7 Tips Every New Photographer Should Know
I know photography can be so overwhelming! When I started out I thought I would never be able to achieve the images I wanted. Even now there are some days that I still wonder if I can get there. But, every day and every time I photograph I get a little bit closer to achieving that goal.
Here are 7 tips to encourage you not to give up and to keep working towards the images you want to capture.
1. Don’t Rush to Buy the Most Expensive Equipment
Many people think that you need the best camera equipment to get great images, but you don’t. Expensive equipment won’t get you anywhere if you don’t know how to use it. Learn the basics of what you want to achieve before spending thousands of dollars on lenses and equipment that you may never even use!
2. Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Photographers
I found this bit of advice extremely important for my own well-being! Of course, I love looking at other people's work and admiring the beauty in what they have created, but I could not compare myself to them because they were in a setting or situation much different than my own.
You can only compare yourself to what you were doing yesterday or previous days. By thinking this way you will slowly but surely see your own growth and realize you are becoming closer to the people you really admire and are inspired by.
3. Make Sure Your Plate isn't Always Full
If you try to do too much at once you can get overwhelmed or discouraged. Well, at least I did! I would make goals in my calendar of things that I wanted to try to master.
For example: natural light, reflectors, external flash, dark spaces, photographing in low light, etc. I would study these topics one at a time and figure out what worked for me and what didn't. This was fun for me and challenging at the same time.
4. Learn How to Use Your Camera
Explore your shooting modes. Take your camera off of auto. This may be the most frustrating part and I promise you there will be a lot of trial and error. This part was not easy for me; it did not come naturally and may be one reason why I choose at this time not to mentor others.
I took local college courses and had a few personal photography mentors that graciously helped me achieve the goals I set for myself.
If you have the time I recommend looking into these types of courses and/or finding local photographers who run workshops for hands on teaching.
5. Experiment With Lighting
At sunrise and sunset (often referred to as the golden hour) the light is beautiful and full of color!
No matter what your subject, sunrise and sunset are wonderful and ideal times to take photos. It's the kind of light that I love because its soft and eliminates shadows, squinting and sun spots. Personally, I am not a morning person so I religiously shoot at sunset.
I do own a reflector but have never actually used it. Rather, I have learned how to photograph my clients using the light around me and pose them accordingly. I won't discourage you from using a reflector because it can certainly help create beautiful images of backlit subjects.
6. Realize Your Strengths to Set Yourself Up for Success
It’s totally OK to not be good at something. As beginners I think we want to take on the world, photograph EVERYTHING, and MASTER IT ALL!
I was completely fine with realizing that certain situations just were NOT for me. I enjoyed taking on the candid moments at weddings, watching families interact with each other at a photoshoot and senior photography. Those were my strengths and what I wanted to concentrate on. Realizing this has served me well and I love my job!
7. Invest Time in Post Processing.
As time goes on post processing will become faster and easier. Programs such as Lightroom and Photoshop will take your images to the next level.
You won't be sorry you pulled all-nighters watching tutorial videos on how to correct images that you may have otherwise deleted.
As you get more comfortable with your camera settings and your SOOC (straight out of camera images) get better, processing them will also become much easier and more fun!
Seeing your final images and having your clients or family love you for them is priceless!
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