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  1. #51
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    The one thing that always rings my ears is when somebody says "I want to be a photographer." and that is the goal. That is a pretty empty aspiration. If you have to think about why that is, you probably aren't making much of a living as a "photographer".

  2. #52
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    "I want to be a photographer." ...[what] is the goal ...
    Very true.

    If the goal is to shoot weddings and portraits then 4 years at RIT or an MFA really aren't going to be that much help and you are better off apprenticing yourself. But if you want to have a commercial studio doing advertising or fashion, or work as an art director, then a degree is very much worthwhile. If you want to teach photography or curate then an MFA degree is a minimum requirement.

    Like other arts, raw talent will trump education any time, but that sort of talent is very, very rare. Those who have it don't need to ask questions.
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  3. #53
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    Very true.

    If the goal is to shoot weddings and portraits then 4 years at RIT or an MFA really aren't going to be that much help....
    Assuming the candidate is endowed with even a modest level of intelligence, I think either program could be very beneficial. In fact, I think a reasonably intelligent person benefits from just about any undergraduate liberal arts degree program. Note, the distinction I am making: I'm suggestion that the person benefits....which is bigger than just landing a job or doing photography. In other words, a degree may not help you get a job as a wedding photog (or it might) and it may not make one more proficient at the craft, but, it will almost certainly benefit the individual. A seemingly unrelated degre might even give a wedding photog a competitive advantage. Wedding and portrait photography are both all about human interaction....there is much that can be learned about the human condition in an undergrad program, and I believe that that experience could very well, make one a better "people photographer".

    Society as a whole also benefits from a well educated populace. We need more folks who can read and write and think logically and fewer ignorant people who are unable to think critically (or, seemingly even unable to think for themselves).

  4. #54
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    Very true.

    If the goal is to shoot weddings and portraits then 4 years at RIT or an MFA really aren't going to be that much help and you are better off apprenticing yourself. But if you want to have a commercial studio doing advertising or fashion, or work as an art director, then a degree is very much worthwhile. If you want to teach photography or curate then an MFA degree is a minimum requirement.

    Like other arts, raw talent will trump education any time, but that sort of talent is very, very rare. Those who have it don't need to ask questions.
    In the 80's I employed a young 17/18 year old, he dreamt of being a photographer, he was totally useless, after 8 or 9 months he left.

    He did become a photographer, and loved it, he worked for a UK S/H car sales free newspaper, was given a Polaroid camera to shoot the small adds, at £7 to place an advert including the free photograph he wasn't allowed more than 2 shots at a £1 per exposure per car or it came out of his wages

    they went onto become the first company to switch to 100% digital, way less than 1 mega-pixel, the Casio cameras were so unreliable each photographer was issued with 3.

    That's reality, he was a professional photographer. (In his eyes).

    Ian

  5. #55

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    How to be a photographer is all depending on the level you want to work at . I have worked as an advertising photographer for the last 25 years and when starting out the classic way was collage for 3 years , and it goes like this ,when at collage work on your book look at every image and photographer you can get your eyes on , work on the book again ,then in your last year ring all the photographers work you admire and go and see them with your book .When you do this make sure the work in your book reflects the photographers work .There is nothing more irritating than a student turning up with a fashion book when you shoot still life. When you meet the photographers ask what they think of the book take advice , redo your book and go back to the photographers you get on with . try and get placements and then assist ,when doing this take more pictures ,make sure the people you assist reflect the sort of work you want to do . then re do your book ,then start to see potential clients ,telling them you are an assistant and asking advice ,re do your book then go back . eventually you will get work . the most important thing to remember at all times is that you are taking pictures because thats all you want to do and not to make money . Eventually if you are good enough and you work hard the money will come ,if you are only entering photography for the money you have started from the wrong point . photography at the highest level is not a hobby it is a lifetime of hard work and if you are 100% commited from day one you might have a chance if you have any doubts then photography is a rewarding hobby and you should stick to that level

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