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Where do I go now?


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#1 Scubysnaps

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 02:54 PM

http://www.scubysnap...ges/Manado.html

Are these pics not good enough to get me anywhere in the media, if not i would appreciate some massive feedback...I'm in massive need for a career change, big style. Does anyone like sleeping at their desk, damn sure I dont.


Mucho apprecated
Paul
Cheers
Paul

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#2 gravity

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 06:22 PM

I am not a pro and haven't done very much media, so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt....but,

Making money in U/W photography seems very difficult, and the quality of the photos are only part of the equation. Your photos are good, but not outstandingly unique. They are within the spectrum of acceptable exposure, but they are a little bit less exposed than I prefer--but i could be wrong as i am looking at it over the web on laptop outdoors. If you were taking photos 150+ days per year they undoubtedly would get better quickly and perhaps you would find a unique and identifiable style.

I gather from talking to others and personal observation that there is very little money in the photos themselves even if you are relatively successful in the media. A career in photography requires building a brand around yourself as much as it does selling photos. When you look at someone like Alex Mustard, from appearances he is not only successful selling photos, but also selling workshops, trips, etc. I would speculate that this success comes from endorsements of people who have taken trips with him, extraordinary engagement with the online community of u/w photographers, success in teaching techniques both in person and in his writing, experimentation with techniques that occasionally lead him to a new technique that leads to unique photos.

I don't know Alex personally, so if this is inaccurate I apologize. It is only my speculation.

A good way to see how your photos are stacking up against other amateurs are to place them in the various free u/w photo contests: Wetpixel picture of the week, Dive Photo Guide picture of the month, FINs magazine flickr group picture of the day. Or the larger international paid photo contests-BTS, OWU, DEEP, LAUPS, NCUPS, etc. Photo contests are humbling, because even very good photos lose. But they have made me more aware of the differences between good photos and great.

#3 Scubysnaps

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 11:34 PM

Thanks Gravity, I agree, massive amounts of time is what's needed to get established. If only I could exchange some of my entusiasm for it ;)
Cheers
Paul

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www.scubysnaps.com >)))>

#4 adamhanlon

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 12:11 AM

Hi Paul,

Your pics are great! Well done!

The downside of the digital revolution is the sheer volume of great pictures that it has produced. I dug out some old slides that I was particularly proud of (and had some acclaim!) the other day, and to be honest they weren't very good compared to a lot of what is out there now. It is a lot easier now to get very good pictures! So to get great pictures (!) yours really need to stand out from the crowd- this will involve seeing perspectives/angles/environments that make your shot unique, using techniques that aren't much in use, experimenting with equipment to give a "unique" result and being in place to catch behaviors that are different and hopefully dramatic!

Much of this does boil down to experience I guess! And the other half is dogged persistence!

People do make some money from selling images to stock suppliers-I don't know much about this, but I'm sure there are plenty of others here who know more about the process. As has been said previously, entering your images in competitions will help you with your photography, and certainly a win in a big competition will get you a great deal of exposure.

As Churchill said" keep buggering on" -hmm not sure how that will translate to our US friends!

Adam

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#5 Paul Kay

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 12:49 AM

I no longer sell photos, I sell images combined with information. Rarely is a photograph sufficiently outstanding or in demand to sell purely for its image content and nothing else. It usually needs to be at minimum correctly identified and then submitted, when possible, to a user of such images together with relevant information for the use it is to be put to. In my own case I often sell images because they are of acceptable technical standard with clear content AND more importantly, I research the subject, know where to find out about it and can say whether it is representative of what my client is looking for. For the same reason I get some video work - its about knowing where to go and what you are likely to see when you get there and then how to shoot it. One way I try to explain pro photography (of any type) to those trying to take it up, is that it is now knowledge based and its a matter of being able to take/provide an image wanted by a client ON DEMAND. Most pro photographers that I know (specialists) are obsessed by their subjects and want to photograph them because of this (people get tired of me talking about the nuances of UK goby identification for example).
Paul Kay, Canon EOS5D/5DII, SEACAM/S45, 15, 24L, 60/2.8 (+Ext12II) & 100/2.8 Macros - UK/Ireland Seacam Sales underseacameras & marinewildlife & paulkayphotography & welshmarinefish

#6 decosnapper

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 01:38 AM

A brief guide:-

1. NEVER give your work away to gain "exposure". All it does is show how little you value your work...
2. NEVER sell photos. Sell the "right to use". There is a huge difference between the two statements. (I'm sure this is what PGK means in his opening line......)
3. PGK is right - market the insight, the knowledge that encompasses the image, not the image itself. It's what is known as a USP - Unique Selling Point.

There is much to add but that's a good start.

I'm sure others will have their view, but stock sales for me account for perhaps 2-5% of turnover.
Simon Brown

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#7 decosnapper

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 03:49 AM

Oh and there is a bit about copyright - written by yours truly - in UWP Mag number 51 that can be downloaded via this link

Simon Brown

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#8 ce4jesus

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 07:50 AM

Marketing and perserverence are always king. Most of us take at least 1 or 2 worthy of publish but the vast majority of us will never see an imaged published and fewer still can make a living at it. Your images look fine to me. A couple even stood out.

Camera, lenses $3000
Underwater housing arms strobes $5000
Finding someone to publish your photo.....priceless
Gary
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#9 decosnapper

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:46 AM

Finding someone to publish your photo.....priceless


Perhaps it should read "finding someone to publish your photo and pay $$$ for the right to do so....priceless"

Plenty want content, but are unwilling to pay. The trick is finding those who understand that credits alone are not recognized at my grocery store or gas station as a valid form of currency.

Edited by decosnapper, 18 February 2010 - 03:47 AM.

Simon Brown

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