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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    Actually it's homegrown because I've never read any of them.
    Perhaps you should.

    R.

  2. #12
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    Perhaps you should.

    R.

    Actually two of them have the nasty habit of shooting themselves in the head.

    Don't think so.

    I'll just stick to shooting myself in the foot.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    Actually two of them have the nasty habit of shooting themselves in the head.

    Don't think so.

    I'll just stick to shooting myself in the foot.


    Michael
    Dear Michael,

    I had neglected that aspect of it. Perhaps you have the right idea after all.

    Though to be fair, you can't really say it's a habit when they only did it once.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    Yes. The big thing is that photographers can be lucky: the occasional good picture makes them look good. Writers can't fake it the same way: what you write has to be grammatical, correctly spelled, usw.

    R.
    Actually, I found when I worked for a news magazine, the writers were often a little out of focus, but our photographers rarely had that luxury.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy
    Actually, I found when I worked for a news magazine, the writers were often a little out of focus, but our photographers rarely had that luxury.
    Dear Suzanne,

    Professionally, you are are incontestably right -- though the writers' work was still likely to be grammatical and correctly spelled, even when lacking in brilliance or focus.

    But a lot of amateurs judge themselves by their lucky flukes, and imagine that being a pro ain't as difficult as it is.

    Cheers,

    Roger.

  6. #16
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    My life in photography started as a part time rock musician in the 50's who was a coal miner by day but who was always interested in any of the arts. After a fairly long and unsuccessful time as a pro musician, lots of booze, failed records, travel and other things (decide for yourself?) I gave it up to return to college as a mature(?)student. At the same time I purchased my first camera, an old Minolta Autocord twin lens reflex for ten pounds sterling. The obsession began.

    I quickly became hooked on black and white and spent every spare minute and all the cash I could get on film, paper and chemicals. Hours, no days, were spent in the darkroom producing countless postcard size prints which littered the house until I was persuaded to confine them to the litter bin. It was like destroying part of my soul. When I discovered 16 x 20 paper nothing changed except that the litter bin started to take over the house.

    Eventually I achieved some level of quality and consistency and started to give lectures to the local camera clubs, this was followed in a few years by giving some printing demonstrations and then full blown workshops. I didn't know it then but my photographic career was in it's infancy.

    The next step was to agree to write one article for Photo Pro, a British Photographic Magazine. That one article turned into a 15 year stint of writing many articles for many magazines until 2 years ago when I decided that I needed a rest from the monthly deadlines. One day soon I plan to make a come back. As a result of starting to write I decided it was time to give up the acountancy job that I had studied for as a mature student and my life as a full time photographer, printer, teacher started. That was 12 years ago and whilst I have not got rich in monetary terms my life has been greatly enrichened by the people I have worked with as well as those I have taught.

    I will never retire even if I have to propped up in front of the enlarger and have a young assistant to focus the image because of my failing eyesight. One thing I will never give up is the daily ritual of getting my hands into the developer and dripping fixer down the front of my shirt, usually the one that is my wife's favourite.

    To anyone reading this who is thinking of becoming a pro photographer I say give it a go, otherwise you will forever ask yourself why you didn't and what you may have missed. However, a word of warning, it is not easy and you should forget about a 9 to 5 workday. Oh, and you probably will not make a lot of money either.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  7. #17
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    Now you guys spill the beans. At the Conference I took a course by Blansky (he couldn't get laid) and a course by Les (he didn't get rich). At the next conference, I am taking any course that Art is teaching!
    Kick his ass, Sea Bass!

  8. #18
    RAP
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    Here is a little shameless promotion from my web site;

    http://narrationsinlight.com/narrati...ishedworks.htm

    The top pix have not been published yet anyway. Scroll down and you can see my calendar credits. I have more Hagstrom Map covers then you can shake a stick at, for NJ.

    Verizon used to buy regularly for their "Showcase pages" in the NJ directories which consisted of a two page spread, plus additionals. That was a nice gig for several years, until they slashed their budget and I got cut out of the picture, so to speak.

    Used to do a lot of architectural work.

    I worked for a newspaper that came out once a week way back in the 1980's. I was the entire Sports department; photographer, writer, editor. That was fun, cover 3 to 4 high school games per week, shooting, taking notes at the same time, then writing copy.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  9. #19
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    These are great stories, and it's really tough to follow Blansky, but here goes:
    "Life is what happens, when we're busy making other plans." - John Lennon
    From the age of six I've been facinated with "the magic paper."
    High school - Was a yearbook photographer shooting with a 2 1/4 rollieflex in b&w. I had great sex, but never had any partners.
    Along came the Army, and tons of darkroom time. Oh and computer programming also.
    23 years of software analysis/design/installation/support for large IBM mainframes and my brain was fried.
    Stashed the cash, told that field goodbye, finished my basement, built my color Ilfohcrome darkroom, started selling my prints to "rich" people.
    That was 13 years ago. The last 3 have been full-time on the art show circuit.
    Any regrets giving up all that great computer money in exchange for doing what I always wanted to do? HELL NO!!!
    My biggest problem now is keeping up with demand, and not having as much time for travel and shooting new stuff.
    Also, spending so much time in the darkroom has in some ways "de-socialized" me, at least that's what my friends and famliy tell me, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. I never lose an argument.
    Oh well, it still beats the heck out of computers!

  10. #20
    DKT
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    Like a lot of people on this site, I've been a photographer pretty much my whole life. When I was a kid, my dad was an amateur, and had a couple of small home darkrooms. I was always messing around with hand me down cameras, and I learned how to process and print when I was pretty young. By the time I got to my teens--I was interested in being a journalist--I got a night job at a local paper ( the largest paper in the state actually, so it wasn't a small paper).

    I worked first as a copy carrier, then by the time I was in high school, I had begun working the weekends as a stringer for the photo dept. I eventually had a locker, assigned cameras and everything. I did the newspaper thing for a total of about 6 years off & on. I joined the NPPA when I was 17 and have been in ever since.

    I studied photojournalism actually--but somehow along the way, I found myself working in labs, working as an assistant, etc. I tried my hand with freelance work. Living in Chapel Hill, around the time of the second wave of college music coming out of NC (mid 80s)...well, I wound up shooting a lot of the music scene stuff and somehow got into doing album packaging and promo work as well. But it was always very much like working from the trunk of my car or out of my domke bag more or less....makeshift studios and the like--very hard for me to make a living doing it. I shot probably almost 20 albums in that time period, and got a couple of big breaks--did a couple of jobs for rolling stone & spin for example, and got in with a label that was eventually bought by Atlantic--but I never had a formal studio, and it was just not happening for me. My biggest client of sorts--signed to a major, major label--and switched all the shooting out to LA actually, and so I lost that as well...mainly because of a lack of a formal studio. I never thought that their later photos were actually any better or worse than what I did, it was very much the same--only their budgets were like 100 times what mine was. So--I was always looking for work, and working other crap jobs to pay the bills as well (I became a stat camera operator & did prepress).

    One day I was in a camera store, and a wedding photographer I knew bumped into me and told me about hearing of a job working as lab tech in a museum printing b/w....I interviewed and got the job. I worked part time at first--and this was great, because I made enough to live actually, but then I had the rest of the week off and could pursue my music stuff. Eventually I started working full time, and then another staff position opened as a shooter (in addition to two others at the time)--so I applied for that--got it. When I interviewed for the position--I was actually up against a couple of really qualified candidates. In the end, I think what did it for me was one of the requirements was to operate this new process camera they had gotten...and since I had worked in prepress just to make ends meet....well, I got lucky.

    So--it's now at about 14 years for me. A lot has changed in the outside world--those newspaper jobs have drastically changed. I've had a quite a few friends lose their jobs due to digital--either in labs or as shooters--they either couldn't make the transition, or they wouldn't. My world has been slowly going through the same changes, but I'm still shooting film, and making prints. I'm still shooting the same stuff the press does, often times right alongside them. Which is why I'm still in the NPPA.

    My goal is to work my 25 yrs and then retire. I don't think I'll be able to make it without going totally digital at some point though, but that's just life. I have always been a photographer, and just about every job I've ever had has been in the business. I'd be at a loss to figure out what else I could do to be honest, so I consider myself lucky to have found a stable part of the profession to work in. I get good benefits, and I'm vested as well. When I retire, I'll have a pension, and if I make my time--I'll be relatively young. I'm hoping at least Ilford will still be around, so I can catch up on my printing in my own darkroom.....

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