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Advice To the Beginner

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  • Advice To the Beginner

    Lets suppose that the local Highschool asks you to give a presentation on "career day" or some such occasion to a group of soon to graduate Seniors. What advice would you give them concerning this line of work as a career. What educational goals should they aim for, what educational level should they "go for", technical school, University---what? What personal attributes are pluses and which are minuses? Who should consider perhaps another line of work? Is artistic talent a "must" and so on. Remember, you are talking to a bunch of high-flying kids who have yet to really get their feet wet in the real world. Tom

  • #2
    this is a really thought provoking question, tom

    i have noticed that few of us regularly represented here are dewy-eyed youths, except amanda (dewy-eyed youths, speak up, make your presence felt.)

    and that our "career paths", if i dare call them that, have been less than straight forward to downright meandering.

    so how would i advise child on straightforward entry into - what? photo restoration, period?

    if it was my aim to do no more, no less, and i were starting from scratch, i would love to have had a much stronger background in both computers and photography. altho any current hs graduate will be much more computer savvy than i at that, or prob this, age. i guess i am thinking art/design leaning is a given; almost that they wouldn't be interested in the first place unless they had those gifts; i would think them essential. eye-training, form, composition, color all those are key and to some degree innate but requiring lifelong honing. so i am focusing chiefly on what i lack.

    but i also wonder, given total fluency in photoshop or other graphics programs, would i have chosen this route as a young'un, and if it would appeal, i.e., i bet there are more of that age bracket who would gravitate to animation/special effects type stuff, stuff i am only barely aware of.

    working at home, home alone!, as it seems most of us are, you would have to be a self-starter, disciplined, motivated.

    whew. this is quite a question. now you have me really wondering if restoration per se would have much appeal to the very young. i feel they would be more inclined to manipulation. eager to see how this thread develops.

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    • #3
      It would depend on what they would enjoy doing. Some might like getting into photo restoration and working for them selves. However I would suggest they study business, Photography and maybe venture into the photo finishing business with restoration being just a part of the whole package. Or if they are in to working in the corporate world, then a degree in Arts and Computer Graphics would be the way to go. Maybe be even webdesign.
      DJ

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      • #4
        Some very good points have been brought up. About the only thing I would add is becoming educated on photographic history -- time periods of the processes -- the processing technique itself, and the proper handling and restoration of those specimen that are left.

        Of course there are many people who couldn't care less about photographs *or* history. They might prefer to play in a band, or build houses, or become doctors, or ------------- . If there is no interest to begin with, I think it is probably best for them not to waste their time with it. But I guess you could always take them into the darkroom, and show them what it looks like when that print pops in the developer. That'd do it!

        Ed

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        • #5
          My advice.....First find a regular paying job.

          Ok, seriously.

          This is a list of the things I've done, wish I'd done, or intend to do, and so would advise others:
          1. Marketing (yourself and your work)
          2. Learn enough about Photoshop to use it effectively, but not fry your brain with too much knowledge.
          3. Research your market - where are the big bucks, and demands for your line of work.
          4. Drawing class- it helps
          5. Learn the practice of photography - specifically the practice of taking pictures throughout history.
          6. Business
          7. If you can, find a mentor/master restoration artist to learn from.
          8. Practice, practice, practice.

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          • #6
            Hmmmm. When I was in high school I never even considered the idea of "working at home." I guess for some reason this seemed "bad." I for one wasn't ready to make a career decision at that time--but did anyway, and today I find myself heading in a totally different direction. I think this happens a lot. High school students, when they are seniors, are expected to make a "decision" regarding "what are you going to be when you grow up," even though only a small percentage of them know what they really want at that age.

            If I were talking to high school students I would probably advise them to start off at a community college--and just take the basic classes. If they think they are interested in photo restoration they could learn about this on the side--I'd advise them to learn the basics of photography and photo development. Maybe ask them to do a really complicated puzzle to see if they have the patience. Some knowledge of graphic design would help and definitely computer skills although this is pretty much a given. Definitely marketing skills too--especially if they want to work at home. After two years of college all the basic courses would be done, and by now they should have a better idea if photo restoration is what they really want to do. If not, no time or money has been wasted, and they could explore another field.

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