Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions. If you have a question and don’t see it addressed here, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add it to the list!
What do you shoot with?
Currently I am using the following equipment:
- Nikon D700
- 85mm 1.8
- 50mm 1.8
- 24mm 2.8
- 105mm 2.8 macro
What is your favorite lens to use?
You know, it used to be that my favorite was always the 50mm. While I still love shooting with that focal length, my go-to lens right now is the 85mm. I LOVE photographing portraits with that lens. They are beautiful every time!!
Did you go to school for photography?
No, I didn’t. This career isn’t something I ever planned on. When I was younger I used to have a camera with me at all times but had no idea how to make it do what I wanted it to do. My brain wasn’t able to wrap around the calculations and numbers required to understand ratios and f-stops at that time so it was always on auto. With the advent of digital, it became much easier for me to see how all those things worked together and I immersed myself in learning everything I could get my hands on for a year straight. I literally shot tens of thousands of images in the process of learning this craft (which I continue to learn every day). Now I can shoot in Manual mode and know that I am going to get a look that I want 95% of the time.
Do you shoot in RAW or JPEG?
I shoot in both. I love the total control over the image that shooting in RAW provides. I can take it into Photoshop or Lightroom and have my way with it. LOL!! So that is what I choose for my professional work. But when I’m shooting something personal, like a birthday party, a vacation, or family function, that is done in JPEG because I’m not going to process each and every one of those pictures!!
What do you recommend to someone who is considering going into the photography business?
First of all, seriously think about what your motivations are for taking it to that level. I see so many people who get a camera for their birthday and, before they have even clicked the shutter once, they are planning to announce they are a pro. It’s not as easy as that. You have to be able to be a good business person. There are a lot of mundane tasks associated with owning a business but they are crucial to keeping you afloat. So, before you take that step here are my recommendations:
1. Do you know your equipment inside/out and backwards/forwards? Are you shooting on Auto Mode? Do you have backups in case something breaks?
2. Are you business-minded?
3. Call your state Department of Revenue and get your Sales Tax ID
4. File online for your Federal Tax ID
5. Get business insurance coverage for your equipment as well as for liability
6. Get the appropriate business license from your state
7. Email someone, an established photographer, and ask them how to appropriately price yourself. I see so many people giving away their work for $100 or $200 for a disc of images. That is crazy and will burn you out so fast. This is the toughest thing because many photographers don’t like to talk about it but I will. There is a lot to consider when figuring out your pricing and it should be taken very seriously.
This is by no means a comprehensive list but it is a good start.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me! I love helping people out!!