My best advice for new photographers getting into the game
I remember looking around the web for the best advice for new photographers. There are literally thousands of tips for the best camera gear, lighting equipment, techniques, etc. It can be hard to wrap your head around everything and it can make you want to quit before you even get started. Here is the best advice for new photographers that I can think of for when you are just getting started.
1. Everyone has a camera, but your creativity will help you stand out
Cameras are now cheaper than 5-10 years ago, and technology has become more advanced in smaller packages. Millions of people are carrying smartphones with advanced cameras built into them. Everybody has a camera, but not everyone is a photographer. Your ability to frame a subject and get creative with post-production will always help you stand apart from the rest.
Don’t worry about the next photographer with a bigger and more expensive camera. Principles of photography are the same for everyone. It’s how you practice these principles that will make you more of a professional.
2. You don’t always have to buy the newest and most expensive gear
Speaking of bigger and better cameras. It seems like every few months, there is a new bigger and more expensive camera on the market. Yes, it is nice to have, but upgrading constantly can be an expensive habit. I shot with the same Sony a7 camera for 2 years before I upgraded. I even upgraded to an older version and not the newest. The best advice I was given when I started was to invest in good lenses. Camera bodies will be changing all the time, but good glass will always be a great investment.
Many people never outgrew their original camera, but always feel the need to upgrade. If your budget allows it, that’s great. If you’re like me and started with a limited budget, learn new photography skills, and not new cameras.
3. Keep shooting, and don’t give up
There were so many times I wanted to quit shooting. I felt like there were so many other people out there younger, and more creative than I was. I constantly searched social media for tips on how to shoot and learning what my favorite photographers were using. This really made me question my work and why I was shooting. After 2 years of shooting, the best thing I did was not quitting. I kept shooting, studying and kept getting better.
4. The key to becoming a professional is to start presenting yourself like one
Shooting great photos is a sure-fire way to become a professional, but it is not the only way. How you communicate with potential clients plays a big part in how you are perceived. Your brand also plays a huge role in how people see your business.
Take the time and make sure you are presenting yourself in the best light possible. (no pun intended) Another idea is to polish those business cards, and start a simple website or social media portfolio to showcase your best work. This will go a long way in helping you become a pro or start doing TFP portrait sessions.
Just keep making progress
Like any creative, you will find yourself learning with all new projects. Don’t get discouraged at the popularity of people online, as much of this is fake and very trivial. Learn new skills beyond the camera as you keep moving and learning. Best wishes and happy shooting!
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