Thursday, July 28, 2011


I recently got an email from a budding young photographer asking how my career started.  As I have gotten this question from many people in the past asking for advice, I thought I would post our email conversation for anyone who might have a similar interest in the way things started out for me.  Enjoy!

Also this is from an email correspondence so to read it in chronilogical order you'll have to start at the bottom of the post.

 Thank you so much! I'll definitely keep this all in mind as I set out on starting a career. And hey, who knows, maybe!


-----Original Message-----
From: Joshua lambus <jlambusphotography@yahoo.com>
To: Dylan -------------------@aol.com>
Sent: Sat, Jul 23, 2011 12:05 pm
Subject: Re: Question from a high school student

Well my first advice is don't do it! Ha, just kidding.... kinda. It can be very difficult to make a living doing photography, especially if you specialize in underwater photography. However, though I may not be a millionaire, I love being underwater, and I love showing people things they've never seen before.  And for that, I'll never quit doing what it is I do because I love it My real advice is to find a niche, and perfect it. At one time underwater photography was a niche, but with the onset of digital photography everyone and their mothers have an underwater camera. Now it's not enough just to be underwater, you have to specialize in something: Chris fallows... Great whites breaching, Eric cheng.... extreme macro, Howard shatz.... underwater modeling. Me..... night time pelagic plankton, The more obscure the better. You want to show people things they've never seen before, which all the above photographers have done. Find yours and run with it.  Anyway to answer your questions....

1. Did you go to college? If so, what did you major in?

No I did not. Well I did one semester... then dropped out and moved to Hawaii, thought I was going to major in education, (wanted to be a teacher). Not going to school worked for me but I do recommend school. Not only does formal training give you the technical skills needed to use your creativity efficiently, it also gives you the chance to meet some great connections that may help you later in your career.

2. Do you work freelance?

This is how I started. I only recently moved to retail, selling fine art prints.  Free lance is what's going to pay the bills (maybe)  and allow you to travel. Sometimes you'll be doing things you don't want to do but it's worth it (maybe). I've shot for National Geographic, Sport diver Mag, LA times, Chicago Tribune, BBC,  etc..... If it doesnt make the money it's at least worth the exposure.

3. When you first started working as a photographer, where did you start working?

I started in Houston, TX as a concert photographer.  I was too young to get into shows, so I got a press pass and started faking photographer. Turns out I was pretty good at it, and not only did I get to go to the shows, but i got to go backstage with artists, and get paid for it. I worked with a lot of free press newspapers before getting gigs with big magazines like Rolling stone.

Hope that answers everything you needed. Take care and good luck in your career! Hey who knows maybe one day we'll be on assignment together.


Joshua Lambus
J.Lambus Photography
74-5540 Kaiwi St. #283
Kailua Kona, HI 96740

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--- On Sat, 7/23/11, Dylan -----------------@aol.com> wrote:

From: Dylan------------------ @aol.com>
Subject: Question from a high school student
To: joshua@jlambusphoto.com
Date: Saturday, July 23, 2011, 4:48 AM

Mr. Lambus, 


My name is Dylan ------------, and I'm a high school student from Los Angeles, CA. I found your work online and I think your work is breathtaking. I really want to pursue undersea photography and film in college and as a career and I was wondering if I could ask you a few really brief questions about what you do.

1. Did you go to college? If so, what did you major in?

2. Do you work freelance?

3. When you first started working as a photographer, where did you start working?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this; I really appreciate it!