What Photographers Need to Know Before They Go Pro

By // April 29, 2015 // Posted in Events & Workshops, Photography, Sponsored Post

Sponsored by NYIP


Photo by Hossam ElDin Mostafa

What do you need to know before you go pro? Robyn Selman, general manager of The New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) aims to answer this question through curriculum for photographers.

Selman works with experts in the field, such as Patrick Donehue, to ensure NYIP’s curriculum is “forward-looking and serves students well,” she says. Donehue, who has worked as a photographer, educator and director of photography at Getty and Corbis and is now a consultant working with Apple, offers these tips for budding pro photographers:

1) Study what has already been done. Successful photographers know how to stand out from the crowd. They create images that haven’t been seen before.

2) Thrive on the process of improving. Focus and development aren’t just photographic techniques, they’re attitudes. Continually scan the horizon for what you’d like to do, focus your inspiration, make choices, and persist so you are always enhancing your vision and craft.

3) Edit, then edit again. Start by selecting dozens of favorite images from a shoot, then cut them down. Then do it again (and again). This is how to build a portfolio. Be a ruthless editor of your own work.

4) Handle adversity and be optimistic. Learn how to rebound from difficulties, whether personal or professional. Being able to dust yourself off and get back up is the mark of a determined and inspired professional.

5) Listen. Then ask your client, editor, curator, colleague, etc. questions, and don’t leave a topic or a meeting until you know what’s being asked of you.

6) Speak a global visual language by looking at things from a global perspective. Do research; find out what things look like in Singapore, Shanghai, Rio, Dubai and elsewhere around the globe, so you get a more rounded impression of the world.

7) Get funding. In order to grow, learn and put the necessary time and energy into refining your craft, you need to be properly funded. Choose gear you can afford—or find a way to afford the gear you need—and take a financial risk when it seems appropriate.

8) Be an early adopter of technology. Use new tools to help set you apart and gain an edge on other photographers. Monitor and be aware of what’s coming and choose what you need to embrace to enhance your image-making.


Photo by Aspenashfotons

NYIP offers a Professional Photography Course that covers technical know-how, business acumen, personal vision, professional practices and techniques, and specialty areas of focus, providing a solid, smart and comprehensive foundation for your growing professional business. And while NYIP’s courses are online and self-paced, the program pairs every student with a professional photographer as a mentor for personalized support throughout your studies.

Additionally, NYIP has partnered with Wedding & Portrait Photographers International, WPPI, to launch the first ever industry certification for wedding and portrait photographers. Like NYIP’s courses, the certification program is offered asynchronously, fully online, giving you tremendous scheduling flexibility. The program covers technical details relevant to photography, exposure, lighting, and composition, as well as business knowledge. Those photographers who successfully complete the program will be WPPI Certified photographers.

Visit www.nyip.edu to learn more about its courses and WPPIC.

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