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Hey, i just want to ask all those photographers out there, how did you become a photographer? What do you need to do to take the next step?

Ive been desperate to become a photographer or even learn from a pro for a couple of years, people say i have potential but i want to get better, ive sent e-mails to local newspapers getting photo's in there, setting up my own website, which was tricky, and even taking portrait photo's of my dads mates son. 

Im hungry for more! :( 

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Am not a pro photographer, just a hobby, even I've sold some, but I think I can safely say that being a photographer needs a large amount of learning, Alex. You need to do it with passion also! Don't shoot because you need to, but shoot because you love to. From there everything should just lead you there, into a good photographer :-) Learn, do it with passion, never give up, always find ways to improve. Best of luck! ;-)
Thanks! and i know, i know i do it as a hobby now but i would love even to be able to sell a few like you, i take pictures every day almost, if its a rubbish day, i take pics of my cats, or try and get moody shots, any day I suppose i should just keep snapping for fun, take everyday as it comes;) and who knows..
Learn about lighting, Learn about composition... and most important Learn marketing.
I'm no pro myself and never will be. You're young,learn as much as you can from every angle, viewpoint and trick you can learn. But must warn you it's not going to be easy. You will have to discover what type of photography you want to do.

My nephew spent 2 years in collage learning photography and digital imaging. His work is phenomenal the things he's produced for his school projects. I couldn't believe my eyes. He would spend countless hours some even days working on. He wants to get into commercial photography but he's been out of college a year now and still as of yet not been able to find a company to put his talents to work for.

Best of Luck.
Alex,
What type of photography do you want to pursue? Start to identify what you're most passionate about. If it's portrait start shooting your friends, and their friends, if it's travel start traveling and building a portfolio. Go to some national workshops, and offer yourself up for free service even the book work. Not as easy as it sounds, but just keep begging. The bookkeeping, marketing, and business side of the business is what I spend most of my time doing, the sooner you know it the better. If you want to work commercially learn photoshop. Scott Kelby has a great blog and training center. Learn anything and everything. I wish I had more time for my professional development. Take advantage of it while you've got the time. Finally believe! Believe! Believe! You can do anything, and I'll be here to cheer you on!
:D thanks for the help.. I dont really know i want, suppose i would love to travel and take photo's, will be hard though. But yeh, im ringing people and contacting companies etc. Just want to snap and snap and click away:)
Hi, I am not profenssional but I am taking photo since many years when I was so joung. I loved taking pictures and started learing by ready books and talking with those who knew more than me. you can continue by searching technical texts and go step by step by taking pictures of what you have learned. to me the most important point is compsition of photo, then comes the light. learn how to use F and Speed. do not use Authomatic so much. just when is a must. check the best photo you see and reveiw all you know through the photo you see from good to bad. anyway to me what you need more is the talent which you have. good luck

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