Finally I have been able to find a course I can do in my time AND it’s accredited!! Another diploma, this one a Diploma in Photo Imaging!! This one is two years long and online. So it ticks all the boxes to what I am physically able to do. I am in my third week and have been loving every second!
Gallery spot, major camera company, my image? Woot! I am sure to hug the wall opening night!
Well after about 18 months I have finally finished the Photography Institute Course and received my Diploma of Professional Photography! Like I said in my previous post I don’t believe for one moment that an online course makes you a professional by any means. The course is fantastic to get all the technical stuff under your belt and is a fantastic broad based course that covers a LOT. So I am by far saying it is a bad course, its an amazing course and very well worth anyone interested in the industry to do. What I am saying is you can’t get everything from a book, you have to get out there and shoot, get real experience out in the field. I am still not charging for my work and have been lucky to pick up a bunch of things recently that have provided invaluable experience.
When I began shooting I was not sure what was right and wrong, as I progressed in learning I could see what was right and wrong but was still unsure how to fix or better things. As time went by I then learned where I went right or wrong in things and how I could better them. I constantly look at other peoples photography not to replicate what they have done but to see how they have done things, is it good, is it bad, how can I do this and so on. It’s not the case with all photos that I look at though and sometimes there is stuff that truly makes the mind boggle.
I still don’t have a massive amount of likes on my page but I am really not fussed about this, the likes that I do have are genuine. I did begin with a like ladder and all that bought me was false stats and a newsfeed of chaos. It’s also worthless when trying to market things because all you end up doing is yelling into thin air. Better to have likes that are from genuine people who are genuinely interested in my work than to play popularity games and try to get the most likes!
I am also taking the tentative steps at getting business cards and starting to build a photography business. I have everything that I need to progress in a way that I feel is honest for me. I have never believed in charging for something whilst I am learning. I know things will never be perfect because there is always something that can be done better. Many people out there see cheap photography prices which is often an alarm bell for a Fauxtographer. Then there is the group who know this so charge what the pro’s do so they appear to be a pro. It makes it difficult when starting so I figure I will be honest and upfront, not charge but ask my clients to share my photos and my page. Little by little I will gain the confidence and the experience and skills which will be thanks to all those who took the risk allowing me to photograph special moments. I will eventually be charging and I am figuring out whats best for me for now and what I can build on. You see if I am shooting your special moment you ARE getting a person with all the right gear, I have invested very heavily into my photography. I didn’t buy the best camera to out-do others and show I have the best, no I bought the best because I had spent many years with lesser cameras learning so when I got the best I knew how to use it! You will get a person that has quality equipment and very good knowledge, you will get a person that stands by their work providing the every best of my abilities.
Here is my page Images By Deanne please pop on over and have a look ♥
I am now only ONE Module away from getting my Diploma in Professional Photography!! I must say that I do not believe for one minute an online course makes me or anyone a professional photographer but it is a step towards it. I feel this way especially after witnessing other graduates work, good and bad and downright amazing. There is an individual who can only be referenced as “the bad”. They refer to themselves as a “Professional Photographer” and promote themselves in a manner they have “made it”. They have completed the same course and I genuinely and honestly thought their photo site was a deliberate joke, meaning that this person is purposely posting bad shots saying they are a pro as a joke, if not trolling. Photo after photo is very poorly shot and photo after photo the individual gives “Professional Advice” “Professional Tutorials” and references to “Students” in the manner they are teaching them. One particular “tutorial” was to illustrate shooting at night, they were “teaching” how to focus and how to compose the shot, not only was the photo out of focus it was also crooked and off center then there is the issue of other things like shadows, highlights etc. This is by far saying that my work is like this persons by any means, it is merely they are an incredibly good example that an online course is not enough. I also not saying that a course is what is needed either or all one needs is talent or owning the fanciest of cameras and lenses make you a pro either!
I have picked up a lot of knowledge from this course and the other courses I have been doing, the classes I have attended and books I have read and read. I even get knowledge from looking at other peoples work from what I would aspire to do to what not to do. There are many ways to become a true professional, such as experience by shooting as much as you can and learning many different styles and techniques. Shooting the one thing over and over should make you good at that one thing but it certainly does not make you a pro, just great at repetition. For example if I only ever shot an inanimate object over and over again, of course I am going to get it right, but what if I need to shoot animate objects in different lights? How can one say they are a “Pro” if they only are capable of just one thing? Another way to become more experienced is going to workshops, going to seminars and constantly keeping on top of the industry, the trends and products is essential too. I am saving for an emerging membership with the AIPP and want to participate in the mentoring program they have. I also would love to work as a second alongside a working photographer too.
A true professional handles themselves and their business with utmost professionalism all the time, their websites Facebook pages. Everything that they do clearly shows care they have in their work, attention to detail, quality and experience. When I see a site or page that is poorly put together I see a lack of care and I would never hire any person presenting themselves in this manner in ANY industry! I was a chef for many years and one thing that drives me mad is badly written menus and spelling errors. In fact it is not uncommon for me to find the mistakes when reading menus. I know I am a shocker with typos myself and without doubt there will be issues in this blog post but there is a huge difference to posting on your own blog to presenting yourself as a professional in a business. If a person is not going to take the very simplest of care with something like spelling I wonder what their quality of work really is and wonder what sort of attention to detail they give. I also find it unprofessional, lazy, ignorant, and poor form to behave in this manner too. One thing is for sure I will be asking the assistance of those around me to help me make the best possible posts on a website and Facebook page! I figure if I feel this way about site presentation then others must too, it would be truly ignorant to think otherwise.
The more I have learned and the more I look around me at this industry the more annoyed I get, I am truly gobsmacked at how many people use the AIPP emerging member membership in a deceitful manner too. The person I mentioned earlier is one of those individuals not only do they say they are a “professional” they say they are a “member of the AIPP” which in my book is deceitful and they are only using this to peddle themselves more as a professional when they clearly are not. When I look at a professional I see a person with versatility not just photographic knowledge but industry knowledge, they know what to do when things go wrong, they are customer focused and quality focused. Its not about the amount likes they have on a Facebook page as we all know like ladders and networks to create likes it’s the amount of genuine traffic to their page and website.
So even though I am about to put together my portfolio and even though I will have a Diploma that says “professional” I won’t be using the word “Pro” nor will I be using the word “Photographer” next to my name. I still will not be charging for my work either, however I am very much aiming towards charging for my work later this year. Right now I am focused on getting more experience, more techniques, more industry knowledge, honing my skills and bettering my signature style.
I got into photography because of my health, I literally brushed the kneecaps off and pursued it. I never set out for for anything other than to enjoy photography and see where it led. One thing is for sure my greatest pleasure is when I put a smile on a persons face. I don’t shoot to massage my ego nor be told I am wonderful or any such rubbish. I shoot because I enjoy what I am doing! When I am doing like night shoots and something magical happens that has brought me joy all I want to do is share it.
So watch this space, this year is going to be my year I now have the equipment, I have more knowledge and skills and now is the time to bring it all together and see where it will all lead!
I have been getting loads of requests for photography work including judging competitions and a major camera store chain wants my images to advertise a product! How exciting!!