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Your First Gig?

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#1 Yonathan Zarkovian

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 05:07 PM

Hi,

 

Feel free to talk about the first time you got paid for a photography-related job. How you got it, what it was. Anything you like.

 

I don't have a first yet as I only got into photography a few months ago and feel that I have a lot more to learn before I can charge for it.

 

 


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#2 richocampo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 11:13 PM

My first paid gig professionally was a Wedding for $1K :D.  Before that I was shadowing some of the local photographers for wedding events/ Bridal and Fashion; and been shooting small events before that. 


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#3 Joe Baker

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 11:31 PM

My first paid shoot was for my buddy.  His son's Senior Photo Session.  I look back at the photos now and I kind of cringe at some of the photos that I took.  They were happy though and I learned a ton!  During the photo session the mother requested photos of the daughter, so I took some photos of her as well.  I recently got to shoot just her again and the photos are like night and day!  You can learn so much so fast with help from this group.  I credit the quality to SDP and the people on the forums.  


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#4 Alyson Brimecombe

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:35 AM

My first paid gig was a portfolio building session, a year ago. I have come a loooooooooooong way since those days! I can't even look at my work back then anymore LOL It's too embarrassing! I have since found my style in both shooting and editing. 

This is going to sound sooooooo up myself, but that's not the intention behind saying this, but in a year, I produce better quality than people who have been shooting for 3 years longer than me. That people I used to hope would mentor me, are now asking me to mentor them! Hilarious! I find it quite interesting how people learn, and the progression rate. 


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#5 Yonathan Zarkovian

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:30 PM

Thank you for the comments, guys. I find that getting into photography is a bit tricky: How do you build a portfolio if no one will hire you without a portfolio?



#6 Joe Baker

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 06:39 PM

Thank you for the comments, guys. I find that getting into photography is a bit tricky: How do you build a portfolio if no one will hire you without a portfolio?

Start with friends and family.  Then start a FB page, and offer photo shoots to those that like you page.  But I would come up with pricing and let people that you do not work for free, so you don't become "that" photographer...


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#7 Tracy Waitkus

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 04:37 PM

Another idea.....volunteer or donate your work to a charitable organization or non-profit.  I've been donating my photography to a local non-profit ballet company for about 18 months now, which has given me lots of experience photographing dancers and performances, as well as doing headshots.  I gave them everything for free for quite a while to use on their website or in their marketing.  Then last spring the ballet director said that she wanted me to get compensated for my work, and I was given the opportunity to sell my images back to the dancers and their families.  And just last week, the commercial dance studio where the ballet company trains hired me to do some photography for their website.  It all started with a lot of free/volunteer time, but I gained experience, confidence, and the contacts/relationships which have lead to paid work  :)


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#8 Yonathan Zarkovian

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:06 PM

That is really awesome, Tracy! :)

I think I'm going to contact some local animal shelters and ask if they want me to take photos of animals for adoption. I'm looking at their websites and they're full of smartphone-photos. I think it might even turn out to be life saving! :D


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#9 Tracy Waitkus

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 06:27 PM

You go Yonathan!  



#10 Livia Kropf DeBonet

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 08:03 PM

Funny Story: My first paid gig was actually photographing my cleaning lady's daughter. Yes, she noticed the nice canvas I have on the wall of my kids and saw me turing an office of my house into a studio and asked me to photograph her daughter. I was considered doing it for free, but then I thought "she doesn't clean my house for free, does she?"

I was already in the process of coming up with a price list and offering portfolio building specials, so I gave her a discount. She loved the photos and sent me three of her friends, all who had paid sessions this last month. So... not a bad start. But now I have to go out and start doing some marketing to get more people in. Definitely an area I need to learn more about. I would love to hear what kind of portfolio building price/specials people use...I have been offering no siting fee during portfolio building period, a free photo for signing a release and 30% discounts on packages. I am not making a lot of $ but its helping me off-set some costs. 


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#11 jbranchiv

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 01:28 PM

My first shoot was a couple of months ago. I put up a Groupon deal to try and draw in more customers. It was an awesome couple for an engagement shoot and it went really well. So well that she wanted me for wedding photos. However they had already put down a payment for a wedding photographer. So they weren't able to back out. But I was very honored that she enjoyed my company and shoot so much that I was considered for that.

 

It's probably better I wasn't able to do their wedding. I don't think I'm ready for weddings just yet. You can see the shots from that session here.

 

www.jbivphotography.com/blog/2014/4/20/jaime-christian



#12 MojaveMorning

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 05:34 PM

My first photography-related job was as the Circulation Manager for Outdoor Photographer and Digital Photography magazines. But I never bothered to pick up a a camera there--I just wasn't interested enough. Then I moved to become the Circulation Director for Rangefinder magazine and WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International). Still never picked up a camera, but I met a ton of unbelievably good photographers and went to a lot of photography conventions.

 

Then I completely switched gears and moved to a job in the motion picture industry, totally away from working in photography with all the amazing resources I had. All of a sudden, THEN I get the photography bug. DUH.

 

My first money for making a photograph came from licensing a series of photos to the National Park Service. They actually found me on Flickr. (It's important to tag your photos if you want buyers to find you.) To this day, a steady income (small but significant) comes from Getty Images and personal licensing deals.



#13 MikeinMinn

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 09:29 AM

My first job was with another photographer photographing a mud run. I had the best job out there photographing runners as they came up out of the mud pit. They would run up and give me a big muddy hug afterwards :) The biggest trick was keeping the camera clean. It was great fun and a good learning experience as the light progressed from a nice light overcast to a hard afternoon full sunlight.

 

It is so different shooting for a sporting event than other types of photography. We had to keep our file sizes down for quick processing and sale since we were generating close to 10,000 images for the event. So we just shot jpg and kept the cameras set on medium quality.

 

I'm not a professional photographer, but have had a few paying gigs and have sold individual photos as well. That was my first (and most fun).






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