I receive questions about photography & about being photographed almost daily. I share some of my favourite questions on the blog, so that everyone can benefit from the answers.
Q: I’m an aspiring children’s portrait photographer and have spent the past 2 years learning the basics of my camera and Photoshop at home. Do you think it is important to have photography qualifications to get into the business or is a great portfolio enough?
I don’t think qualifications are crucial when it comes to getting work. Your ability, and confidence level in that ability, matters a lot more. If you feel like you can deliver a quality product to your clients and charge for it accordingly, qualifications don’t matter. However, if you don’t feel entirely comfortable with your equipment, or the level of work you produce, then I think the right thing to do is to get some training, and practice, practice, practice before you start charging money.
It’s also important to realise that just knowing the rules, or having a qualification that says you do, does not necessarily mean that you are able to translate that knowledge into a working situation. That’s why constant practice and shooting a LOT in order to push your skills is so important. A camera is a tool through which you translate how you personally see, and want to present, a scene. You’ll have to be able to make technical decisions based on, not only the external circumstances, but also on what kind of aesthetic, mood and message you want your image to have. There are no universal rules or settings that would work for every situation, especially if you want to make work that is distinctively yours.
Spending a lot of time with your equipment and learning how to use it to deliver your specific vision is the most important thing on the road making work that gets noticed.
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