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Posts Tagged ‘photography professional advice’

LAWRENCE LAU
AAS Digital Photography, April 2009
Company Name: Lawrence Lau Photography
Job title: Owner

How did you get this job?
Last year, I decided to go into business completely for myself actually when I got a promotion at my other job. What I had originally thought to be detrimental to the photography side of things was actually a blessing in disguise. With the increased hours, I knew I had to make better use of my time on the photography side of things and actually get jobs that counted considering I had less time available for assisting. I began doing more tests with the agencies to build up my portfolio and also diversified my portfolio to attract more corporate/advertising clients. I also recently self-taught myself how to shoot and edit video, resulting in picking up Red Bull USA as one of my first video clients.

What do you do? 
I have expanded my business to include not just shooting photographs but also shooting video. I focus on fashion, beauty, editorial, lifestyle, and portraiture. I used to assist quite regularly for some commercial photographers in the city and out-of-town photographers when they were in town, but not so much anymore.

 Biggest piece of advice to further job seekers at Harrington:
My biggest advice to any further job seekers and students at Harrington would be to have some sort of idea of what field of photography you would like to pursue and start gearing all your homework assignments toward that goal. On top of that, start looking for assisting jobs or internships immediately while still in school. Professional photographers always need a hand no matter what job they are working on. Get that hands-on experience even if you have to do some manual labor and menial tasks for them just so you can see their workflow.  I started assisting my second semester into school, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Recorded March 2, 2011

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ELIZABETH GREVE
AAS Digital Photography, December 2009
Company Name: Elizabeth Greve Photography
Job title: Wedding and Portrait Photographer

 

 How did you get this job?
It wasn’t until I took the wedding photography elective at Harrington that I knew what I wanted to do. In that class I was able to venture outside the ‘studio’ and really capture candid moments (one of the main things I strive to capture within each shoot). I began freelancing my last year at Harrington. I began to venture out a little more and through referrals, I’ve created a very successful wedding photography business. I shoot from two to five weddings each month, and it only continues to increase. I originally searched and tried to work under other photographers in the business, but the word got out and before I knew it, I was too busy to work for anyone else. 🙂 This in itself was a learning experience.

Each shoot, I get better and continue to do so. I research to get ideas from veterans in the business and work off of those ideas and creative techniques to improve my own. I knew I could be my best teacher at the point I went off on my own. I know what I want to shoot and how I want to and therefore, working for myself has only brought me positive feedback. I love what I do and never have I regretted the path I’ve chosen.

What do you do?
I am a freelance wedding and portrait photographer. I own my business and work solo as of right now. In a few years, if my business continues to grow, there could be a chance and/or even need to hire assistants.

Biggest piece of advice to further job seekers at Harrington: 
DO WHAT YOU LOVE – No matter what! It’s as simple as that. No excuses. It took many years, a few colleges and a lot of hard work, but I finally do something I love and don’t consider ‘WORK’. I get to photograph people on what many consider the happiest day of their lives. I create my own schedules and make it known that I love what I do by how I shoot and interact with people. I never change my personality or self-image to please others. I get each of my clients because of the praise I receive for being myself. I’ve never regretted any of the process that I went through to get where I am today and never will. I can only imagine where my life will be come 5-10 years from now.  All I know is that I’ve learned to never give up and always strive for your best in everything you do. Everything happens for a reason, I believe, and if you are meant to do what you love, it will happen. Good luck! 🙂

 

Recorded March 2, 2011

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LINDA BERGONIA
AAS Digital Photography, May 2010
Company Name: Bergonia Photography
Job title: Principal
 How did you get this job?
I wanted to pursue Chicago food photography after graduation. I met a number of chefs from a project I did at the Chicago Gourmet food festival (on a press pass) during my photojournalism class. I have pursued those contacts in an attempt to access the food industry from a slightly different tack. Thus far I have shot for a number of Chicago chefs as well as for commercial clients that I met through these contacts. I network quite a bit -and send out slideshows of recent work to potential clients. I worked with a social-media company and re-did my website to include a blog, and I try to Twitter and Facebook often (probably not often enough).

What do you do?
As of late, I am adding HDSLR video to my workflow and am currently shooting my first still/video commercial shoot. I am also doing a bit of demonstration/doc/storytelling — and shooting a promotional piece as I pursue my first cookbook assignment. (Wish me luck!). I feel that the combination of still and video will serve me well in an industry that is moving more and more into Web applications. I hope to develop a niche that will take me farther afield than just Chicago.

Biggest piece of advice to further job seekers at Harrington:
As I am just starting out, I don’t know that I am qualified to really give advice at this point — but in my portfolio class, one statement (from a fellow student) seems to have stuck with me.  I was presenting some of my work with chefs and lamenting a bit that I wasn’t sure how I could really make a career financially feasible pursuing this avenue — as chefs in general have great food, but not much in terms of a budget for photography. A buddy in the class said to me that it was obvious that I loved what I was doing, and that I could figure out how to make it work. I think that it is true. Perhaps I may have to balance it out with other jobs to make the numbers work, but if you truly love what you do, give it all you’ve got, and you can figure out the angle to make it work. Passion, joy — and commitment to doing the job right — will shine through. Clients will recognize it.

Recorded March 11, 2011

This graduate story is unique and may not represent typical experiences or outcomes for our graduates. Graduates should expect to pursue entry-level opportunities in their chosen fields. Examples of such entry-level opportunities are listed in the Harrington Career Guide.

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