Get a degree that will help you understand the world you live in - History, English Literature, Political Science - not journalism or sociology. Take lots of English courses - not journalism - and learn how to tell a story. That's the skill they can't replace with a machine. THEN, play, play, play with all the computers, digi cameras, and video thing-a-ma-bobs you can get your hands on. The technology changes so quickly now its more important to be able to pick up new stuff quickly than to know eveything there is to know about anything.
Just a note from someone who has done this....
Originally Posted by guitstik
My childhood hobbies were electronics and ham radio. My first part-time job was selling ham radio equipment and my first job was an electronics technician assisting an engineer. I sort of grew into computer field at its infancy and later became IT tech/management. Then I got much more interested into it and support technician then to a programmer.
Not that I don't enjoy my job and I do. Not that there is anything else I'd rather be doing for my job. One thing I miss A LOT is having a hobby and enjoying it for the heck of it. If you notice, anything and everything I enjoyed became my job. As soon as something becomes a job, all the fun part of the field goes out the picture. In a sense, one loses a hobby.
Something to think about....
I actually started film photography BECAUSE digital photography is so much like my job. I still do it because it isn't my job but analog has nothing to do with computers. (other than being on APUG.... )
As you talk to your daughter about her choice of future career, I'd appreciate it if you keep this in back of your mind.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
You are much more eloquent
You put into words what I was thinking. A lot of documentary photogs are great because they are engaged in the world. They see human endeavors with a special eye. To develop those sensitivities, they must know something about the world and human nature. One does this by having a broad based education. Yes technology will always change. A sharp intellect and a sensitive eye will serve one for a life time.
Originally Posted by nyoung
You've been reading my diary ;-) Ham, electronics, but I did photography in the 60's, then into microfilm, then into microfilm equipment, computers, electronics, programming, and now an IT supervisor.
Originally Posted by tkamiya
I've wrecked almost every good hobby I've had moving into the job market. It's been long enough, I'm back into analog film and hollowstate electronics now, just treat computers as a tool at home.
There's been a couple of well thought out comments that better said my thoughts when I made the comment about what folks do at 40 years old vs what they were trained to do. Lots of really good observations and advice.
College/school has the opportunity to teach you some basics, math, language, and how to learn. The big one, and one that was not taught when I was in school,,, is how to learn a new trick on your own. Politically correct plagiarism is a skill that will never let you down. (OK,,, research, home work, citations and so on;-)
I really don't wish to come off as a total creep, but how does someone (including a high school student) decide they want to be something when they do not know:
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a lawyer. I knew no more about that profession than this young budding photojournalist. Why did I want to be a lawyer? Perry Mason.
Originally Posted by guitstik
Once I did what this young lady is doing (only I did the research myself, I couldn't ask online) and discovered what lawyers really do, I lost the desire.
Seriously - good luck with your ambition. I do applaud you for looking into it at this stage. There are a lot of teenagers that see only the glamour image of a profession (Perry Mason, "band" photographer, etc.) and don't really know what the job is in real life. Hang in there!
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No inside knowledge here, but another suggestion would be to keep an eye open for a school that has some sort of program to get into internships in the proposed profession, ideally as early as possible. In my extended family I have recently seen a niece go through three years of hotel and restaurant management. Then after a six week summer internship working in the back kitchen at a local upscale restaurant she decided maybe that wasn't her field. I do think it's hard for someone 16 or 17 to decided what many of these jobs really are going to be like once they are in them (heck, it happens to fifty year olds!)
My generation was the show "Lou Grant"
My generation was the TV show "Lou Grant". A lot of men of my generation, now approaching 50, wanted to be like "Animal" the photojournalist. It inspired a bunch of young kids to be newspaper photographers. When I was in photo school, out of the hundreds and hundreds of students, only a handful had careers in photojournalism. It was tough 25 years ago and way tougher now. Only the most dedicated and talented will make it. I got my feet wet shooting for the college paper. I didn't have the temperament for it.
Originally Posted by David Brown
When my wife and I were married, over 20 years ago, I was attending art college and I was making a living doing architectural photography, a few portraits and selling art prints in a Gallery. After our first child was born my wife informed me that I had to make a more substantial living than the hit or miss that photography offered. I had not done any real photography for 18 years until my daughter expressed an interest in it about 8 months ago. Whether or not she does anything with it, I owe her (don't tell her that) for getting ME back into something that I love.
As far as my daughter, I think that she is more enamored with the perceived romance of band photography. She doesn't really understand what it means to make a living at photography. I have tried to explain to her that she really needs to look at doing other types of photography to supplement the band photography unless she can get a job with a major label or a magazine. Fortunately a friend of mine knows a successful band photographer that does work for a major label and I have tried to get her to talk to him, no go so far.
Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy
Of the bawbles that it may.
I was a commercial shooter in a small town. Although I had steady clients, I was barely making a living and wanted a health care and a steady income. I switch over to IT over 10 years ago and never looked back. I just shoot for the joy of it and I'm having much more fun.
I think - it would be nearly impossible to teach 16 year old the difference between passion and practicality without causing him/her to entirely lose interest in the process. Most 16 year olds simply don't have enough life experience and maturity to consider all the implications. In some ways, at their age they shouldn't be all that concerned with all the nouances of "maintaining the right balance" in their lives.
I *think* the best advise anyone can give is to direct them in such a way that knowledge and skills they gain are usable in more ways than just one. Skills to observe, skills to be patient, skills to think independently, not to mention skills to write, read, listen, etc, etc, etc are invaluable. Maybe encourage her to pursue this goal.... then along the way, steer her into directions that can be useful to this goal as well as others so she can fall back on it if she has to.
Yeah, maybe her interest will change too. I know mine did.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?