. There are a lot of PJs there. There are no jobs in the PJ market. Photography is like acting - everyone wants to do it. And while you could cobble together the occasional $50 for taking photos of humane society dogs and the like - that doesn't mean there's enough work to make it a career. And, God forbid, if the OP chase the pie in the sky for the next 3 years and end up in a divorce, they have no means to support themselves. Lots of good ways to make money on the side (think $2-5k a year) with photography. But not many jobs that can pay a living wage.

    Wanting to do something doesn't mean someone will pay you to do it.
  • RyanSRyanS Always Learning Posts: 507Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    There are a few jobs in the PJ market. All the major papers around me have hired PJs recently. I've shaken the hands of the doe-eyed 20-somethings. I don't think they have any idea what it will really be like. It helps if you can do interviews and video work. Publishers want bloggers and behind the scenes work as well. They want more output from their staff than ever before. Not all PJs are adapting to this change. That means new opportunities for people who can master those skills. In short, you need to provide a lot of value for your publisher, and will get very little in return.

    PJs make less than $50k/year in most markets and may not get any kind of benefits package. No benefits is a big deal given the high-risk nature of the job. The job requires a great deal of time away from home and is a 24/7/365 deal. It is high stress. You'll risk personal injury, being arrested, harassed, and annoyed by the police, government agencies, etc. One of my acquaintances is credentialed with the AP, Getty, Reuters, and a local larger-sized paper (yes, 4 orgs, 4 jobs!). Apparently he spends a great deal of his time in his car. Often gets little sleep on assignment. Occasionally gets put in life threatening situations. He carries thousands of dollars worth of gear in to dust storms, dark alleys, etc. It is my impression that he has made some rather tough personal sacrifices to be able to pursue the job. I'd love to call him a friend, but he is never around to develop those kinds of relationships. Why are you better than this guy? Prove you want it more and you'll make it.

    Kiss your spouse goodbye, unfriend everyone on facebook, move in to your car, sleep 3 hours a night, eat pop-tarts every day for dinner, get arrested twice a year, break a bone every five years. That's about the right mental picture. :D Joking of course, but all those things have happend to PJs I know personally. They complain, a lot. But they still are out there doing it.
    Please feel free to post any reworks you do of my images. Crop, skew, munge, edit, share.
    Website | Galleries | Utah PJs
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,019Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    I must not be writing terribly clearly, because in fact what I was trying to say is in absolute agreement with you, johng! Given that I do work fulltime as a freelance artist, I know exactly how tough it is. By "wanting it" I didn't mean "if you believe in it enough the Photo Career Fairy will come down and all will be well", but "you have to want it badly enough that you're willing to put up with all the BS tjat goes with it, including but not limited to possibly forgo-ing things that most people consider essentials" (like healthcare and retirement plans).
    Divamum - while I appreciate your optimism, your suggestions seem more geared toward "how do I make a little pocket change on the side" as opposed to "how can I make a viable career in photography".

    I was just brainstorming. The OP seems to have made the decision to do this, so I was just thinking out loud, really.
    There's just a huge difference between making an extra $1-2,000 a year and having a $20,000+ career.

    Couldn't agree more.
    I may seem jaded, but I have several friends that followed this approach - we're in our 40s now. Neither one has health insurance, any type of retirement savings.

    Not jaded at all - realistic! You're very much singing my song. I'm one of the "lucky few" who has carved out a freelance career as a musician and I do make my living as a performer, but it does come with a heavy price in stability and a lot of those other things mentioned above that many people consider essentials. We make it work (my husband is also a freelance musician - neato! lol), but it is rough sometimes.
    As a sports photographer I pay a lot of attention to discussions over at sportsshooter.com. There are a lot of PJs there. There are no jobs in the PJ market. Photography is like acting - everyone wants to do it.

    Absolutely.
    And while you could cobble together the occasional $50 for taking photos of humane society dogs and the like - that doesn't mean there's enough work to make it a career.

    Oh goodness, I never meant to imply it was a career! I just thought it might be something the OP could do while building her skills and portfolio, to gain some experience.
    And, God forbid, if the OP chase the pie in the sky for the next 3 years and end up in a divorce, they have no means to support themselves. Lots of good ways to make money on the side (think $2-5k a year) with photography. But not many jobs that can pay a living wage.

    Wanting to do something doesn't mean someone will pay you to do it.

    Again, that wasn't quite what I meant (see first para). Also, just to clarify: somebody else initially mentioned PJ - clearly it is NOT really a career option any more (magazines and newspapers are going the way of the dinosaurs), but it does seem to tie in with the OP's degree skillset as well as aspirations. It may not be a viable career option as such, but researching it (since I get the feeling she's in the research phase) might suggest some possible outlets and opportunities to explore.

    Seems to me three questions have emerged in the course of this thread:

    1. How do I build my technical skills as a photographer in my new location?
    2. What sorts of careers are available for photographers?
    3. How do I make a reasonable living as a photographer?

    In any case, it seems the OP has made that mental jump to give it a try. Like most artistic pursuits, success will come from a combination of sufficient talent, dedicated hard work, and (probably most important) vast quantities of luck (or at least being in the right place at the right time more than once).
  • RyanSRyanS Always Learning Posts: 507Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 17, 2012
    Laura (OP), you really should post the link to your work. I think people would like to see it. What struck me right away was how much of it was journalistic.
    Please feel free to post any reworks you do of my images. Crop, skew, munge, edit, share.
    Website | Galleries | Utah PJs
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