Professional photography – a post for Amy

Earlier this week I received a phone call from a school girl by the name of Amy.   She was very complimentary about my work, but sounded very shy and the compliments rather wrong footed me, so I’m not sure I gave her the answers she was looking for.

On reflection I think she may have been asking about photography as a career/study choice.  If that is the case these are my thoughts for Amy and any one else considering this path:

Social photography (portrait, wedding photography etc) is a wonderful career, however it sometimes seems undervalued;  everyone now constantly snaps away with the latest compact or camera-phone.  If you have a good eye, create beautiful work and develop your own style, there is work to be found, however you do need a good business head on your shoulders.

Which leads me to the next biggy: should you study photography at college or university……..  I was hanging out with a bunch of young talented and successful photographers today (I don’t put myself in that bracket especially the young bit!) and asked for their thoughts.  Overwhelmingly the answer was no – though many do have degrees, just not in photography.  It maybe better to choose a degree in something other than photography, something that would help you develop your ‘business-head’ or give you something to fall back on should you decide that photography as a career isn’t for you.   So yes go to uni, have a great time if you want the experience and a good foundation for the future.   As for the best way to learn and improve your photography:  read, practice, look at the work of others, practice and practice some more, developing your own style along the way!  When it comes to the business of photography there are many working pros out there running courses as well as companies such as Aspire that can give you the confidence to get started.

All posts need pretty pictures so here is a previously unposted image from a session last year that Amy particularly liked.

 

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Jennifer Clare Photography for children's and family portraits in the following locations: Derby, Burton-on-Trent, Lichfield, Uttoxeter, Melbourne, Tutbury, Ashbourne, Matlock and other areas of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire. Business portrait photography and personal branding is also available with Jennifer Clare