Budding Photographer

Our daughter is a budding photographer,  mostly taking photos of sunsets and flowers.  There are evenings where we become sunset chasers as opposed to storm chasers!  LOL

What advice would you give her for starting and growing a photography business?  Where do you recommend she print her photos?  What formats do you recommend she offer ... size(s), matted or not, framed or not, canvas, etc?

If you recommend framing, what are good sources?  We do have a local frame shop that can do custom, but more expensive, framing.  Same for matting.  We also have a Hobby Lobby if that makes any difference.

She does not have a lot of $$ to get started.  The 2 photos are just 2 of many photos.



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  • go to www.improvephotography.com.  All a beginning photographer needs.

  • I think it's great your daughter has found some passion. I've been doing this for quite a while and I recommend to those who ask, learn ALL the basics. Learn rule of thirds, learn about composition, learn the ins and outs of the equipment, learn about lighting. One all this is learned then you have the foundation move on.  Join photography groups, both locally and online, get REAL critiques of the work (this can be ver disheartening) but you want real honest critiques. go to gallery, see what sells, in your local area, start locally. As far as displaying the images, it all depends on the subject and where it's being displayed.  Sunsets and high color contrast works well on metal. I live in a fishing town so some of the wooden boats, I have done on wood.  Framing and matting can be tricky as you want professional lab or local person who has the eye to see the final results. Some online labs let you delight mattes and frames right online before you order Canvas work great with some images, and it's the BEST for hiding imperfections like is something is not quite tack sharp. 

    From the two photos that were posted, she has potential but needs some practice.  Many who have posted here also are giving you GREAT advice and ideas.   I also rarely do my own printing, expect for small 4x6 and 5x7 cardboard matted frames mostly as giveaways and intros to my work. Anything else is done at a professional lab.  Also, she MUST shoot in RAW format if her camera allows, but even is she works with a iPhone or point and shoot, composition is the important thing to learn. Anyway, if she's got the passion I'm sure she'll do good, there is a TON of free information out there, a lot of Youtube and other sources.  

    • Hey Cindy, I am not a photographer now.....but I was for many years and I taught photography both darkroom and digital for 16 years at a private prep school...I sent many a photographer out into the world. All this technical talk might not be where your daughter is yet and if she loves photography she owes it to herself to take some classes at craft schools or photo workshops ( I went to the Maine Photographic workshop many times and there is also one in Santa Fe... they were great.) or get a degree or take classes at a reputable university or junior college. Having other photographers around you that have the passion that you do never quite translates over the internet and the camaraderie and skills she will learn are invaluable. Yes, you can do it yourself, my husband did, but he studied with Ansel, Minor White, Imogene Cunningham, Bert Stern and many others and his understanding of lighting and composition are fully formed...Of course all those people are dead now but there are new wonderful teachers at many craft and photo schools around the country. That way she will understand everything her camera can do and also how to look critically. I know I am talking as a teacher here.... but I think that the best of us aren't just gadget freaks like most photographers ( it's easy to get caught up with that) but really understand the medium and can apply it to subject matter and style. Just saying.....

      • Good advice :-) Gadget freaks bug the daylights out of me. As a juror, I see too many photographers listing their Canon/Nikon latest model and their printer model. I just shake my head, then want to shake them and ask, "That's nice but what are you 'trying to say' with your work?"
        Being around other photographers forces you to distill and clarify your work in a pressure cooker of self-competition. There are a few online groups that can fill that need but the operative word is "few". I started doing photography as a child in the 50's, and likewise have taught studio classes for a fair number of years, and there are a few groups on FB that I'm in awe of.
  • Thanks everyone. Will take every thing under advisement & pass it along to my daughter.

    • One more point.

      Encourage her to shoot what she wants. Do it for the love of photography and her art. This passion will allow her to grow and be happy.

      If it is done just with the idea of what is "sellable" that will show in her work and she may not be satisfied, for long.

      • I agree strongly. I was a landscape photog 10 years ago, realized it didn't make me happy or wasn't my best work, so I switched.  Now my stuff sells and I'm proud to show it at art shows with great results.  

      • Thank you, Larry. Right now it *is* mostly for fun but she beginning to like the idea of earning a little $$ from her hobby.

        • Len's get expensive, quickly. Especially if you like Zeiss.

          Lee filter system.

          Kasserman filters.

          Flash units with slave and transmitter systems.

          Best place to deal with... B&H Photo in NY. Vast array of photography needs. Very good price structure. Great customer service.

          • Thanks.

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