I was recently contacted on my Facebook for an online interview, and I found my responses to be interesting. So I figured I would post. It's pretty long-winded.
1.When did you start you career?
I began to charge people for my services when they started booking me for bigger jobs like Quinceneras and weddings. This was in 2001, while I was working on my photography degree.
2.What is a typical day in your line of work?
It's actually different depending on whether I'm shooting or editing that day. Let's take a wedding, for example. I meet up with my second shooter and brief him or her about the day. I then start with the bride getting ready. I take shots of her getting made up, her dress, her details (shoes, rings, other jewelry, etc.), and any activity that is going on in the room with her and her bridesmaids. If there is time, my second shooter and I will visit the groom and groomsmen and capture some of them getting ready and their formals. From there, we usually do bride and bridesmaid formals and any other formal pictures the bride tells us she wants. Ceremony is directly from there, which leads into MORE formal pictures and then to the reception. Generally, the whole day lasts about 8 hours.
3.What is your specific background and experience?
I hold a Bachelor's in Photography from Sac State and I have been shooting seriously for the past 11 years. Before that, I took lots of pictures of family and friends. Basically, I have turned my passion and hobby into my career. I have worked with many amazing primary shooters in order to further my experience, and I have taken an extra photography workshop and I plan to take more.
4.What category of photography do you do the most? Medical, events, science, etc.?
Weddings, engagements, boudoir, and family portrait sessions.
5.How did you get started in this field?
Photography has always been my passion and hobby, but I truly got into it when I took my first black and white class at Sacramento State. I found shortly after that I enjoyed portraiture the most.
6.When did you become interested in photography?
When I received my first camera as a gift at age 8.
7.Was photography just a hobby at first?
Yes, and an unlikely career.
8.How many hours a week do you work?
An average of 30-35 hours per week between shooting, editing, meeting with clients, and building albums.
9.Do you know the employment outlook in this field for the future?
Photography is a VERY competitive field. You truly have to know your stuff, and offer a product that people love. You have to continue to train yourself and keep up on the new ideas and techniques. However, photography is one thing that consumers are unwilling to give up, even in tough economical times. I shoot more weddings now than a few years ago when people had more money to spend. People will always need maternity, newborn, and family portraiture too.
10.Do you work in another fields besides photography?
I work part-time for Hawaiian Airlines as a ticket agent. I work there primarily for the flight benefits.
11.Is this something you would recommend as a part time job to begin with?
Definitely. Many women choose photography due to the flexibility and ease in planning a workload around their families. I only started shooting full time in just the past year.
12.What entry-level job are best for learning as much as possible in this field?
Second shooting and assisting an amazing, well-known primary photographer, interning at a magazine, newspaper, or other publication where you can learn the ins and outs of photography in that field... I am sure a career center/counselor could come up with many more examples. :-)
13.What salary can one expect at entry level? Five years?
At entry level, you can expect to claim a loss if you own your business. It's likely that your business will barely pay the bills or cover equipment costs the first year at least. I can imagine very few people making a high salary (I would expect closer to minimum wage) with any other company due to the fact that you have to be very good at what you do to be recognized. Therefore, experience is necessary to move up in this field.
14.What training, education, or skills do I need to enter into this field?
Basic photography courses are recommended. Learning the newest ideas and techniques in the field you are interested is important. Knowing how to use your camera properly is the ABSOLUTE most important piece of advice I can give you. Courses in Photoshop and extra workshops in the area you are interested in are imperative to your personal growth. Photography is an art, and developing your eye and your style will be the biggest part of that personal growth.
15.What occupations are closely related to this one?
Occupations closely related to wedding/portraiture photography? Magazine photography and photojournalism are the ones that come to mind the most.
16.Is it hard to find careers in this field?
17.What do you like the most about your work? The least?
I like to see my clients excited about my work. I enjoy hearing them satisfied with the session AND the outcome of our time spent together. My least favorite thing is when prospective clients do not see my worth before contacting me, or the long hours spent at the computer.
18.Are there any changes occurring in this field?
Changes occur every moment. Someone is always thinking about a new way to do things, whether it comes to shooting, lighting, or post-processing. This is why it's important to keep up with what's going on with other photographers.
19.How would you describe most of your work environments/culture?
Not sure, exactly. Perhaps family-oriented? Usually large events where families are coming together for celebrations. Generally, I shoot a lot of traditional American events.
20.What general advice would you give someone in this line of work?
If someone was in this line of work, it's likely I wouldn't have to give them advice. But if they still needed this kind of advice, I would tell them the same as above: KNOW your camera, inside and out. Attend photography workshops. Buy the best lenses possible.
21.Why is photography important to you?
Photography is how we document our lives. If we didn't have someone to capture those most important moments, we wouldn't be able to enjoy for years to come those special, intimate times with our loved ones.
22.Do you believe it is the quality of the camera or the quality of the photography the matters most?
The experience and knowledge of the photographer matters most.
23.Do a special style you try to keep when you photograph?
If you have to put a style on my work, I would like to say it is often photojournalistic. I can capture those posed moments just as well as I can capture the times that people don't realize the camera is there, and are being themselves.
24.What do you enjoy most about photography?
Interaction with clients and getting that one awesome shot from the whole session.
25.Do you have a favorite photograph? Photographer?
I don't have one favorite photograph. There are so many beautiful images out there. But some of my fave photographers are Annie Leibovitz, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Susan Yee of En Pointe Photography, Jessica Claire, and Jasmine Star.
26.In your opinion, what makes a good photographer?
A good photographer is someone who is always driven by improvement. Yes, I might make nice images now. But what can I do to make them better? What can I learn to improve? What can I do to get that fresh, new look in my work? What can I come up with that will catch the eye of someone who happened upon my blog? You have to take the time to follow through and research and be willing to try new things.
Each day comes bearing its own gifts.
Untie the ribbons.
- Online interview. Interesting.