Aviopic From Netherlands, joined Mar 2004, 2681 posts, RR: 40
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5879 times:
Quoting 9V-SPJ (Thread starter): 1. Do you need a degree in photography? If not, would it be advisable to get one? Which are some of the best colleges to obtain such a degree?
No you don't need any kind of schooling although I strongly advice you to do something anyway, even if you already have "all" the knowledge a different view point will only be a benefit.
Quoting 9V-SPJ (Thread starter): 2. What is roughly the yearly salary for a professional aviation photographer? I know it depends on the number of assignments, but what would one normally earn in one year?
Forget about salary, you are looking at a long term investment first to get your name established.
Quoting 9V-SPJ (Thread starter): 3. What kinds of features are you looking for in a camera? (Lens, digital vs. film etc)
If someone wants material you need to deliver fast so go for digital, we are not talking in days anymore but hours at most.
A DSLR for sure but the brand is up to you, my choice would be a 1Ds mark 2 if only I could afford one.
And of course professional glass which is the most important item of all.
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
Staffan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5866 times:
If you are going freelance a business degree won't hurt. If you want to make a living from photography you need to market yourself. Marketing takes time and if you are good at it you'll have more time for photography.
Salary wise, no idea... but a rough guess is less and less as more people are getting their hands on high-end digital equipment and at the same time giving stuff away for free for the sole joy of seeing their name printed.
Regarding equipment, depending on what you are taking photos of, and who for, medium and even large format might not be out of question either. You also need backup equipment since photo shoots can be expensive and you don't want to stand there in the middle of it with your only camera broken.
But as said, the road is long and you'll need to invest both time and money to make yourself known.
Photopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2909 posts, RR: 18
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5630 times:
My suggestion would be this.
I see by your profile that you are an American. So my answer would be to join either the Air Force or US Navy as a military photographer. Yes, it will take 5 years of your life. But here's what you'll get in return.
Access to the most amazing photo situations imagineable.
A college degree if you want it.
An amazing portfolio to be used later in life in the civilian arena.
Access to defense contractors (Boeing, Lougheed, etc., who could be your future clients)
Wide use of your images (published) and again, think portfolio.
Steady paycheck while you learn.
I used to work (Staff position) as a senior aviation photographer for Bombardier Aerospace. It's an amazing life to make your living as an aviation photographer, until some corporation VP somewhere decides to simply close your department to save a few dollars. What has seriously helped me when this disaster occurred wasit the University education that I have, plus continuing education in Business Management. Whatever you do, DON'T GIVE UP YOUR EDUCATION.
While working as a professional, I had the pleasure of meeting Tech Sgt. Herman Kokojian (spelling??) who was the US Military Photographer of the Year. That is why I suggest the military route because my jaw dropped seeing some of the hot birds he not only got to photograph, but also actually fly in on a regular basis.
Remember, nothing comes easy. Somewhere down the road you have to pay the dues for your career. Whether that be setting up on your own, where you have to buy all the equipment to work as a pro. Or paying for an education, or paying with time and sweat in the military. The choice is yours.
Tappan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1541 posts, RR: 40
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5532 times:
To be a pro you must need patience to wait many, many, many,many,many,many months for your payment that always seems to be "in the mail". Oh, also a good bottle of crisco or lubricant to make it easier for the client to _______ you.