As a photographer, you can do it for fun or you can do it for money (or both). At one time I was semi-professional (“semi” means “kind of “or” maybe not” and “professional” “means someone was paid an unspecified amount of money”—coupled together, this word means absolutely nothing) photographer. You see a few of my photos on the pages of this blog.
I quit taking photos a few years back because I was no longer interested in hustling to sell my photos and (even more important) because I had hundreds of good photos that had no purpose. They were simply stored on my computer hard drives and most of them had never been seen buy anyone else but me. Taking more photos seemed to have no purpose.
Then I started this blog, needed a few photos, and suddenly I have a renewed interest in photography. I guess what I am saying is that for a geezer to take up photography the first thing he needs to know is what he is going to do with his photos. Only then will his photography have a purpose.
Here’s what I see as ways to show your work to others:
- Take photos that are good enough to sell to publications, show in galleries, or to sell at arts-and-crafts fairs. To do this, you have to be an exceptional photographer (there are thousands of photographers trying sell their work) with an unique eye and have the ambition to do the grunt work to get their photos out there.
- Start up a web page or a blog like this and showcase your photos. It’s a lot of work to be successful.
- Go on Facebook or Flicker (a photo sharing site) and display your photos for anyone who is interested in looking at them.
- Join a photography club and participate in their shows or critiques.
- Publish your own book of photography online and then give the books to friends or family. The books are expensive ($20 to $40), but the more you print the less they cost.
- Print your photos and hang them up on your walls and just enjoy knowing you took them.
Looking at photography from this angle will immediately allow you to determine if you have an end goal in mind that will justify the money and time you will have to commit in being a good photographer.
The next thing you need to determine is if photography will be an enjoyable hobby for you. Basically, you need to get a camera to find out.
You can get a remarkable camera for less than $150 that is fully capable of taking good photos. But a camera like this will not have interchangeable lenses, will not take add on accessories like high powered flash units, and will not accommodate various filters that can enhance certain types of photos.
Or you can get a professional camera that offers better clarity, better speed, a wide range of setting options, and is capable of getting the best photo under any circumstances. You can also get a wide variety of specialty lenses, an endless list of add-ons, and the camera will be a whole lot smarter than you are. These cameras can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Then there is the need for a computer, software, and printer to enhance, manipulate and prepared the photos for their final destiny. Again, more money, but there is a wide range of options available.
My recommendation is for you to start out with what is basically an inexpensive, point-and-shoot camera. See if you have the eye and the ability to take usable photos and, most importantly, if you enjoy it.
Why start taking photographs? Well it’s like anything else in retirement—to see if it makes you feel good—something that grabs you. For many people there is no feeling as great as creating something wonderful from nothing.