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Thread: Photography Courses?

  1. #1
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    Photography Courses?

    Hi all,

    I'm looking at making a business out of my photography and doing it on weekends to supplement my income. I've been getting good at it over the years, I still have a bit to learn (who doesn't?) and I've noticed some photography courses going. Do people think a proper course is worthwhile these days or is it more about showing a portfolio of your work?

    I just wanted peoples opinions because it's a decent chunk of money to put down, especially since I'm getting married in under a month.

  2. #2
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    I think it depends on what you are trying to learn and who is teaching the class.
    There are many courses for photography around here, the bar is set very low for the teacher.
    Taking classes taught my a master at the craft, that has recognition and skill, it might be worthwhile. Taking classes at the local junior college from a teacher with no portfolio and recognition, no thanks.

    If the intent of your question is to decide whether a degree of some sort would add to your bushiness, most likely not.
    When choosing a photographer the proof of your skill is in your work. It is in your portfolio.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    I think it depends on what you are trying to learn and who is teaching the class.
    If possible, check out their background and their portfolio. I haven't taken a class since my film days and that was an "extension" class that met about 8-10 times but a friend's girlfriend recently went through a series of classes at an official school. She loved them and I will say her work was much better after, but she was also a beginner entering the classes and I did not hear much that I would call new. Actually, what I heard most of was photographing in different settings and then a lot of feedback.

    So, if you are already feeling pretty good about your work, I would be careful selecting a class. What is it that you want to learn and then, getting back to HDNitehawk's point, what is the background of the teacher. There are a lot of options out there. You might be better served with one of these bundles that come out a couple times a year that have 8 billion hours of instruction for $99.99...or something

  4. #4
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    First let me say I am not a pro. I took a few classes early on at the local "Mega Store". I learned some basics but mostly they were there for absolute beginners. Since then I have learned more from forums like this and legit youtube vids. I also try to get some paying gigs to supplement my income and those potential customers have never once asked "Where did you study?" They only want to see past work and my portfolio. Again, I'm not a pro, just my opinion. I feel my money is better spent on gear than on classes.

  5. #5
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    What sort of clients are you hoping to attract for your weekend-gigs? Sports, Portrait/Headshots? Or would you shoot your own ideas, and sell the results: Landscapes (money from selling large prints/usage rights), Stock Images, etc.

    Similar to jerry's advice on money is better spent on gear, there are lots of other uses for time and money.

    If you're looking to fill out your portfolio, and doing landscape, consider investing the cost in 'gas-money' or airfare for a trip outside your usual circles.

    If you're doing portraits, invest your time in scouring every nook and cranny in and around your city, looking for and building a database of unique locations for non-studio portraits. This will help you stand out from the rest of the photographers in your area.

    Find something that can make your business unique, and put your time and budget into that.
    Last edited by DavidEccleston; 01-19-2018 at 02:50 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks all for the feedback, thats what I was hoping to hear. I'm happy-ish with my skills and would look into more gear/locations etc

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