MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Finding a Mentor  (Read 3201 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: October 01, 2014, 18:58 »
0
Hello, I am a still a little new to stock photography and I am really interested in finding a mentor to help me learn this craft. Has anyone here had a mentor help them along the way? If so could you please share how you found yours? I would really appreciate it. Thank you


fritz

  • I love Tom and Jerry music

« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2014, 19:31 »
-2
Sorry, but you're late to MS party! It's over unless you have to offer some unique ideas and techniques like Elena Vizerskaya or Ai Weiwei?
 

« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2014, 19:34 »
+8
This isn't really that kind of business.  But there's plenty out there for you to learn from.

« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2014, 21:05 »
+1
Hello, I am a still a little new to stock photography and I am really interested in finding a mentor to help me learn this craft. Has anyone here had a mentor help them along the way? If so could you please share how you found yours? I would really appreciate it. Thank you

Does paying a bunch of money for a BFA count?  ;D

« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2014, 22:50 »
+4
I mentored a few people.  Then they end up copying my best sellers.  I should be flattered maybe? 

I don't mentor no more. 

« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2014, 23:04 »
+2
Jonmkay:  I do not have a lot in my portfolio (125 images) because I have been too darn busy trying to survive since losing my chemistry job 6 years ago, but recently was called back to the chem job and my 60k annual salary has resumed right with it, so as soon as i can close my crappy carpet cleaning business that kept me alive the last 6 years I am planning to start hiring models and building a very nice portfolio where I am exclusive (just to prove a point, so if i lose money i really do not care, it is just a hobby for me of sorts anyway: goal of 3000 images and from there i will reassess the situation)... i don't claim to be the best but I have learned a lot that has yet to be reflected anywhere in my portfolio, and i think i can hang with anybody out there at most type of shoots now.  What did i do that helped ?  I read through years and years of posts from Sean Locke when he was with IS looking for bits and pieces, learned Photoshop really well and read the book recommended by Sean many, many times and practiced over and over until i "got it"... (book title is->>>  Light:  Science and Magic by Fil Hunter and Paul Fuqua:  skip the old versions and go straight to the 4th Edition with Steven Biver as 3rd author).  Lots of working with strobes, light meters, natural lighting with reflectors to get nice contrast, high key, gels, short duration flash for motion freezing, etc....  Also get familiar with the proper use of "Dutch Tilt" which you can find on Google search.  Don't copy Sean but study his photos, you won't see catch lights in his subject's eyes a lot of times because it is natural lighting with additional "help" to provide good lighting and eliminate unwanted shadows... Nobody is gonna give you all the info for free, i spent about 3 years learning night and day before i finally got to where i feel like i can compete with real professionals.  Check Sean Locke Photography blog often as Sean throws in some tips every now and then (example Oct 03, 2013 blog: Lighting Reflective Surfaces tutorial and a very nice finished product photo of his work at the end.)   It is at SeanLockePhotography dot com           If you did not hire models back in the heyday, you're a little late (wayyy late) if your goal is to make a lot of profit.....  good luck

MilanLipowski

« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2014, 01:51 »
+4
Sorry, but you're late to MS party! It's over unless you have to offer some unique ideas and techniques like Elena Vizerskaya or Ai Weiwei?
I guess there is never LATE. There is always space to do photos better than others, at least the same quality. Buyers are always looking for fresh content.

Welcome Jonmkay, do a lot of research on web and good luck! Your new friend has to be Patience ;)

« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 02:24 »
0
kelbyone.com

« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 06:10 »
+1
There are good books on microstock by Ellen Boughn, Rob Sylvan and Douglas Freer for example. Just search 'microstock' within Books on Amazon.

« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 06:52 »
+6
I teach a class on stock photography here in Cologne and also have mentored a few students on their way into stock. But generally speaking, the ones that succeed are the ones that dont need me.

The most important is to get into a regular workflow of shoot.upload.repeat.

You can read as many books as you like, take classes and workshops, but if you dont upload at least 10 files every week, then stock is maybe not the right path.

This journey requires a very high degree of self motivation and self organization. You do not have a deadline or an appointment to meet. You have no clear assignement and know how much money you will be paid when you hand in your work.

The financial returns might take many, many months to come in, sometimes two years before a portfolio really gets going.

And usually you work completely on your own, although networking with other artists through community and forum helps.

What you can try, is look at the threads where customers place their needs and try to shoot for that every week. You dont know if the customer will select your file, but it is a way of getting to understand what is useful for the customer.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_threads.php?forumid=75&page=1

Here in Germany, I recommend the book by Robert Kneschke. It is now also available in English:

http://www.alltageinesfotoproduzenten.de/meine-buecher/stock-photography/

But getting into the workflow of shoot.upload.repeat. is the most important. Even if you just upload flowers one week, that is better than not uploading anything or spending weeks over the "perfect" file (that then gets rejected as not commercial...)

It also helps to build up the necessary frustration resilience.

This is not an easy business and even if you have excellent work...there will always be somebody out there who does a much better job than you.

« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 12:01 »
-1
This isn't really that kind of business.  But there's plenty out there for you to learn from.

jonmkay, consider urself lucky!
he seldom answer thread like this .
 the best mentor u can find has already shown himself 2 u.
hint hint he has 7 pluses so far  ;)

« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2014, 15:50 »
+5
I'd suggest finding someone in your area that does stock and offer to assist them for free for a while. They get free help and you learn lots for free.

« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2014, 17:10 »
0
Very good advice -Leaf
 Smiling jack

« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2014, 18:52 »
-1
Those who can, do; those who can't, mentor....

shudderstok

« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2014, 19:50 »
+3
depends on where you live, contact every photographer that you know of and ask them to assist them. i did that 20+ years ago and worked full time for several years with one of the top commercial photographers where i live. the pay was horrible, long grueling hours, and lots of lifting and grunt work - very much so. i also agree with leaf, offer to work for free - i did that with Malak Karsh after i had been mentored by the former photographer. i learned as much as i could from this fellow and eventually went out on my own, and now am so grateful i had a mentor to teach me what he knew and passed on his knowledge. it's a tough road to be the official grunt, but in the long run it has paid off in a huge way. he also was a stock photographer, but his main gig was commercial work of all sorts.

apart from what baldricks says, mentors are great people who share their knowledge and take pride in sharing what they know with young shooters that are motivated and take pride in watching their pupil grow. my mentor did because he knew how to be both a great photographer and also a mentor.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 19:53 by shudderstok »

« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2014, 23:36 »
+1
Good point Shudderstock.   It is easier to find a mentor in the photography than directly in microstock.  Once you learn good photo skills, then is pretty easy to submit those quality images to the micros or other outlets.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
11 Replies
5774 Views
Last post April 14, 2008, 14:03
by michealo
0 Replies
1567 Views
Last post March 16, 2011, 16:38
by madelaide
4 Replies
1990 Views
Last post November 25, 2012, 01:10
by gillian vann
11 Replies
2954 Views
Last post July 29, 2013, 02:00
by Beppe Grillo
3 Replies
1582 Views
Last post August 10, 2013, 01:02
by leaf

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle