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Daniel asks…

what is the best uk degree to do if you want to be a portrait photographer?

I would like to work on a cruise ship as a photographer for a few years and then in the future to own my own studio. But to get onto a cruise ship you have to have qualifications – I have been looking at Uni Degrees, but not sure what to go for – Commercial? Editorial? Fashion? or just plain photography?

administrator answers:

The only qualifications you need to be a cruise ship photographer is a knowledge of photography and the ability to be worked like a slave for hours on end and to have to deal with some unpleasant customers who think that they own you.

You certainly don’t need a degree for it.

James asks…

How much does a portrait photographer charge?

My partner is a semi proffessional photographer, he mainly photographs landscapes and sells his pictures, however he has had a request to photograph a family at their home, how much do you think he should charge – has anyone ever had a portrait photographer come to their home? Based in UK

administrator answers:

In general you should cover your costs with the studio fee and then make a bit of profit on the prints.

Maria asks…

Could a pro portrait photographer tell me what equipment is ESSENTIAL to get started?

Am setting up a studio from home photographing mostly newborn babies. On a tight budget so I only want to buy the bare essentials for shoots.
Can a portrait photographer recommend what I’d need (makes and models too if you can?)
I’m in the UK

administrator answers:

OK, I won’t go into a rant about how you are not ready and all that rubbish, if you were ready, you wouldn’t need to ask this question.

I’ll just give you a list of what I consider is the minimum for a basic studio.

Cameras and lenses.
If you are planning on doing this as a business then minimum of two camera bodies, DSLRs will do but MF would be better.
Assorted lenses
Make and models is upto you but the minimum would be in the “mid-range” of Nikon or Canon for DSLR or Phase One or ‘blads for MF (that is if you have the 15-40k to spend)

2 lights (preferably 3) –
Softbox, brollies and associated “light adjusters”.
Cables etc
Bowens and Elinchrome make kits – check out

Paper rolls or cloth plus background stands.
Colorama paper rolls are the most commonly used

Posing accessories
If babies then a proper baby poser
also posing stools and various other “bits and bobs”.

Lastly – KNOWLEDGE of what you are actually doing and how you work all the various equipment.

That is the most basic stuff as far as I am concerned and if you were to buy all new then 5-10k at the cheap end and 30-50k at the expensive.

RANT: You could always do what loads of others do and buy an entry level camera, use a sheet and table lamps and then advertise your “professional” services!

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