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Chapter 3: Learning Your Craft - Pg. 69

CHAPTER 3: LEARNING YOUR CRAFT T here are about as many ways to learn to become a pho- tographer as there are McDonald's restaurants along the freeway. Some take years; some take eight weeks. Some are by the book, and some are unorthodox. One (or more) will be right for you. Since in modern life time commitment is often a big consideration, I will list them in order from the quickest to the lengthiest. HIRING A CONSULTANT A fast way to start your photography business is to hire a con- sultant--usually a successful photographer who operates an es- tablished studio in your chosen specialty area--to show you the ropes. Consultants generally charge $200 to $500 per hour, and that probably sounds hugely expensive at first blush. But consider the savings in time and money over attending even a two-year school--I've consulted for people starting their own portrait studios who learned all they needed after just three days to two weeks and a few follow-up calls. "This is only for people who have the resources and who are positive they know what spe- cialty they want to pursue," says Julie Floyd. "You don't want to get through an $8,000 stint with a portrait photographer and say, `Oops! I guess I really want to be an accountant.'" Chris Darbonne's college degree is in en- gineering. But after taking online photo courses at and study- ing intensively with established profession- als, she opened up her own portrait studio, now called Darbonne Portraits LLC. 62