Starting out with Portraits - any advice?

Started Feb 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
chooflaki Regular Member • Posts: 397
Re: Starting out with Portraits - any advice?

ajmoore7 wrote:

AJ -- many years ago, when I was 18, I went to New York from San Francisco. Liked photography, wanted to be a pro. Lucked into a job doing the JC Penney catalog, as a photographer's assistant. Did that for six months... and found that photography -- for me -- was best kept as an amateur hobby.

Went into the ad agency business instead, art and copywriting. That clicked. And found that my photography skills also helped on the job... now and then, for simple stuff. Being a good photographer added value to those agency jobs. After several years, I had enough experience and skills to start my own ad business. And photography greatly helped my career, as an secondary skill that had real value.

That's why I'm encouraging you to apprentice first. Before you buy your own pro gear. Learn on somebody else's nickel. Make your mistakes on their time. If you get fired -- but still like photography work -- go apprentice somewhere else! There is a LOT to learn, and the equipment you will need is expensive. Like the Pocket Wizard RF flash transmitters -- they cost easily 10X what the Cowboy Studio NPT-04 set costs... but they work every time. Same with the Nikon SB-800s. You will be out a lot of money for the right stuff -- and by the time you are ready to spend that money, you had better have the skills and customers to get that money back.

Good luck!

-- hide signature --

Jonathon Donahue -- Olympus XZ-1 tips at

Thanks for all your help and advice. At the moment go me photography is a huge hobby and something I enjoy. I don't want to loose that. I will take on board what you have said and see what it leads to.

Your advice and help has been hugely helpful. Thanks again

You should get yourself an old Fuji S5 pro for starters. Avaliable used for about $3-400. Will need Nikon lenses.This was a specialist portrait camera that still delivers. Best skin tones and natural colours.

 chooflaki's gear list:chooflaki's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sigma DP2 Merrill Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro +2 more
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