Andrew has probably put the best piece of advice in the “advice to turn pro” question that i’ve ever heard. You need to read it. Over to Andrew!
Tell us a little about yourself?
Hey everyone! My name is Andrew Ducker (you can call me Andrew) and I am 23. I graduated with a photography degree from an art school in Cincinnati Ohio and my life basically consist of taking pictures and walking my dog. Exciting right?!
What made you get into photography?
Ive tried many careers at my young age haha. mechanic/9-5/landscaper/retail etc and I just couldn’t figure out how people could do any of that for their entire lives. Watching people walk down the city streets, sweating and fumbling with their briefcases, hurrying back from lunch so they wouldn’t miss another mundane meeting, makes me cringe. I found photography presents some of the best opportunities in the world and you can make your own schedule and ENJOY life, not work through it.
How did you get started?
This is kind of an anti-climatic story actually. I was a 20 year old mechanic and I was trying to figure this life thing out. I’ve always been interested in all different mediums of art, I’ve just never had the talent to pursue anything in that field. There was a small art school close to my house and I went in to check it out one day to see what it had to offer. It was there I found out you could actually go to SCHOOL for photography! I can’t describe the feeling I had but I knew it was for me. That was 3 years ago and I haven’t looked back.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I mostly shoot portraits, I enjoy shooting anything that has people in it. I could never take the “table top” assignments serious while in school. I know there is a very big market and a lot of money can be made doing that type of stuff but, its not for me. Aside from portraits I like to shoot weddings but again, its probably because all of the people. I am also hired quite often to shoot night clubs and parties. This gives me a little different genre of work and offers some great possibilities 🙂
What gear are you using?
Currently I shoot a Canon 5DM2 with a 17-40L f/4, 50 1.4, and 70-200L 2.8IS. I also have an Alien Bee and Canon 580EXii
What is your favorite lens and why?
hmmm This is actually a really tough question for me to answer. I really enjoy my 50 1.4, especially at that price. I can shoot a whole portrait session and never take it off of my camera. I like its point of view and the shallow depth of field it offers. On the other hand, my 70-200 is an absolute work house. There are few things it can’t do. For anyone interested in wedding photography, its a must. No buts about it.
How are you marketing yourself?
I have found through my experiences that I get more feedback/views by using a Facebook/Flickr/500px etc as apposed to using a website, it may be a sign of the times. So besides business cards/postcards etc that is mainly how I market myself.
Whats your favorite photo(s) you have taken?
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Just go for it. You have to prepare yourself for rejection and failure and keep on keeping on! Be your biggest critic. Don’t get caught up in the ‘gear race’ and invest in what you can afford, don’t max out all of your credit cards so you can have all of the lenses you want. Lenses/Cameras won’t bring you business. HAVE FUN!