Becoming A Professional Photographer - Where Do I Begin?
My name is Kevin Cucci & I am a Photographer. I am nearing the end of my first year as a professional photographer (part time) and I have decided that it would be a good idea to share some of my advice, tell my story so far, and explain where I will be going in the future. You can view my portfolio and contact information at artCimagesPhotography.com
My wife says it best... I am what you would call, a researcher. With the amount of blog posts, forums, reviews, and other information available to us now, there is no excuse not to be, in my humble opinion. Youtube could almost be considered school in some areas now a days. We have the ability to learn a massive amount of information in such a short time now if we utilize the tools given to us. In my first year so far I have spent countless hours learning as much as a I can about photography and I feel that if you want to become a professional, you should too!
Most information is FREE, which is unbelievable if you think about it. There are times where I feel that it is necessary to invest in photography education, but for the most part you could basically acquire the equivalent of a college degree in it without ever spending a dime. There are many great channels and photographers out there providing information, but there are 4 that I believe stand at the top of the list.
1. Jared Polin - FroKnowsPhoto.com is probably the best resource for aspiring photographers. He keeps things very light and entertaining but adds advanced and technical information in seamlessly to build your knowledge from the ground up. I will admit that I started shooting Nikon because of Jared (note: I am a Canon shooter currently, but that is for another post). Jared also has a stellar podcast - RAWTALK that I listen to every week (when I am at work) but can be watched on youtube as well. They are around episode 88 at this point and each is an hour-two packed with information along with singing and fun back and forth banter between Jared, his fellow photographer Stephen and newly added assistant Sutter. This podcast makes for great entertainment along with the information provided. Even my wife likes listening to it on road trips and that's saying a lot!
2. Tony & Chelsea Northrup - NorthrupPhotography.com have an excellent youtube channel as well. They have great gear and portfolio reviews similar to Jared Polin along with behind the scenes looks at shoots they do and all their videos are high quality information. They also have a book titled Stunning Digital Photography which can be purchased as an ebook for only 10 bucks on amazon. This is the best value for photography information you will get. BUY THIS BOOK! I could not recommend it any higher.
3 & 4. I consider 3 and 4 to be equal and should be followed simultaneously. These two are Fstoppers.com and SLRlounge.com. Both these sites are at the top of the list when it comes to an all around photography information site. They are both very similar in presentation. They have a handful of editors that work for each, sometimes it seems like they work for both, but either way provide different looks and opinions on gear, shooting advice and technical information vital to photographers of all levels, not just beginners. They both have information for sale and if you, like me are an aspiring wedding photographer then I would absolutely without a doubt recommend Fstoppers' DVD on How To Become A Professional Wedding Photographer. It is definitely on the more "expensive" side but the amount of education you will receive from it rivals a college course. It is worth every penny if you have shot less then 10 weddings in my opinion.
To recap, I would say that between these 4 resources you could earn what would be considered, a Bachelors Degree in photography IF you spend the time learning and retaining the information they provide you with daily, or weekly. I check these resources every single day and it has become part of my routine. With the amount of free education given to you by these sites, I don't think you would hesitate buying their premium (paid) information as they come out with it, or if it fits your needs in your photography. I feel that it is a fair trade for the amount of knowledge they provide on a daily basis.
This was my first blog post and I hope you guys like it, if of course anyone is reading it. Either way I will post a new blog every week, providing some insight on my experiences with gear, shooting tips, marketing, and overall inspiration. Questions and comments are always welcome and I would appreciate any advice along the way. I feel that as photographers and people we should be constantly learning, wherever the information may be coming from ( with a grain of salt of course :) )
Thanks for reading!