This is why I'm an amateur

Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
1,370
Location
Canada
I'm absolutely incapable of taking a good picture of something I don't care about. So if someone paid me to take pictures of some random person or product, I'd be very bad at it.

I wouldn't mind being able to see better and maybe making money from photography someday, but at the moment, I can't even justify charging anybody for my work. I'm looking at books, browsing photos here, etc but even when I was walking around today, I don't see certain things that I've seen people post here.

How do I get over this?




Gratuitous random shot. A free book left behind - found at a bench of a local shopping center.

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Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
12,050
Location
Hamilton , New Zealand
I'm absolutely incapable of taking a good picture of something I don't care about. So if someone paid me to take pictures of some random person or product, I'd be very bad at it.

I wouldn't mind being able to see better and maybe making money from photography someday, but at the moment, I can't even justify charging anybody for my work. I'm looking at books, browsing photos here, etc but even when I was walking around today, I don't see certain things that I've seen people post here.
Just shoot for fun .
There's a saying " To make a small fortune in photography start with a big fortune " . That was in the days of film as well . These days with digital making it easy enough for anyone to take pictures they are satisfied with
it is hard enough for pros to make a full time living out of photography so don't waste too much time and money trying if you're unsure of yourself - just have fun and try to improve where you can in the process :smile: .

.
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
11,564
Location
Southern California
The $$$ are enough of an inspiration for me... :tongue: I'm not in the habit of taking random shots when it's for me, and when I'm hired, it's to shoot people, and I like that no matter what...
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2006
Messages
8,391
Location
LA (Lower Arkansas)
Just shoot for fun.
I completely agree. I made a few bucks while shooting a couple years ago, so I thought I should upgrade my equipment. I did, and now I don't make a dime at it.

But I shifted my focus. I decided that I wanted to have some great shots in the frames hanging on my walls and sitting on my desk. So now I do. I've found that the compliments I get from those photos are far more gratifying than the money I collected from paid shooting.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
5,262
Location
NJ
(...)I wouldn't mind being able to see better and maybe making money from photography someday, but at the moment, I can't even justify charging anybody for my work.(...)
Being a succesful professional has far less to do with being "good" at taking pictures and far more with the ability to market and sell yourself, and to run a succesful business.

If you want to make money in photography start there and worry less about the pictures.

No, I'm not cynical. (Even though I'm looking at the Sportography pictures taken right now. Everyone is looking straight into the sun and squinting worse than Bud Spencer. And they're using Nikon D1's. But they also seem to make money)
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
684
Location
North of Seattle, South of Canada
Find something you don't care about and take 50 photos of it. Vary exposure, perspective, distance...whatever, but take 50 photos of whatever it is. You may still not care for it but I can all but guarantee you will become a better photographer if you do it enough.

I did this years ago and recall taking 50 photos of a garbage can. One of them was ultimately published. And I certainly didn't care for stinky garbage cans and still don't.

Lurker said:
Being a succesful professional has far less to do with being "good" at taking pictures and far more with the ability to market and sell yourself, and to run a succesful business.
Truer words were never spoken. ^^^LISTEN TO THIS MAN!^^^ :smile:

I know people who take a lot of photos every day. They are OK but frankly rather uninspiring and even boring. But they make a lot of money at it. I also know others who don't make loads of money, but man, can they shoot. Of course there are those who both shoot a lot and make a lot of money as well, but most of them are not professional photographers. :wink:
 
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Joined
Feb 19, 2006
Messages
8,391
Location
LA (Lower Arkansas)
Find something you don't care about and take 50 photos of it. Vary exposure, perspective, distance...whatever, but take 50 photos of whatever it is. You may still not care for it but I can all but guarantee you will become a better photographer if you do it enough.
This is the reason I'm still hanging around this forum. Ideas like this are priceless.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
2,078
Location
SE Wisconsin
I'm with the OP but I have seen improvement in my photos over the past year. I use to think I still don't have a firm understanding on fstop etc until someone at work bought a camera and I was explaining it to them. Sometimes its just getting that confidance in yourself and your photos.

On the other hand I still don't feel that I'm good enough to be paid for the photos. I also shoot more of landscape and animals so there isn't the larger market for that then there is with portraits. I doubt I will ever make any money on my photographs which is why I shoot what I want to photograph.

As mentioned above keep taking pictures. The person I mentioned above isn't comfortable with her camera at all and it shows but yet they shot a wedding for a friend in auto the entire time and the built in flash. It was done for free and a favor but it's all about marketing yourself.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
19,938
Location
TX originally from Louisiana
I shoot for the love of photography - if I make money along the way, nice. If I don't make money, who cares! It gets me out of the house, gets me back to nature, and most of the time, I come back home refreshed and ready to face every day life again.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
5,301
Location
San Jose, CA
Well, you're obviously shooting with a D70 and a kit lens. Shoot. You can't take good photographs with cheap gear! Time to upgrade to a D3x with 14-24, 24-70, and 70-200. Then add some strobes, Pocket Wizards, a nice case to put them in, a $900 carbon fiber tripod, and THEN you can take good pictures.

*Sarcasm*

But seriously, at the end of the day, some people enjoy taking photographs. And it doesn't really matter the subject matter. They just love taking photographs. Some people just love being doctors. And those people, at first, just say... "I want to be a doctor", just like I did when over a year ago I said, "I want to be a photographer." But like most doctors, they settle into one type of medicine, and just like most photographers, you settle into one type of photography (sports, weddings, families, automotive, pets, wildlife, landscapes, etc.).

Find what you like. Follow it. Until then, keep shooting.

And that picture you posted. It's actually not bad at all.

The #1 tip anyone ever gave me... "Create an image that you can't create with your own eyes." In other words, shoot from a location, angle, or with lenses, that your eyes can't duplicate. Shallow depth of focus, or maybe crouching down, or standing up really high. It makes a world of difference. And once you have the shot you want, MOVE. Don't stand in the same place and take 15 of the same shots.

:smile:
 

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