I have been asked a few times if I mentor other photographers. While I am not in the season of business offer any type of education right now, I wanted to share a few things that would have helped me when I first got started. Before, I dive right into the tips I want to share a bit of my story with you!
I remember when I got my first ‘BIG GIRL’ camera. You would have thought I would have been super excited to use it. However, I was TERRIFIED and AFRAID of it! I was in a full blown panic attack because I had no idea what this camera was capable of. There were a ton of new buttons and menu settings that I never heard of. It was so overwhelming! My brand new camera sat in the box for a week before I finally got up the courage to touch it.
A few things I wished I would have known when I first started this journey:
You need to know the path you are about to go down is one of the most challenging paths I have ever taken. You will face obstacles that will make you pull your hair out for weeks or even months. Keep pushing forward no matter what. I love this quote from Ira Glass:
Every word of this is truth. It speaks so much to every step of my own journey. Read this and keep it near your heart every time something is becoming a challenge to you. Believe it or not I quit a few times on my journey and I wish I would have not. I could have been much further into my vision if I would have just stuck with it!
Even if you don’t understand everything it is saying. Read it front to back and make notes on what does not make sense to you. Start at the top and google each topic you have written down. Study it. This sounds crazy, but you will be extra glad when something with your camera starts going wrong mid session that you are able to fix it in a matter of seconds! Bonus points… it will make ya look cool too!
This is a BEST of a topic to cover and will take a lot of practice! Learning to see light is difficult. Light has color. Light has density. Light has shape. There are also different types of light. You will find that some of the most successful photographers can take any situation and turn it into an amazing image with their use of light. Light has soo many properties that you have to explore and learn to manage. There is a such thing as good light and bad light. Find the good light!
After you have been rocking along and finding the good light you will hit another BEAST of a topic composition.
Know these when to use them, what they do and when to break the rules.
This is the scariest part of photography for most people. Turning that dial to M. If you really want to have the most control over your images, turn your camera to Manual Mode or M on most cameras. Learn what your ISO, Aperture and F-Stop are. They all go together like a horse and carriage. If you change one it will affect the other. When you do this for the first time, give yourself some grace. You are going to make major mistakes. Practice on plants, dogs, nature and inanimate objects that won’t move. Then try shooting moving objects once you are comfortable.
Shoot in RAW! This is the last thing I recommend. Once you have mastered the basics turn your files from .JPG to RAW and get ready to learn to edit for your artistic vision. This step is often done before everything else. It is super exciting to edit your photos. But most of the time it adds to the frustration when you don’t understand why your photos do not match the vision in your head. It is often because you are not getting one of the basic tips right in camera.
Recommended resources I have used to teach myself:
I love clickin moms because they are a community of like minded people helping others. You can meet so many people on a journey similar to yours and they will understand your struggles.
Be careful when you do use Google as we all know not everything on the internet is true. I will say, “when it doubt, Google it out!”
There are a ton of photography tutorials and videos on YouTube.