Hi from an Aussie photography student
My dad (APUG user gerardf) told me of your great site to get some experience, views and opinions about art and photography.
I'm a high school student from Melbourne Australia and would like to study photography full time with aview to becoming a photo-journalist.
From reading dad's books and the internet generally, I can see that I need to ask lots of questions.
I have an assignment:- "Codes of Practice - Working Practices and Systems in Photography"
within:- "Weddings, portraiture, scientific, illustrative, photojournalism"
I'm not asking for anyone to do this for me but I would really appreciate some feedback/opinions/experience with your working practices, experiences, anecdotes, working systems with the above fields. I figured that the best way to write this assignment was to ASK those with experience (I'm 17yo!)
Hope this is OK with you guys...
Hi from.. Melbourne
as a hobbiest, can't help you with your question though
Welcome to APUG! Glad your here. Go for it! Study photography, become a photojournalist, and don't let anyone dissuade you.
What I am about to write is only my opinion and you should take it as that: just someone's opinion. First, I work professionally for a wedding photography studio in Chicago. Codes of practice for photographers with in it are this:
1. Whatever the bride wants she gets.
2. When people put on formal wear their brains fly out the window. For some reason, fancy dresses and tuxedos make people forget how to listen, concentrate, and smile.
3. There's no reasoning with a drunk person.
4. Brides and grooms say they want NO posed pictures (called photojournalistic style), BUT they are LYING. If you take no posed picture, they will complain guaranteed. At their consultation, point out that they do want some posed pictures and they usually agree.
5. Here's the typical set up for backdrops and alter shots. Two umbrellas 45 degree angle, blast with light, and no shadows. If there's a shadow, they'll complain.
6. Every photo must have the person looking right at the camera and smiling or its no good.
7. Weddings are static photography: stand there, look at the camera, say cheese, and smile. Not artistic, but there's alot of money to be made as a wedding photographer.
Second, I have been doing portraiture since I first picked up a camera. What I want to say is this: don't follow anyone's standards for how or how not to shoot portraits. Learn the technical (how to use lights/strobes, f stops, etc.) but never, ever let anyone make you believe that you have to follow a dictated method or style for portraits. Break all the "rules" and laugh at how the big time portrait photographers make their images look the same. Before you make an image, think "What can I do to make this better?" An idea of the moment as we say.
Third, I don't know anything about scientific or illustrative or photojournalism for magazines or papers. I do have an opinion about photojournalism for papers and magazines. That is, be careful. Photography is not reality. Let me repeat that, photography is not reality (that's a fact not opinion). It's a fraction of a second in time that's manipulated by the photographer (composition, angle, light). You can take a picture one second and the next take another picture that contradicts the one you just took. Keep that in mind when you see picutres of war, politicians, beauty contests, parades, etc. They're just a fraction of a second in time and don't tell you anything about the real situation, movtives, or further actions of people or things.
So much for making this short, but welcome!
Welcome from Hawaii. I look forward to seeing you develop as a photographer; make sure you post some of the images from your assignment.
As for weddings, I agree with Grace's 1,2,3,and 4. I disagree with Grace's 5, 6, and 7. Except that there I agree there's a lot of money to be made in wedding photography, if you can develop a liking for it.
As for portraits, work unapologetically in the way you feel moved. Build your style, reputation, and business on that, and you will be a happy photographer. Working to someone else ideal and in anyone else's style will leave you feeling empty and discontent over time. I'm a firm believer that people respond to sincerity in portraiture and in general, and that approach has worked well for me.
Good luck with the project.
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G'day chyna me old cobber - sorry, couldnt resist it.
I suppose I shoudl be saying "me old china" (you know, cockney rhyming slang - china plate = mate)
anyway - good to have you here
Leon, I have no clue what you just said, but it sounded cool.
Don't worry Cheryl. There are people in the deepest east-end of London, slurping on their jellied eels and singing knees up mother brown (maver Braaan) who didn't understand Leon.
I will now whole-heartedly apolgise for my disgaceful and sweeping steroetyping of cockneys everywhere. I'll get me coat.
Last edited by sparx; 11-03-2004 at 12:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: edited for being rude to our new member. Welcome Chyna, enjoy the ride and steer clear of mentioning politics
It's very difficult to break into magazine photography, but as a former photo editor, I can say that you need to master your craft, and demonstrate it with a strong portfolio. If you can get that first assignment, and come through with a good photograph you'll be called again. When you meet with a photo editor or art director, they want to know that you are interested in making good photographs, not just gettting your travel subsidized! You'll have to do a lot of 'business man/woman behind a desk' shots, and if you can do that well, you'll be worth your weight in gold. Grace makes a very good point about photojournalism... photographs often don't provide context, so you'll need to be a good reporter too. Get complete caption information, and make sure to get everyone's name spelled right. I good place to start is to string for small local papers...
Good luck, and welcome!
Welcome from a Kiwi. As you see, there's plenty of helpful people at APUG.
Most photographers really love their work. And consequently, many have strong opinions. Without wanting to be tooooo presumptious - may I suggest, the most important thing at your stage is to realise that people prioritise aspects of picture taking according to their style own of photography. I think it's good to listen to the opinions offered and thenthink consciously about whether these fit with you. If they do, then take them on board and run with it.
It's a great way to find out what you really enjoy in your photography (which is absolutely critical)!
Good luck! See you 'round....