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AgX
03-21-2013, 11:16 AM
Would a concession-system based on achieved training and diploma following that gilde system be an outcome?

-) it would only apply (or would be controllable) for commercial work offered at the public
-) it would fail as long as schools/academies train more photographers for such diploma than bearable for the market

Michael R 1974
03-21-2013, 11:17 AM
If the schooling is good, it should be the way to go. People are so damn lazy when it comes to actually learning the arts. Everyone wants short cuts, nobody wants to learn actual skills, fundamentals etc. It is the same plain old immature "logic" most of us display in high school when we encounter something challenging that doesn't appear to have any immediate pracitcal use. "Why do I need to know this?". I'm not sure if it is more of a north American phenomenon or not, but I know several artists trained in Russia who can't believe what a joke things are here, even in art schools.

Jim Jones
03-21-2013, 11:46 AM
The right schooling is a shortcut to success for most students. It is structured and provides information that many would not think to acquire on their own. Someone who has exceptional ability, intelligence, and most of all, drive, can get ahead faster without formal schooling. They'll likely have to work harder than most college or trade school graduates. Six years of art and photojournalism in college taught little about photography that I hadn't learned in a military career before college. However, liberal arts schooling did provide a good background for fine art photography and improved the intellectual quality of life. If I had intended a second career as a photographer, one of the major photography schools might have been a better choice.

AgX
03-21-2013, 12:33 PM
It is the same plain old immature "logic" most of us display in high school when we encounter something challenging that doesn't appear to have any immediate pracitcal use. "Why do I need to know this?".

I was at a university where I was the only one daring to raise that question. More worse I only came across one fellow student who at least could understand that I raised that question.
To me my questioning back then is still a sign of maturity.

newcan1
03-21-2013, 12:49 PM
What do you think the average working salary per year of a professional photographer is.?

I believe the number is quite staggering low.

Isn't that true of most anything? Doesn't the average lawyer make a nationwide average of $25,000/yr?

We should never strive to be average.

Bob Carnie
03-21-2013, 01:15 PM
Wow I should be more caring towards my lawyer clients.

Isn't that true of most anything? Doesn't the average lawyer make a nationwide average of $25,000/yr?

We should never strive to be average.

PKM-25
03-21-2013, 01:44 PM
If you have a passion, go for it.

All the reason anyone really needs...


I have a question for you .

In the large scheme of things, and lets take your own personal net worth aside. What do you think the average working salary per year of a professional photographer is.?

I believe the number is quite staggering low. This profession has way too many unqualified people calling themselves photographers and polluting the market place.
I think the degrees in someway open other doors for those who may not have your talent.

I do get the idea that the cream rises to the top , and talent is what gets you there, but from my perspective of 35 years of dealing directly with thousands of photographers, a solid education helps some transition to other avenues of financial support to continue producing their personal work.

The photographers that seem to get to the top have schooling, just need to look at Bios and CV's to figure that out. Yes there are exceptions but in my home town this seems to be the rule and Toronto just became the fourth largest city in North America so the numbers are pretty strong to judge from.

If you take the top earners, over 100K net per year out of the equation, I bet it is less than 25K per year net average. This industry and craft is changing so fast in terms of markets and broad perceptions it is not even funny. I could very well plod along and keep shooting digital, going after new commercial clients and such, but I am not for two reasons. One is that it is not where my heart lies or talents show best. The other is I just don't think it is the way forward anymore and that photography is going to continue to be killed off in many ways in terms of both perception of it's artistic and social value and most certainly commercial value.

For example: http://www.wired.com/design/2013/03/luxion-keyshot/

So as good as an education is and I sometimes wish I could have been enrolled in a great school like RIT, Art Center or Brooks, the notion of what is a photograph, what is it's artistic, social and commercial value are changing waaaay too fast for any curriculum to keep pace with.

Three times I have been asked to teach a Photojournalism course at this (http://www.isaacsonschool.org/) new but well lauded program at our community college. Twice I said I would think about it but need to know more and I was not sure if I had the time. But the third time I said I just can not do it. The reason being that until I see clear evidence to the contrary, I can not in good conscious teach a course in a genre that these students will not be able to monetize.

Next month I am attending John Sexton's well known workshop "The Expressive Black and White Print". I am doing it because I want to make sure I develop sound habits in the darkroom because I too, want to teach traditional analog workshops...because I believe there is a future in that....at least for me.

Ken Nadvornick
03-21-2013, 02:28 PM
...and Toronto just became the fourth largest city in North America...

Wow, Bob. I didn't know that. I'd say congratulations, but... I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I know what "fourth largest" really means. So instead, my condolences...

:p

Ken

Mainecoonmaniac
03-21-2013, 02:39 PM
If you take the top earners, over 100K net per year out of the equation, I bet it is less than 25K per year net average.

Photographers are under the "Star" system. There are a few on top while the rest on the bottom struggles. It's very much like actors and musicians.

Commercial photographers that get huge corporate accounts will do well. Others will struggle. Corporations can leverage economies of scale in using photography and muscle buyouts from photographers. On top of that, there are too many photographers fighting for too little work.

It takes more than just a good portfolio go succeed.

batwister
03-21-2013, 03:17 PM
It takes more than just a good portfolio go succeed.

There have been numerous Flickr photographers who've scored commercial commissions. A young girl from my county in fact did an album cover for a chart topping band - Flickr was her platform for that and other subsequent high profile jobs.

Of course, the pictures are completely cliche ridden, but with a consistent online presence and a certain type of work, 'rags to riches' tales on Flickr aren't that uncommon.
However... what helped in her case was the scantily clad self-portraits, of which the album cover was one.

Bob Carnie
03-21-2013, 03:21 PM
But have you ever visited Toronto,, now condolences necessary ... I love living here.


Wow, Bob. I didn't know that. I'd say congratulations, but... I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I know what "fourth largest" really means. So instead, my condolences...

:p

Ken

DREW WILEY
03-21-2013, 04:48 PM
My late older brother went to Brooks and was glad he did. I personally never had a minute of formal instruction, and am glad I didn't. I don't think either of us were ever asked about education. I'm not
doing any commercial work now; but the only thing clients ever cared about, with either of us, was the portfolio.

MattKing
03-21-2013, 06:23 PM
The best educational experiences I have had (law school, in my case) were set up in such a way as to ensure that those who succeeded only did so because they acquired the ability to organize their lives and energies and developed strong self-discipline - absolute necessities for success in law.

I would assume that the best photo schools are similar.

And if the school is a good one, it will attract faculty and other students who are inspirational as well.

Alan Klein
03-21-2013, 09:44 PM
Before I started a building systems service business, I feared that there would be times when I (later we) couldn't perform the work. That never happened as I recall. All my problems were in getting new clients, more work and running a business what with payrolls, financing, taxes, and dead beat customers. I suppose it's the same in photography. Once you learn the skills to take a decent shot, you have to find customers and run a business. Don't forget to take courses in these disciplines as well.

MartinCrabtree
03-24-2013, 03:33 PM
I am dissatisfied with my work. My life has become stagnant. Picking up my film camera after some time of shooting electronic capture and heading back into the darkroom has been an awakening. I'm planning on returning to school to seek a formal education in photography. I no longer really care about money other than what's needed to live. I make an above average income at this point. But the work is ruining one of my hobbies. I want to find a way to get on paper what resides in my head and school seems to be the way to learn.

I'm looking at 2 schools. The Washington DC School of Photography and Pittsburgh Filmmakers. At this point Pittsburgh carries more interest for me but I need to visit both. I won't need to borrow for either one.

Any advice? BTW I'm 54.

Steve Smith
03-24-2013, 04:50 PM
Education is never wasted (well, it is on some) but competence trumps qualifications every time.


Steve.