Photography Grab your camera and video equipment and head on inside!

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Old 07-18-2012, 07:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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87 grand for photography school...Art Instution

So I know some people in the past that have attended this school for culinary arts. Today I when there for a interview for the school and see what it is like. Now I'm thinking about going into photography/digital media professionally but i cant justified the 87 grand that the school wants. Yeah is a little rant but looking at school cost of today from 5 years ago I don't see how kids are going to college these days.

My main reason for this post is, will this profession paid itself off? Right now I'm waiting for a company to contact me back for year book/school photos. Plus some local small studios but these are part-time/seasonal jobs.

Other then a Art Degree there is no other school in my area. I'm sorry im not going to dance on a stage for the "performing arts" and take 2 class for photography out of 2-4 years.

My other option is just go balls to the wall and work part and freelance on the side.

I like to know what some ppl think. I need the old wisdom of the thread to help me.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Work as a photo assistant for someone established for 3 years
Learn the craft

Last edited by doc Zox; 07-18-2012 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with Doc.

Take a look at this loan payback calculator:
FinAid | Calculators | Loan Calculator

For $90,000 @ 6.8% and 10 year payback your monthly payments will be $1,036 (after taxes).

So you will need to make this much gross to pay for it:

Gross income
* .66 = income after taxes (about 1/3 of your gross)
* .5 = income after housing (about 1/3 of your gross)
Disposable income (about 1/3 of your gross)

out of disposable income you pay for stuff like cell phone, food, entertainment, internet/TV, car loans.

So if you assume that you can pay back this loan with 1/3 of the remaining because you have all those other bills to pay then the max you can finance would be 1/9 of your gross income.

Expressed another way would be 9 * the loan amount.
Then multiply by 12 since this is a monthly number

So you would need to gross $108,000 a year to cover the cost of this education.

Think you can do it by cutting back? How many years do you think you could do that? And it'll never happen if you plan (or don't plan) to have a family.

This from a guy with a 25 year old finance degree from a state college.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yea cost in this country for education of anything is way to high. When i set up the interview it wasnt based on cost. They feed me the BS of the financial aid that they offer. Yeah I can make some great money but man that is high.

Im trying to get a job with basic DSLR plus other stuff. Photos for school.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Make great money as a photographer?

Oh really? Most of the shooters I know are making maybe 40k and trying to write off every expense, which then attracts IRS auditors, who can't figure out why someone would choose such an unprofitable career.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm going to disagree with just working for someone who's only been established for 3 years. You will learn more than just how to take a picture, you'll learn how to meet with models, talk to clients, actually run the business. On top of that you'll learn Digital Asset Management, Design Application and a host of other things you didn't think would be helpful when you started.

What do you want to do in Photography? Free Lance, Commercial, Product, other?

Also, form that link, so take what's written with a grain of salt:
I went briefly and dropped out
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cether View Post
My main reason for this post is, will this profession paid itself off?
This is the heart of your post. The other question not asked is the soul: Will I continue to be passionate and love what I'm doing?

The first question is has two easy answers which are pretty much the same:

No it will not pay itself off, unless your dream is to make maybe $50,000 a year and bust your *** constantly trying to keep ahead of the all the would-be people who pick up a camera and all of a sudden become photographers, flooding the market with their crappy work, low-ball prices, and lack of a business plan. That's the easy answer.

Yes it will pay off if you have a very creative eye or a niche area. There isn't much that hasn't already been done by some other photographer, so to be successful (make money) is to spin what's already been done into your own package. Easier said than done with the internet and everyone with a camera these days. The other way is to finda niche area and get good at it. That's hard. You have to be a good photographer first, find that niche area, and some how break into it.:

Say you find that there's a need to shoot toe nail fungus of arctic penguins. You've gotta have the necessary skill set, then you need to find a way to get in. Finally, you need to get in line becuase there are already 2,645,420 people on flickr with the same idea.

I don't want to sound like a captain killjoy, but the honest truth is that there are far more jobs out there that pay better and are more enjoyable than photography. To me, photography is much like acting: anyone can do it (said sarcastically), but only the smallest percent are successful. There are lots of people who are very talented, but don't get their break because of a saturated market.

I do not consider myself to be a good photographer and I've been getting paid to do this in some capacity for the past 10 years. I"ve been fortunate to have an environmental consulting position that has required my photography work to be a an integral part of my profession as well as allowing me to do a lot of freelancing.

If you are dead-set on a photography career, I'd suggest the following:

1. Develop a business plan.
2. Develop a back-up plan.
3. Within your business plan, state specific areas you want to shoot: sports, wedding, landscape, portraiture, etc. Most people cant' single out one area or do all of it. Focusing (no pun intended) in on a couple different areas is a good bet.
4. Save up a bunch of money ahead of time and be prepared to struggle.
5. Complete a gut-check test. Find your 10 best photos and post them up for people to critique. Your 10 have to be what you consider your best work; no excuses after the criticism rolls in. Professional photography does not allow for excuses becuase many times what you're shooting doesn't occur again, unless you or your professional liability insureance is ready to fork up the expenses tore-create what you missed.

If you're still interested, go find a local pro or two and ask to be an assistant and dothis for a couple years while having another fulltime job. Assistant jobs usually pay crappy if they pay at all. Learn and grow from the pros and don't jump out on your own until you've mastered the craft.

Almost forgot the soul of your post: passion and loving what you do. Making your passion your profession doesn't always work and the passion fizzles out. It doesn't always happen, but you have to be prepared for it.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by chopper duke View Post
I'm going to disagree with just working for someone who's only been established for 3 years.
Sorry if I was unclear, I meant, be an apprentice to an established pro for 3 years. In 3 years, you will know real world photo business, not art theory.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Be an Art Institute professor. They're the ones getting paid to teach you, why not do the same thing?
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Doc zox- i understood u, just wording was wrong. Im not going to freak out over the internet.

XgunbslingerX- Being a teacher is a lot harder then u think. Most of the time they want the experience, like 3-5 yrs. Even some of these local photographers want 3 years for there jobs.
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