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Monday, March 11, 2013

Learning from the Experts

Today we were able to gather for our 4H Photography group.  This might be our last meeting for the year, so I wanted to finish strong.  We talked about careers related to photography (see list below).  Many photography-related jobs do require a degree from a college or art institute. However, many successful photographers are self-taught. Internships can provide hands-on experience, and some companies are willing to do training for some photography-related positions.

To go along with this discussion, I was able to have the editor of our local daily paper talk to the group about photojournalism.  It was great to learn about this career from someone who started out in the business at such a young age.    Mr. Andy is also from the area so it gave these budding photographers a good perspective. He told the 4Hers how he started out at 16 years old writing about his beloved sports hobby.  He would report on high school games he was attending.  This is also when he began taking pictures for his stories.

He then talked about his college career and how he was so glad to return to his hometown to work for the newspaper where he began.  He is now the editor of this local paper, but his reporting days have not ended. He still loves to go to the local games to report the scores.  He also listens to police reports and attends events in the area to report in the news.

He showed us pictures from his portfolio.  These included several sporting events, a holiday ballet, and even a special trip to New York he took with his son.  He also was kind enough to share with us some unpublished photos that will be used in upcoming articles for the paper.  He showed us how important it was to show emotion in the photos to tell a good story.  His vacation photos were used to show us how you can tell a story without words.  He told us that his ballet photos were some of the best he had taken in his career!

We spent the rest of the time asking him various questions about his career.  He was very open with us and did a great job of answering all of the questions the 4Hers had for him.  Even though he told the 4Hers it was not likely any of them would have the opportunity to join his staff in high school (as he had done), he did tell them that he took help from the local community college.  He also told them that there was always the opportunity to submit citizen photos of events (but this would need to be done promptly to be newsworthy)

It was a great experience for our group and we were very thankful for the opportunity.

We ended the meeting with the final discussion of photo-related careers.  I gave the group an assignment to choose one of the careers and try 'being' that person.  They should take a picture that would be taken in that career sometime in the next month.  I look forward to seeing the careers chosen and their related photos!

Here are some of the options they might choose:

Photographer's Assistant
You can start in this field by becoming a photographer's assistant or apprentice. An assistant may be asked to perform duties such as carrying, setting up and breaking down equipment, as well as proofing photos and submitting orders for processing.

If you crave excitement and do not mind deadlines, become a photojournalist. As a photojournalist, you may be employed by a newspaper, magazine or news agency to take photos of fires, accidents and other news and sporting events. Knowledge of digital photography is essential.

Freelance Photographer
If you want the freedom to determine your own work schedule, consider becoming a freelance photographer. You will have the potential to make more money, perhaps by selling your work through photo stock agencies or on a contract basis to news agencies.

Commercial Photography
Commercial photographers take pictures of various things, such as products, architecture and models for advertising and product development purposes. You will need additional equipment such as lighting and magnifying accessories.

Forensic Photographer
Forensic photographers obtain photographic evidence with highly specialized equipment such as ultraviolet and infrared photography and optical microscopes. They also use video equipment.

Still Photography Specialist
As a Still Photography Specialist, you will play an integral part in the Air Force communications strategy. After attending an intense 12-week training course on the intricacies of photography, you will begin your role in documenting Air Force activities. You will shoot everything from portraits to mission aerial shots. Your assignments will change often and can take you around the world, so you will face new challenges every day.

Photo Editor
Some newspapers and magazines hire photo editors who review photos for publication and make technical corrections such as adjustments in resolution, size, color and contrast using photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators and Editors      
Workers acquire their skills through on-the-job or formal postsecondary training.  Operate television, video, or motion picture camera to photograph images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, video production, or motion pictures.

Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators          
A decline in employment is expected as digital photography becomes commonplace.  Most receive on-the-job training from their companies, manufacturers' representatives, and experienced workers.  Job opportunities will be best for individuals with experience using computers and digital technology.  Perform precision work involved in photographic processing, such as editing photographic negatives and prints, using photo-mechanical, chemical, or computerized methods.

Portrait Photographer
Portrait photography is a more specialized form that requires artistic flair. Most portrait photographers are largely self-employed so business skills are necessary to keep a studio running. There are no educational requirements to be called a professional photographer. The ability to take pictures that people are willing to buy is the key to success in this genre.

Industrial or Commercial Photography
Commercial or Industrial photographers work in different areas of media, such as books, catalogs or advertisements. Subjects vary from buildings to cars to landscapes. These images are usually captured on location so the ability to travel is a job requirement. Training and degree requirements vary as most positions are filled by freelancers in this occupation.

Studio Photography
Studio photographers, also known as portrait photographers, specialize in posed pictures of people. They often focus on specific types of events, such as weddings, parties or school photos. They work either in their studio or on location. Many studio photographers own their business and oversee sales and marketing, billing, hiring and supply purchases. Plus, they must be organized to keep up with scheduling and record keeping.

Commercial Photography
From buildings to couture dresses, commercial and industrial photographers take pictures of diverse subjects. Their work appears on the covers and pages of magazines and catalogs, and in corporate and consulting reports. Commercial photographers include engineering, architectural, advertising and fashion photographers. An engineering photographer, for example, captures photos of factory equipment for operating manuals. An advertising photographer clicks images of products for marketing and promotional campaigns. Architectural and landscape photographers take pictures of buildings and land, sometimes from the air in a plane or helicopter.

Other Fields
Photographers also work in a variety of lesser-known fields. Scientific photographers use microscopes to capture scientific or medical images. University photographers work for larger four-year colleges, taking portraits of students, professors, buildings or events for press releases and school publications. Fine art photographers sell their work to galleries, consumers, interior designers, community centers and other organizations. Among all photographers, fine art photographers have the most creative freedom, but because they sell work piece by piece, they need business management skills.

Fashion Photographer
Glamour Photographer
Wildlife Photographer

Throughout the time we were at the meeting, Henry took different perspective shots.  Here are some of  my favorites:

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