« Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie? »
Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register. Jan 22nd, 2020, 4:25am
About PortraNETAbout PortraNET EnrollEnroll RegisterRegister Member FeedbackMember Feedback  Ron's Studio Site & Gallery Ron's Studio Site & Gallery
HomeHome LoginLogin MembersMembers  Student map Student map
Mail BoxMail Box PortraNET.comPortraNET.com SearchSearch
News:
   PortraNET
   Public Access - Post to all in these areas
   PortraNet Lounge
(Moderator: Forum Admin)
   Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?
«- What is PortraNET?  … | Index ^ | Welcome back Dennis … -»
Pages: 2  
Notify of replies Notify of replies Send Topic Send Topic Print Print
   Author  Topic: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  (Read 10550 times)
Del Laird
Alumni

Concord CA
*
# 69



I'll stop learning when I die.

   
View Profile

Gender: male
Posts: 218

1st yr.
Date Started: Nov 18th, 2003
My Goal Here: -
Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« on: Oct 19th, 2003, 12:34pm »

Undoubtedly, anyone that comes to PortraNet to see what it's all about has the same question, "What's in it for me?" I, of course, am no exception.
 
I enjoy Ron's portraiture. I've enjoyed the video snippets he's provided here and the taste of what one could expect in regards to the quality and care Ron gives his students...
 
But to anyone that's a rank amateur that wants to know whether plunking down the cash will move oneself from amateur to "learned status" or even pro, it would be invaluable to hear from novice photographers that have joined PortraNet.
 
For instance, based on the initial stuff from Ron's testimonials, Angie seemingly is a prime example of one that has undergone a huge jump in skill....and I'd love to see a response.  Cheesy
 
What will a novice learn? How much communication/help from Ron and other members should one expect? Has joining PortraNet made a dramatic difference it the way you pose, light and handle post-production work?
 
Looking forward to hearing replies from PortraNet members as well as additional questions prospective members may have.
 
Del
IP Logged

Del
"Success. Measured not by the goals I achieve, but by the lives I enrich." D.A. Laird 2002
Ron
Instructor
Grand Rapids MI
*****
# 1






   
View Profile WWW Email

Gender: male
Posts: 36894

12th yr.
My Goal Here: -
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #1 on: Oct 19th, 2003, 1:32pm »

As I read the part about the critique's - it also occurred to me that it's very different from forums... in that on forums out there, everyone gives a critique... those that might be more skilled, but more often from those who have far less skill than the person who posted the image for critique.  Portranet isn't a forum!  
 
Looking up forum it says:  
The public square or marketplace of an ancient Roman city that was the assembly place for judicial activity and public business.  
A public meeting place for open discussion.  
 
As you gain access to PortraNet you'll find it's not an open forum for members and there is very little if any member exchanges. We DO have a couple of forum areas where you can exchange with other members and most are extremely helpful in areas that I can't be.  What I was getting at here is on forums everyone, no matter what level... critique everyone else's posts. Some times points made are accurate, but more often points made are inaccurate... or may be accurate but share no instruction on how to eliminate the problem in the future. So you find multiple people, usually less skilled telling you what's wrong with your image when they don't know what is right - and more importantly can't tell you how to do it right next time.  You'll also find prople on forums who say things like "to posed" because they can't pose, they feel no one should do it. Posing is a art - and there needs to be learned so that poses "look natural" posing is the art of recreating positions that our subjects would do in normal circumstances if not in front of a camera.  
 
That doesn't happen here. Images are posted for me to review, not for the membership.  
However, if you want to see what your peers think. There is a area for member critique that I try to stay out of. It's a place to build confidence rather than my detailed analysis.  Wink  Another purpose for this member critique area is to allow students to "try their hand" at determining what is right and wrong. This is what it's about, to see the problems. Then to learn to see them BEFORE we release the shutter.
 
Everyone may have their thoughts (which is good) but wait until I comment so know if they "hit the nail on the head".  Occasionally (but rare) someone will say "great shot - big improvement" for something that really shows a great advancement.  But the serious  critiques are done in students project foldres where I am the only one that is allowed to comment. Then someone might ask questions of my critique asking more in depth about why and how to fix it in the future.  
 
What has me so pleased with how PortraNET has gone over its first 6 months is how positive everyone is and how they allow me to teach. And refrain from tossing in their 2 cents, even though we have some very good portrait photographers as members. For this reason we don't see any of the flames or heated discussions we see on open and pay forums.  
 
The feeling when using PortraNET is that is is not a forum at all, even though I use software that is forum based. The structure and layout of PortraNET is very "Encyclopedia" style (to quote Curtis one of our members). And the messages are totally instructional and to the point.  
 
There is a general area and studio operations area where sometimes members discuss things with other members such as software and wedding album supplies etc. Things that I personally don't get into at my studio. And since PortraNET IS "what I do and how I do it" - I let them help each other in those areas.  
 
Hopefully Angie and others will take the time to reply to you as well. Thanks for considering PortraNet.
« Last Edit: Feb 9th, 2006, 12:22pm by Ron » IP Logged

It's not any "one" thing, but hundreds of little things that make a great image.
Angie Peters
Alumni

Royal Oak MI
*
# 33






   
View Profile WWW Email

Gender: female
Posts: 400

1st yr.
Date Started: Aug 26th, 2003
My Goal Here: -
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #2 on: Oct 19th, 2003, 2:46pm »

See your personal email - sorry I didn't know you had also posted it here.  Angie
IP Logged
Peter Gregg
Alumni

Hialeah/Miami FL
*
# 44




PortraNET is FANTASTIC!

   
View Profile WWW Email

Gender: male
Posts: 417

1st yr.
Date Started: Oct 10th, 2003
My Goal Here: -
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #3 on: Oct 19th, 2003, 3:11pm »


Del,
 
On all the public forums, it looks like to me that people want to take "pretty pictures" and then want people to tell them that they have this "hidden talent".
 
I know that sounds a bit harsh, but I don't think anyone at all ever stumbles into doing great stuff. It doesn't work that way in any other hobby or profession. If I were to use the example of the medical profession, it would seem obvious, who "stumbles" into being a great surgeon?
 
But let's look at something that a lot of people may actually be able to do. As I said, surgery or medicine is not something people "just do" and then discover greatness. But how about music? Many people sing or play an instrument. If someone finds a natural ability in music and seems to take to it, there is always a training period to get to the next levels. Then even if a person is stupendous, the music industry is obnoxiously hard to break into and succeed in a big way.
 
The photography hobby or industry is similar. Except, you can actually excel to greatness in photography much much easier than greatness in music. By greatness, I mean having the craftsmanship and ability to create really wonderful pictures over and over. The ability to create "wow".
 
In my own personal opinion, I don't think the ability to create "wow" will come to anyone who doesn't apply themselves to it. Just like anything else, a person needs to bury their nose in it and practice, practice, practice until they can become a winning accomplished competitor. I think sports is like that too.
 
With that said as a back drop or as a foundation, how would a person start to acquire this skill in photography? I can firmly say I believe public forums is a place for the ordinary and lower ordinary skills, with a tiny tiny sprinkling of something terrific that finds it's way to the surface and stand out from the crowd. Public forums are not a place that would be an education in photography, but more of an education of the nature of people.
 
So a college, a university, a technical school would all be a place to develop and attain the ability to excel, just like would happen in sports or anywhere else.
 
A personal mentor would probably be the best, fastest and most productive way to get it done. Finding the right mentor, and what person would agree to mentor you is the difficult part of the mentorship path. But that is what I believe is offered here. The price of under $900 is a steal for what can happen to at PortraNet for it. It is probably the best deal going at the moment.
 
Many say it isn't the place where you are going to learn the basics like this is what F16 does and this is what F4 does. But on the other hand, in just my first week I balanced my lights to Ron's suggested F stop, set the distance for all my lights in terms of feet from the subject, set my shutter to be in harmony to what Ron is doing, and have gotten results that are astonishing.
 
So as a beginner, this is probably the best place you are going to learn how to make WOW pictures in the shortest time. The reality question for you to be asking would be more like "is there a need for you to make "wow" pictures"? I mean, why do you want to make pictures like these? Would ordinary snap shots work for you? If they would, then maybe you don't have a need to be creating pictures that are better than the best photographers in your town. Because when you learn how to make pictures like Ron makes, and even better than him, then you are going to be a top of the hill photographer. If that's what you want, then this is the place in my opinion for sure.  
 
Your question is a good one. But the answer is in you. As for what this "Internet College" is about, there isn't even anything to compete with it! You get a personal folder section where you place your pictures. Your pictures are examined and you get personal feedback that is direct and very to the point lessons. Then you make your corrections and move forward.
 
But there is so much more. There are video's on how to handle guy shots, girl shots, couple shots, baby shots, group shots, lighting techniques, posing techniques, how to build your business and more. Besides all the videos, there are individual lesson written on all this stuff.
 
And all the info is not stagnant. There is new stuff coming all the time. Recently Ron discovered an area that seems to be a difficult spot for a lot of his students. We are getting a whole new video series just on that topic and direct attention applied to us in that area!
 
As for this web site, gee I can say it's terrific. It's all at your own pace. And it's worth 10 times the price Ron is asking. Whether it works or not is up to the person and if they are willing to work at becoming a great golfer or tennis player or musician. Those that put in the effort will get great rewards with Ron. That is my humble opinion.
 
~Peter
IP Logged
Angie Peters
Alumni

Royal Oak MI
*
# 33






   
View Profile WWW Email

Gender: female
Posts: 400

1st yr.
Date Started: Aug 26th, 2003
My Goal Here: -
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #4 on: Oct 19th, 2003, 3:15pm »

I agree with Peter.  Ron has provided with everything now we have to apply it and make it happen.  It's up to you and the amount of work you put into it.  It's all here - at out fingertips.   Take Care   Angie
IP Logged
Ron
Instructor
Grand Rapids MI
*****
# 1






   
View Profile WWW Email

Gender: male
Posts: 36894

12th yr.
My Goal Here: -
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #5 on: Jan 7th, 2004, 2:59pm »

I see Del started this thread as a skeptic before joining. Well you've been on the inside now Del, what's your honest opinion?  
 
 
IP Logged

It's not any "one" thing, but hundreds of little things that make a great image.
Del Laird
Alumni

Concord CA
*
# 69



I'll stop learning when I die.

   
View Profile

Gender: male
Posts: 218

1st yr.
Date Started: Nov 18th, 2003
My Goal Here: -
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #6 on: Jan 7th, 2004, 4:24pm »

You ONLY get out of it what you put INTO it.  
 
(eg. You'll get more out of learning Ron's techniques if you practice them one at a time and show him your work. He'll help you refine things each step of the way.) NOTE: This only applies to full members.
 
Del
« Last Edit: Dec 7th, 2005, 10:44pm by Del Laird » IP Logged

Del
"Success. Measured not by the goals I achieve, but by the lives I enrich." D.A. Laird 2002
Michael Santarcangelo
Alumni

East Greenbush, NY NY
*
# 544



Hello - I'm new to PortraNET!

  santarmj   santarmj
View Profile WWW Email

Gender: male
Posts: 0

1st yr.
Date Started: Jan 4th, 2005
My Goal Here: -
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #7 on: Mar 20th, 2004, 1:54pm »

I have a similar question...
 
Where do you start?  Do have a sequence of lessons, projects?
   
Can a new member start from the beginning, or jump in somewhere already in progess?
 
Michael Lyon
IP Logged
Norris Carden
Alumni

Tullahoma TN
*
# 73




Now where did I leave that lens cap?

  CyberNorris   CyberNorris
View Profile WWW Email

Gender: male
Posts: 809

2nd yr.
Date Started: Nov 23rd, 2003
My Goal Here: -
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #8 on: Mar 20th, 2004, 5:48pm »

Michael,
 
Inside you will find an almost dizzying array of information covering a very broad range of topics... lighting, posing, cropping, digital editing, marketing, studio operations, etc. I found it slightly overwhelming when I first entered in November. Ron has a great "New Members Start Here" area that will help guide you.
 
One area I had previously not paid much attention to are the members' project folders. This area is where we each post our own images for Ron to critique. However, I just discovered it's an awesome place to learn from the "mistakes" of others. Just a couple of days ago, one member posted images from a high key setup. Ron's critique, diagrams and instruction with these images will help when I finally get a high key setup.
 
So to briefly answer your question, there is a guide inside, but you can certainly jump into wherever you need to.
IP Logged

Norris Carden
Carden Photography
http://www.cardenphotography.com
Kelsey_Johnk

Moorhead MN
*
# 1286



Hello - I'm new to PortraNET!

   
View Profile

Gender: female
Posts: 2

1st yr.
My Goal Here: To become a Pro Photographer as soon as possible!
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #9 on: Jun 19th, 2007, 12:11pm »

I'm also debating whether or not I should enroll. i've read all about it and I think I understand the concept of it.. but it never says how long it will take? Is it just when you think you are ready to be on your own? I don't know if I really understand how this all works... Do I have to have more equipment and supplies than just my camera? It doesn't say that anywhere... I already have a really nice camera but that is all for right now because I can't afford all the supplies you need.  Do I have to get Photoshop right away??  
 
Questions like these are ones I haven't found the answers to and I don't want to start paying for something when I don't know everything about it...  
 
Yea it's not too bad of a price considering, but I don't just have that kind of money laying around. I'm 2 years out of high school, and I'm about to have a baby... and photography is my dream!!! I need to make sure I have all the information I need before I start paying. Because this seems like the perfect way for me to learn more about photography and get better at what I want to do while still caring for a child and working as well since there are no photography schools around my area...
 
Hopefully someone can answer my questions... Thanks!
 
-Kelsey
IP Logged
Ron
Instructor
Grand Rapids MI
*****
# 1






   
View Profile WWW Email

Gender: male
Posts: 36894

12th yr.
My Goal Here: -
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #10 on: Jun 19th, 2007, 1:12pm »

How long depends on you?  I've seen people who know nothing more than "point n shoot cameras" shoot work similar to my own in as few as 4-6 months. Mark Theil is a good example,  Mr. Petkov is another good example.  Maybe not as consistantly good, but certainly some jaw dropping images.  Others may take 11-12 months. Others have taken 2 years - others are still working at it and have re-newed for their 5th year... either to continue to improve, or simply because with children and a full time job, they may not have the time to invest into making it happen sooner.
 
There are many awesome photographers here now - way to many to mention, but look in the NEWS area to see SOME of them and their work. I often post how long they've been here too. (for a good example of what can happen and how long it will take).
 
How long to be on your own? - depends on you and how much you remember, retain and put into practice.  It's not difficult by any means.  
 
(not sure what you mean by on your own really) You start here on your own, I'm here to guide and help you in your project folder with what needs to be seen and improved upon.  Explain (on your own) we might better answer that.   How long before you feel you can do pro level work for pay?  6-12 months I'd say - but really depends on each person.
 
Equipment: Again depends on what you want to do - and what you want to work on. A digital camera is all that is needed...  however you can learn to use more if you have a main light for indoor studio portraiture...  A hairlight will be nice, a background light would be helpful.  But if you don't have these things you can learn for a year here easily with nothing more than a camera, using window light or other natural light sources.
 
Plenty to learn here about how to make or build props and backgrounds if you don't have any... if you do - you don't need to spend time learning how to build them. Instead then go into the compositional elements area and learn how to position them and compose nice compositional balance in the portrait work.  Using natural light?  Go to that area and learn and practice using natural light...    want to learn how to light someone using a main light indoors?  (go to that area).  There are numerous paths and it depends on your interests at the time and what you have at your disposal.
 
It would be nice to have a good digital (Rebel 700.00ish or better) and decent portrait lens (something of 70-100mm or longer (focal length). F2.8 aperature would be nice.
And Photoshop would be extremely helpful. (but not really necessary) any photo program will be enough to get you learning...  while you couldn't really learn workflow without photoshop, you could then concentrate on traditional posing (Head and shoulder male for example) and in a few months when you have your posing down - you may then have aquired photoshop and may want to get into retouching and workflow issues.
 
It would be a great way to learn while being home with a new baby - but a new baby may make it really hard to have the time to dedicate to PortraNET.  So you may want to take the wait and see if you have time path (until the baby is here).  THEY take over your life you know... and well - we love every minute of it -  ENJOY IT they grow up to fast!  
 
IP Logged

It's not any "one" thing, but hundreds of little things that make a great image.
Kelsey_Johnk

Moorhead MN
*
# 1286



Hello - I'm new to PortraNET!

   
View Profile

Gender: female
Posts: 2

1st yr.
My Goal Here: To become a Pro Photographer as soon as possible!
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #11 on: Jun 20th, 2007, 1:13am »

Thanks so much for replying so quickly. You have helped a lot more than you may realize.  What I meant by 'on my own' is I someday would love to have my own studio, even if it means starting small in my home... But now that you have explained the time frame as to which the learning process takes place I have kind of answered my own question. I've already been asked to take my cousins engagement photos and even a wedding [that i turned down because it was so close to my due date and i wasn't sure if i was ready for that yet..]... so I apparently have some skill built up, but I know I could be a lot better and hopefully once I have the time [like you said after I get used to having a baby around] I would love to put the time into learning through your program. I think I have all I need to make my decision in the future. I will continue to browse through here as i find it interesting to look at other peoples' work. Thank you again for your help with my questions.  
 
-Kelsey
IP Logged
Ron
Instructor
Grand Rapids MI
*****
# 1






   
View Profile WWW Email

Gender: male
Posts: 36894

12th yr.
My Goal Here: -
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #12 on: Jun 20th, 2007, 2:02pm »

Well you can start "on your own" right now, many people start without proper education and training... and well, don't get very far or run into trouble situations along the way.  
I started very small in my first (newly weds we were) tiny home basement.  It wasn't much of a drawback because I had high end skills already. (after 4 years of training at 2 studios). 
 
I was working for a studio for 5 bucks an hour and was asked to do my cousins engagements. (I remember a profit in the area for 400.00 for 20 minutes work compared to 5.00 per hour for 40 hours a week).  I had my studio in my home shortly after this eye opening experience.
 
Good luck with the upcoming baby we have one due in Jan. (my daughters first and our first grand child).
« Last Edit: Jun 25th, 2007, 11:12am by Ron » IP Logged

It's not any "one" thing, but hundreds of little things that make a great image.
Kevin Henderson
Alumni

Ypsilanti MI
*
# 1291



Hello - I'm new to PortraNET!

   
View Profile WWW Email

Gender: male
Posts: 17

1st yr.
Date Started: Jul 24th, 2007
My Goal Here: To become a Pro Photographer as soon as possible!
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #13 on: Jun 24th, 2007, 6:27pm »

Being a potential "newbie" to PortaNET as well, my one question is how much help is offered in non-photography related areas (i.e. marketing/advertising).  I have learned reading through the site how much I'll gain in my skill as a photographer from PortaNET, but having started my business part-time a year ago, it's been hard for me to attract business.  For me to really sink into the PortaNET program, I also need a little business coming to earn the cash I'll need to buy backdrops, studio lighting, etc...  So, in addition to all of the phoography help, is there help for how (and where) to generate business?  I'm moving my business from Utah to Michigan in two months in the hopes of using photography to put me through law school  Grin  I'd love to get started on your program now, but I'm just a little nervous that I'll drop $1800 onto a credit card and then have trouble generating the business to pay it off.  Your input would be appreciated...
IP Logged
Ron
Instructor
Grand Rapids MI
*****
# 1






   
View Profile WWW Email

Gender: male
Posts: 36894

12th yr.
My Goal Here: -
Re: Questions: PortraNet.com for a newbie?  
« Reply #14 on: Jun 25th, 2007, 11:20am »

Everything  "I KNOW and HAVE DONE" is offered... if I can help - I will in any way I can. I have 4 years of experience with other studios, and 27 years of experience in my own studio. What works, what doesn't - best place to invest or (how to get FREE advertising) where not to spend your money...  
 
I have no doubt you'll get your investment back in the first year.  (if you do what I say).
The best advertising is cheap - and some of the best is FREE! -  I started without going to the bank and getting a big loan to invest in start up - so I started like most people here - making a little - investing a little, making a little more, investing it a little more.
You can surely help pay for law school (or totally pay for it) though - you can make as much or more as a photographer and it's far more enjoyable and less stressful.... and a LOT easier.
 
Backgrounds we even go into how to MAKE YOUR OWN, best (cheap places to get them) it's all here.   If it's a photo studio question - it's most likely on here and fully covered.
Just looked - I'm currently at over 19,000 instructional posts on here!  And there is a ton you can learn from the other students who have had different paths than my own.
I'm sure others can be helpful in sharing their experiences.  I just received a Pm from one member who has been here a couple years now and said that he just recieved his first >2000.00 senior portrait order.  He shoots part time as a side job in his basement here in E. Michigan.
IP Logged

It's not any "one" thing, but hundreds of little things that make a great image.
Pages: 2  
Notify of replies Notify of replies Send Topic Send Topic Print Print
«- What is PortraNET?  … | Index ^ | Welcome back Dennis … -»
 

All content, images & instruction Copyright ©2003-2013 Ron Kramer/Rojoy Inc. dba PortraNet
PortraNET » Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.3.1!
YaBB © 2000-2003. All Rights Reserved.

Artdesy.com - An Art Directory