digital photography tips with Digital Photo Mentor Darlene Hildebrandt

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Going pro? Is it the right choice for you?

I hear this a lot in my classes and by email from readers like you, including requests on how to get started, advice, tips, etc.

I want to become a professional photographer, can you help me?

Have you considered going pro? Do you want to ride off into the sunset and be a professional photographer? Isn't it all rainbows and unicorns on the other side? What else should you know before you decide to make the leap to pro?

Food Photography. Professional Digital Camera with Table with White Coffee Cup Photo Preview. Food Photography Studio.
Food photography – one possible path to professional

John Davenport is an amateur photographer and writer over at dPS. We exchanged articles on each other sites long before I was the editor of dPS. You can see my article: 3 Important Elements of Composition No One’s Talking About over on his site, and John's article Three Things to do Before you go do any Photography here on Digital Photo Mentor.

In this video John and I have a frank and open discussion on this topic. Coming at it from two different perspectives (me having been a professional photographer for over 26 years, and John choosing to stay amateur) we hope to give you some things to think about if this is a decision you're considering for yourself.

Image from the one and only wedding John shot.
This is the type of photography John likes to do for himself.

We talk about these issues and more:

  • Pros and cons of going professional
  • Why he is amateur and chooses to stay that way and keep his day job
  • Gear limitations and budgets for amateurs
  • The one wedding he did shoot and why it was his first and last one
  • How much time he devotes to his photography hobby and how much time a professional spends doing photography
  • Advice for you if you are considering turning pro
Suffice to say it's not all rainbows and unicorns. Watch and find out why.
Suffice to say it's not all rainbows and unicorns. Watch and find out why.

Watch or listen to our discussion below and ask either of us any questions you have in the comments below:

headshotAbout John Davenport

John runs a small community site that focuses on teaching photography through community engagement and open discussion – learn more about Phogropathy today.

Ask us anything!

Photo by: Raymond Bryson

Now it's your turn to ask us anything you want. If you are at a crossroads and are considering photography as a career, or second career the one thing we both recommend is not going into it lightly. Use us as a sounding board to think it through, answer your burning questions.

So, fire away.

  • What do you want to ask me as a long time professional, especially a female in the industry?
  • What do you want to ask John about why he chooses to stay amateur and how he arrived at that decision?



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