Thursday, October 28, 2010

Suggestions and Advise?

Day 65 of my pet project is looming ever closer, and I have been looking over my photos.

A couple of weeks ago, I was out to dinner with some friends when one of them commented that he really loved one of the photos that I hadn't selected as my photo of the day. It wasn't the first comment about that particular photo, and I was quite surprised about it, because I hadn't been too impressed with the way that it had come out. But he took this moment to assure me that my photography has slowly been progressing and he can see the difference. I really can't say the same.

I should probably note here that I am hardly ever the one to choose which photos I put up. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate making decisions - I will often sit down at a restaurant and ask the person I'm with what I want to eat. Every night I dump my photos on my computer, go through them on Picasa and select the best to put up on facebook. Usually there are 3-4 photographs, often there are more. This is the most choosing that I am prepared to do. I then go to Grant and get him to tell me which ones he likes. If you disagree with the photo that I have chosen, I apologise. Take it up with him! :P

I have taken to a little bit of editing with some of my photos - deepening shadows, playing with highlights and colour, nothing too serious but little touch ups here and there. I try to keep it minimal, but I definitely think that my playing around has improved compared to the beginning when all I was prepared to do was hit "Auto Contrast" and "I'm Feeling Lucky" on Picasa. I am feeling a little more confident now and I am having fun playing around with the photos, but I am not sure that the quality is quite as good as I would like.

I am looking for opinions here - what do you guys think about the photography itself? I am also looking for suggestions of things that people would like to see me photograph. I am always looking for something new, and since I tend to tread a very well-worn path, advise and suggestions are always welcome.

In addition there is one other thing that I would like opinions on. I have an idea for next year that I am interested in looking into. I do not know what I will be doing next year. My most likely prospect is a job at Grocott's Mail in Grahamstown as anything ranging from a sub-editor to a desk-job in sales. What I would like to do is take up a second job on the weekends as a photographer-to-hire. I would sell myself as an amateur photographer, at a cheaper price than most, and cover events such as parties, weddings, etc. letting clients know that my main aim is to gain experience in the field. Does anyone think this is feasible and does anyone have any suggestions for me?


  1. I think you're doing fine - and you have taken some really nice photos. If you want to progress the most essential thing is to go on a photography course. It's what I will do when i go home, just to learn how to compose a shot. I was a cameraman for a TV company as my last job - and went into it with no experience and it would have been a million times easier if I'd have just been given a week of proper training rather than trying to learn 'on the job'. No idea if there's a market for an amateur photographer, even if it's cheaper. Hmmm.

  2. Yo.

    I went to art school so I know a bunch of people who did (and still do) the amateur photographer for hire gig on weekends and such. For some of them it worked really well and for some it didn't.

    One of them that did really well and has now gone pro started off doing band and 21st birthday party pictures and bars in town. He made a website and had notices in some of the bars and on band gig calender type websites so he became quite well known. Another one tagged along with a wedding photographer that she knew and worked with her.

    I also tutored the kids of some actual photographers. I talked with them a lot about how they became successful because I was thinking of photography as a job. They said the most important thing was to learn how to do just one or two things well. They had a studio set up in their house and did mostly 'glamor' shots of half naked girls and also went to horse shows and photographed the competitors (they didn't make much money from the horses though even though their photos were super awesome) They also said that it was very, very important to have a website with a portfolio and prices and such because people will always want to see what kind of photos they will get from you.

    I think if you are thinking of doing photography as a part time job when you go home you should start taking more pictures of people as this would most likely be you main subject matter as a paid photographer. My favourite photo on here is that one of the little kid sitting on the floor. It's so great :) I think you could get really good at doing portrait type photos.

    Also another thing is editing. I only did a tiny bit of photography at uni but the people who did a lot spent hours and hours editing just one photo. Some of them seemed to pretty much live in the computer labs. They most defiantly spent more time editing than taking pictures. They could make a really average photo look awesome. Do you have any photoshop skillz? It's a bit poos to learn but there are a lot of tutorials on the internet. (I watched pretty much everything on while I was at uni. I didn't actually DO many of the tutorials though so I still suck)

    Anyway, I'm sure you could get some work doing photography if you make an effort to get your name out and don't mind not getting paid much at first. Good luck! I really like a lot of your photos and this blog thing is forcing you to practice a lot so your sure to get some really great photos by the time you go home.

    Luvs from Kate