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What soft-wares should i use/ become familiar with if I'm looking at becoming a professional photographer, film producer, or video editor?

I'm not 100% clear on the path I want to take upon graduating high school, but I do know that I want the career to be something in the field of photography and/or something in film. So, if I can figure out which soft-wares I should use, then maybe I can try it out and get a better perspective on what I want to do. film photography photoshop digital-photography

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Michael’s Answer

BIG question!

Still and video (or film) photography are VERY different. I'm assuming you're in high school so my advice is as follows:

FIRST, get a complete education, concentrating on literature, history and art. All are important for every photographer. The world is changing every day and occupations today may now exist tomorrow or may be much, much different. A broad education will prepare you to go in any direction you want after college.

SECOND, get a camera, the best you can afford (or ask for one as a birthday or holiday gift). Then practice shooting everything in sight and reviewing the results with a critical eye. Would anyone but you want to own this photograph? Shoot, shoot, shoot. Digital images are cheap, very good and recyclable.

Try to capture everything that's interesting to you and, when you do, learn how to frame scenes in an interesting manner, use light and shadow and color so that they're interesting to other people.

Take pictures for your school newspaper, yearbook or special events.

Keep your camera with you and, if you see something interesting -- a ball game, an accident, something funny -- shoot it and send it to your local paper with an explanation of where you saw it and who was involved.

The best job you can have is doing something you LOVE! Do something you'd do even if no one paid you to do it.

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!!! This has helped SO much!! Do you think entering photo contests would be beneficial? I already own a Nikon camera (unsure of the model) and have been shooting like crazy! So if entering a few of those shots would be beneficial, I'd love to know! Sara R.
Sure! Pick the best shot(s) that might be applicable to the contest theme and submit them -- often. Michael Reinhardt
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Rohit’s Answer

Adobe suite of softwares are best to try out:

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe After Effects

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Stephen’s Answer

To begin with - I agree that in today's photography world - learning computer graphic programs is essential.

I suggest you research a personal friend Woody Walters - he has programs and instruction methods that will get you on your way.

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Jennifer’s Answer

Adobe has some excellent software and you can get student discounts. You can sign up for their creative cloud here:!3085!3!187914670978!e!!g!!adobe%20creative%20cloud&ef_id=WA_kyAAAACoUtbv6:20170515174848:s

As far as I know Adobe's been a industry standard for 20 years, and most photographers prefer Macs.

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Christopher’s Answer

Photography: You need to be well versed in Digital Asset Management (Adobe Lightroom has this built in and Adobe also has Bridge CC as an asset management tool). The most important alternative to Adobe as an asset management tool is Capture One Pro, which many consider the industry best for RAW file editing and conversion. Many major studios require you to be knowledgeable in both Adobe products and Capture One.

Adobe alternatives: Affinity Photo is the only one that is a viable alternative option for professionals and is available for Windows & Mac, just as Adobe is.

Film: I think it is more important to be well versed in industry standard language within video editing software than any particular software option. Different studios will have varying preferences for Apple Final Cut Studio, DaVinci Resolve by BlackMagic, Adobe Premeire, or Lightworks. All of these can generally do 95-99% of what the competition does or what end-users need them for. I think BlackMagic's DaVinci Resolve may be the most useful as it has the best free version with the most professional features.

Software choice will vary a little bit. My experience has been that a thorough understanding of the industry practices, terminology will serve you nearly as much as training yourself in the core functions of professional creative software. The below software list is a list of software I use or have used in a professional environment as opposed to the Adobe set-up. Software costs are one of the biggest impediments to start-up costs as a creative professional. Below is a list of common creative software needs.

The primary difference between my current software list and the one below is that I have a $200 license for Capture One Pro and $100 in licensing for Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. As a comparison, the Adobe CC subscription I would need to cover my office software needs would have been $1,199.76 + tax over the past 2 years. I would also consider my $300 in software "luxury" items, as I know I could produce the same results with the free software listed below.

RAW editor and Digital Asset Management:
DarkTable (Mac/Linux only)
RawTherapee or UFRAw (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Google NIK collection (Windows, Mac, Linux - this is the ultimate in pre-made "Filter recipes" for processing photos)

GIMP (search for GIMPSHOP build to find one more similar to Photoshop's menu layouts)

Graphic Design:
Inkscape (alternative to Adobe Illustrator)

Page Layout Editor:
Scribus (alternative to Adobe InDesign)

Audio Editor (for video audio):

Video Editors:
OpenShot (simplest beginner software with complete export features available)
Lightworks (Professional Industry software, free version is limited, for example, 720p at 30fps I think is max quality for export in free version)
BlackMagic Design - DaVinci Resolve 14 (There is little difference between Professional paid version and the free version.)

Wow!! Thank you so much!! This helped a lot! Sara R.