These are questions I get asked quite commonly! A lot of times this week! This might get wordy! Grab some coffee or a nice beverage of your choice and sit back and enjoy!
I am one of those people that loves to answer questions. There really is “No such thing as a dumb question”! So I wanted to answer a couple on here because they seem to be more common than others.
Q: What kind of schooling have you had and what made you go into Photography?
A: I have a Marketing degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM). It wasn’t always marketing… I was going to MSUM for Graphic Design and Art and having transferred from NDSU because they didn’t have my field of study I ran into some snags. I transferred into the Graphic Design program at MSUM and due to not being able to “double-up” on classes and some crazy pre-requisites it would have taken me another 4-5 years on top of the 2-3 years I already had been in college. So all in all I had spent about 3 years taking multiple types of Art courses on History of Art, lighting, composition, drawing, painting and some sculpture. At that point I thought “this isn’t getting me anywhere,” so I went back to Business and Marketing. I graduated in 2005 with my Marketing Degree and a whole lot of Art. TIP: Lighting and composition are things that are hard to teach any person. When someone says “you have the eye” it means you have a way of “Framing” or “Composing” a shot. A lot of this comes naturally but taking classes and understanding types of composition helps immensely! The photography gear… thats the easy part of it all!
A…Part two: More based on just the photography side of things I have never really went to “school” for photography. A lot of photographers out there would get on my case for that as if I hadn’t put in my time or something along those lines. When I was done working at “A big software developer” I had a lot of time on my hands to really learn the craft of photography. I read articles and watched other photographers work. There are a million different ways to take in photography on the internet. Some good and some horrible. The one thing that I have always kept in mind while being a photographer… You can never stop learning! I still to this day learn from other photographers and different styles of shooting. Trying to keep evolving into a more diverse type of photographer. To those that frown upon not going to a school just for photography… I think I am doing ok.
Q: Is it hard being a photographer?
A: To be completely honest….Yes. In the days of digital cameras, everyone is a photographer. I don’t say that in a bad way! Its great that more people can dive into it and really embrace photography. Competition is why being a photographer is hard. In any city,state,zip code there is a LOT of photographers. Majority will be your “weekend warriors” or people who do it as a side job. I have a lot of friends that do this and are excellent photographers! Whats great about the photography world is that for the most part we all get a long and do it quite well. We all learn from each other and help each other out. So how do you stand out in a every growing sea of photographers? Its not always a point of getting better than other photographers… its developing a style of photography that differentiates you from others. Sometimes thats developing a whole new style or taking a style that is big somewhere and introducing it into your community! Competition is what makes people grow and hopefully we all grow from it. Its just another factor that keeps me hungry for more, that reason to push myself to be better and shoot different. Is it hard being a photographer… Yes, but I love it!
Q: What kind of photography do you like the most?
A: Tough question… I don’t have a favorite. I have chosen to not take a niche and stick with it. I photograph everything and its tiring but it keeps things changing. So a little of why I like to shoot each genre.
Nature – Its an amazing feeling to be out in the middle of nowhere capturing a different type of life. Trees or animals or plants have such a different life than humans. Plus nature there really isn’t a lack of detail to photograph. You can find an image Anywhere outside!
Portraits – I shoot probably the most of this genre. This genre of shooting is a different type of satisfaction. I personally love composing a shot with a person in it. The real satisfaction is after its all done and the client’s reaction to the images. That is the reason to shoot portraits.
Sports – The most fun to shoot that is for sure! Lots of action and always on your toes. One of my most favorite things to photograph is emotion and in sports, its always there!
Boudoir – I don’t dive into this a lot but I have done it. The reason why these are amazing to photograph… just the pure challenge of it. Lighting and composition are even more important in these types of shots. (no example of these shots due to content restrictions)
Wedding – Obviously just being the one the bride and groom picked to capture their special day and the beginning of their time as husband and wife is reason enough! Its a complete honor to be a photographer of a wedding. Weddings give you a little bit of everything…except the boudoir not so much sports but there is a lot of action and its usually low light so its harder to shoot. Challenging and tiring but so rewarding in the end!
Ok that is enough! Its a long post and a lot of words and that is the big “no no” for reading but… I hope it was a fun read and gives you a little more insight of a life of a photographer.