Part one here and more to come in the future. One thing people just do not realize when they delve into the photography world is just how much of an investment it is. You think- "all I need is a camera!"
Couldn't be FARTHER from the truth!!!!!!
Although.... all photographers start somewhere. There was me- editing on picnik (don't do that) and using my rebel xs & kit lens (the cheapest slr available) getting paid $50 for a shoot. I felt then that that was charging TOO much. "My poor clients." Right? Wrong AGAIN! No, I wasn't awesome my first several months... but whatever you do, realize they aren't just paying for the outcome. They are paying for your TIME! And that is just as valuable. I had to keep in mind I was spending 10+ hours on each shoot- just trying to figure it all out! I was online forever trying to find photographers with a style I wanted to emulate- I was researching the best lenses and cameras, and programs. For starting out it was a great camera, and picnik isn't awful either... but I knew where I WANTED to be meant I had to start spending some dinero.
(I did do free shoots in the very beginning for experience though- I recommend that- stick with friends and family though so people don't take advantage of you down the road... it happens.)
Random note: Better equiptment doesn't make you a better photographer in the creativity or editing department but your base image will just be better quality.
6 months after getting my first dslr, I upgraded. I bought three lenses and lots of other accessories too.
...and out thousands of dollars. BAM.
Then I realized I couldn't edit pictures forever on my crappy laptop. I needed a desktop computer and I needed one NOW.
...I got a Mac... thousand plus dollars later, yet again. BAM.
Then... there's programs, actions, and other such editing tools I needed.
...hundreds of dollars more. (what the heck, no one told me this;)
Then of course..
*external hard drives
*gas (to and from locations),
*trips to and from the post office (with kids who don't stay with you and take off out the door),
*classes/workshops (i took a couple at MCC), the list goes ON AND ON...
oh yes. All those things that cost time and money. I still don't have all that yet (thank you endless cash flow... oh, wait.)
As far as programs are concerned...
Photoshop. Get it, love it. You need it. That's all I'm going to say though (sorry my technique is top secret, if I told you exactly what I used to edit my pictures I'd be devaluing them!) SO that's another thing I learned being a photographer. Once you create a style you like, and have spent COUNTLESS hours & pennies acquiring your skill, don't just give out your knowledge. (Why do you think teachers get PAID. Photographers do workshops and charge for that very reason. They worked hard to get to that point!!!) It's OK to not give your secrets away.
Did I get into debt when I started?! Yes! It's been less than a year and a half since I started and it took me about a year to get in the positives. As in, the money I was making from my shoots finally added up to what I had already spent towards photography & honing my skill.
Oh but don't worry, even though I have a pretty chunk of change saved up now that my camera and stuff is paid off, I'm getting ONE- count it- ONE lens and I'll be back to ZERO in my bank account. This is why Connie B Photography has her own bank account... there's too much to remember and too much to pay for. Most lenses that are worth your money cost more than your camera body. Not that camera bodies are cheap, oh no.... and OH you also need a back up camera! (lol). In a photography business you kinda have to "keep up with the joneses" so to speak. If that photographer has THIS well you GOTTA HAVE IT to be as good, amiright?
Anyway bottom line, photography is both a pricey AND time consuming hobby/investment/business. Even though it can be stressful not to "have everything I need/want", I love it. I'm glad I made the decision to do it (even though I had no idea what I was getting into). I think for me the reason why I rolled with those crazy (pricey) punches is because I have the drive behind the interest in photography. Not only did I think it looked fun but I was GOING to do this. It's been a dream & a passion for a while- I was ready to make it a reality.