When I sat down to write this, I had every intention of writing at least five tips. Then, I started to write and I realized how important just these three are. So, I picked the three that I think are CRUCIAL to starting out as a photographer, whether it’s just for fun or you want to make it your career. I’m kind of writing these tips out in an order of importance, so make note of what's at the very top!
1. Know how to shoot in MANUAL. I put this as number one because it should be the first thing that you learn. If you have no clue what I mean when I say the words ISO, aperture, or shutter speed, then that’s where you need to start. A couple of years ago, I took a job as a newborn photographer at a hospital with a widely known newborn photography company. After I had been there a few months, I started training the new employees and I was shocked when I had “photographers” come in and not have any clue what those words meant or how they worked together. So, if you want to become a photographer, of any type, you need to understand your camera and it’s settings when shooting in manual. I could write an entire blog post just on those basics. In fact, that might be one of my next topics.
2. Practice, practice, practice. I’ve seen so many new photographers posting in groups asking how people got started, and everyone’s answer is pretty much the same; we started asking people if we could take their pictures. It’s honestly that simple. Ask your neighbor, friend, family member, anyone! Tell them you need to practice and that you’ll give them free photos. When I first started, I took pictures of my best friend all of the time. I babysat a lot, so I took some family photos of the families I babysat for. All you have to do is ask! Shoot as much as you can because the more you do, the more familiar you’ll get with your camera. Not only will this help you to understand your camera better, but it'll help you build your portfolio. Think you want to be a wedding photographer? Start asking couples to model for you, or ask a photographer in your area if you could could shadow or second shoot for them.
3. Start working on your editing. Invest in a good editing software if you’re really serious. I use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, and it’s not cheap you guys, but there’s a reason so many of us use it. This is another topic I could write another post on, because there’s so much to it. So, to keep it short; once you feel comfortable with shooting in manual, and you’ve gotten to practice on actual people, start dabbling into editing. Go to YouTube and watch tutorials on how to use it and learn different techniques. There are so many different styles of editing, and I can promise your's will change over the years, but dig around on Pinterest and Instagram some and find images and catch your eye. If you love the look of dark and moody photos, then you probably need to learn how to edit more of that style rather than light and airy.
If anything, I hoped this blog helped you to understand what is the most important and where you should start if you want to become a photographer! If you’re still a beginner, but you feel like you have the camera part down and you’re ready for the next step, Tips For Beginner Photographers During a Session is for you!