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Your opinion please
Accredited course needed?

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29 replies to this topic

#1 jaylo

Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:57 PM


I have 2 questions:

1. For clients: As a client would you prefer your photographer to have an accredited diploma etc. or fantastic photos? ( I realise both would be better)

2. For professional photographers: Have you done an accredited course?

I am looking to be a professional photographer in the near future, mainly wedding and portraits. I am looking at doing a non accredited career photography course for 6 months or 2 years but I am unsure whether I should be doing a Diploma instead which will take 5 years part time.

Thanks in advance,


Edited by jaylo, 13 November 2012 - 11:47 AM.

#2 sir_mix-a-lot

Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:41 AM

Fantastic photos. Some people naturally have an eye for good photos and I don't see why they should have to pay a whole lot of money to get accredited when their photos are already great. The photographer's professionalism and rapport with the customer are also important, but IME these are completely independent of accreditation. I guess what I'm trying to say is accreditation means nothing to me, I'd rather see an excellent folio of past work or have personal recommendations.

I'm not a professional photographer. So maybe discount my answer to your first question tongue.gif

#3 Mousky

Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:50 AM

I never even considered diplomas when choosing a photographer. I always looked at their work or go by word of mouth.

The only thing would be if you would like to learn how to use things like light meters, but I'm sure it doesn't take a diploma to do that.

I have a friend who is going pro too, she has a Facebook page. Which she posts photos on. Good luck original.gif

#4 steppy

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:12 AM

I don't know that I'd require it, but I think it does help the photography to be better. Of course, so does excellent equipment. If you have talent, technical skills and excellent equipment, you're going to end up attracting more buyers. It is definitely not a cheap business to set up.

Edited by steppy, 13 November 2012 - 10:13 AM.

#5 Madnesscraves

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:15 AM

Fantastic photos. It's just about having the skill for it really

#6 *Ev

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:38 AM

You should check your local CIT Or Tafe... not sure what it is called in your state. They will run courses. I think it will not hurt not take a course or two, there is so much to learn.  I did one as part of graphic design studies, and it was really very informative. Otherwise.... your photos will speak for you.

Edited by *Ev, 13 November 2012 - 11:46 AM.

#7 jaylo

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:44 AM

Thanks to everyone who replied, I really appreciate it. Sounds like the non accredited course would be good for me, to fill in the gaps in my knowledge.

I own a Canon 5D Mark ii and soon to be 5 professional grade lenses (thanks to my beautiful sister for getting compensation for our horrible childhood).

I have a facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/JaylenesPhotography if you would like to have a look.

Thanks again

#8 raven74

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:51 AM

Fantastic photos.
I recommend you do a course or two and get the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson.
It is a really competitive field and you need to know your stuff.  Without meaning to be rude at all, you have a little bit of work to do before you reach working photographer quality.  It's not to say you can't get there, and hell, I am just starting out too, but there's a few areas that need attention.
Good luck original.gif

#9 jaylo

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:58 AM

Thanks Raven74, I have read Understanding Exposure and watched his Youtube videos. Can you please let me know which areas you are referring to?

I don't want to call myself a professional until I am certain I am at that stage lol
Good luck to you also

Edited by jaylo, 13 November 2012 - 12:00 PM.

#10 raven74

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:25 PM

PM'd - ohhh I forgot to ask - what lenses do you have - only because I ama lense whore and a sticky beak biggrin.gif

#11 winkywonkeydonkey

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:35 PM

i would do the course.

This is just my opinion , im no pro or anything.
You need to work on flash and lighting. Are you purchasing better flash equipment as well?

You can have the best camera and lens but that isnt going to give you the best photos if you dont fully understand lighting etc.

Good luck on your journey. Maybe do some volunteer/second shooting work.

#12 HerringToMarmalade

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:41 PM

Fantastic photos first, but seeing they have also done some courses would finalise my choice.

#13 jaylo

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:50 PM

Raven, I sent you a message but I think it just sent yours back... I can never seem to reply to anyone properly on here!

My reply was/is:

Thanks Raven,

I appreciate your constructive criticism. As you can tell I have not posed most of these pictures, I just snapped as the moment happened. I agree the mans leg should have been in but the twins were over it at this stage so I didn't have time to pose. lol, this family are close friends of mine. The baby on the toadstool is my cousins baby and she just put her there so I snapped it for her.

I have reflectors but I need someone to come out and help me use them, when time permits with a 1.5 yr old.

I agree with the catchlights and using the light better, I definitely aim to improve in this area.

Thankyou so much for your input


#14 jaylo

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:02 PM

To satisfy your need Raven lol:

The lenses I have are:

Canon 24mm-105mm f4 L
Canon 100mm macro f2.8L
Canon 50mm f1.4
Canon 70mm- 200mm f2.8L ii IS (being delivered soon!)

plus the 2 kit lenses that came with my 450D.

I have a Canon 580ex II flash.

I think I like darker photos but I will aim to expose them more to suit more peoples tastes.

#15 tle

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:04 PM

I prefer good photos but in all honesty I'm yet to find a professional photographer that can take great photos without have some sort of formal training.

A lot of people can take a good photo as far as composition and focus goes but without being expert in exposure, lighting etc too the photos just don't seem to have the proffessional edge.

BTW, I haven't seen your photos so that is not a comment directed specifically to you, it's just something I've noticed in general. I've had good photos taken before by semi professionals but they are not to the standard that I would display on my walls. More just snapshots I keep in a phot album. That said, I also didn't pay anywhere near the amount of $$ I did for my framed photos.

#16 raven74

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:10 PM

The 70-200 is divine and will really help compress those backgrounds original.gif Just remember there is a difference between a "darker" photo and under exposure.
Also, you're setting a facebook page for people to view your work and employ your services -don't put of the photo's that are off the cuff which don't work - it will only be detrimental to your business.

I have the 580... I need to learm to use it properly wwhistle.gif Bloody technology!

#17 jaylo

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:20 PM

LOl to bloody technology, I agree!

I see your point with the off the cuff photos, thanks. The photos on Facebook are ones I have taken throughout the years, I plan to replace quite alot of them as I improve. I would love to join your weekly photo challenges but I don't get out of the house much, although I am hoping to rectify this.

Which lenses do you have btw?

#18 jaylo

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:21 PM

I forgot to ask if you have photos for me to sticky beak at lol?

#19 jaylo

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:53 PM

Thanks Raven, beautiful photos, love the cats and horses. Impressive gear, I'm envious!

#20 Sentient Puddle

Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:02 PM

Jaylo, good photography is all about painting with light, finding light and playing with light. Those would be the areas that I think you should be focussing on and there are even courses to help you improve in those areas. But a basic understanding of the importance of light is a must.

#21 jaylo

Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:32 PM

Thanks ILBB

I will try to find a course that focuses on light.

#22 JaneLane

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:38 PM

I don't think you need to do a course to be a photographer but it can really help to do short specific ones on areas you need to improve on or not know much about technically (there is a good place in Sydney with a variety of different short specific photog courses). You also need to know how to use photoshop etc type programs to help enhance photographs.  I am a photographer - I don't sell enough of my work per year to class myself as a professional, but when the kids are older I hope I can do a lot more work so I can finally class myself as a professional.

Good luck with your work! Practice as much as you can and you will see yourself improving over time with your built up knowledge of what works with lighting, framing, technical aspects etc

Edited by blue4me, 13 November 2012 - 03:42 PM.

#23 Peanut

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:18 PM

I missed seeing your photos sad.gif but for what its worth, I think doing a course can only ever help us improve!  I'm self taught and have no aspirations for taking on the commercial photography world, but if I did then I'd do a couple of courses.  

I personally think that the people that would be prepared to spend good money on their photos will look for accreditation in order to justify it.  Having a business as a professional photographer will mean quite a big outlay by you (equipment, advertising, good computer software etc) and you'll also have regular expenses such as travel etc.  So if you want to be in the business then you want to be at the level where you can charge high enough to cover all that.  To do that, you should ensure that you are in a position where you can point out not just your talent but your professional qualities as well.

Just my opinion as an enthusiast and non-professional!  original.gif

#24 ~Bob~

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:51 PM

I don't think a diploma is required, I have chosen short courses in areas where I need to grow instead.

I think to start with, you need to work on a few things and nail them; exposure, white balance/colour, focus and composition. Getting exposure right is vital. It is ok to lean to darker images, in fact, I am not a fan of really bright skin. But remember, on a computer screen, an image appears brighter, some of your images will print quite dark.

I have seen some photographers grow in a huge way by joining forums such as ilovephotography.com and post their images for review. You do need to have a thick skin, as they are honest in their critique, but I have seen photographers grow from OMG (in a bad way) to OMG (in an amazing way). Personally, I think this is a better way to get there as the feedback is immediate and you get to practice a lot. It takes a few years to get to the level where you have solid, saleable and consistent images.

Good luck.

#25 jaylo

Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:49 PM

Thanks to everyone again,

I have started on improving my exposures.

~Bob~, the forum sounds like a great idea, thanks for the suggestion.

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