In the beginning, photography seemed very complicated to me. I watched countless online videos on Youtube and other photography resource websites.
I learned about lighting, posing and equipment, and I still felt like I needed help. I followed photographers on Facebook and Instagram hoping they would help me learn. I was like a sponge when it came to studying and learning.
Fast forward almost 9 months and my outlook is very different now. I feel more confident behind the camera and even more confident when talking with more seasoned industry professionals. So what changed?
I put in the time and practice to get better. Even more, I stumbled across some great photography resources that helped me narrow my focus to portrait photography.
My Photography Inspiration
1) Sue Bryce Photography
When it comes to my number one inspiration, Sue Bryce is at the top of the list. I have taken her classes on Creativelive.com and I have learned some very valuable lessons. I recommend checking out her main website at www.inbedwithsue.com. She also has a website dedicated to learning at www.suebryceeducation.com that is loaded with great photography resources to learn from.
One of the greatest things about Sue is her personality. I love how passionate she is about helping other photographers succeed. She has really moved into the large space of online learning to assist others, and I am very interested to see how she continues to grow.
2) Dani Diamond Photography
A portrait photographer based in the New York area, Dani diamond is renowned for his portraits and retouch skills. He has recently teamed up with RGG EDU to bring you a natural light portrait tutorial set that can teach you everything about his style. I have actually personally purchased the tutorials, and I loved every bit of them.
I really like Dani Diamond because he is a young professional that is still in the process of learning. He also is not scared to let people know he loves shooting portraits just so he can edit them. His post processing workflow is beautiful, and he has many photographers wanting to learn his style.
3) Lindsay Adler Photography
A New York based Portrait Photographer, Lindsay Adler specializes in fashion editorial and boudoir. I have repeatedly watched her Creativelive tutorials on posing and portraits, and I absolutely love her work. She has come up with some very creative editorial photography that just keeps me coming back for more.
I recommend checking out some of her professional books on posing and lighting essentials. These will give you a good foundation for studio photography.
Creativelive.com is a website dedicated to photography resources and creative learning for all types of professionals and industries. One of the best parts of Creativelive is that you can sign-up for upcoming free on-air courses. Once the sessions are over, you can purchase the video tutorials at any time.
They regularly have sales, so you can get great discounts on the videos they offer. I highly recommend signing up for the newsletter so you can get updates on the next free live video sessions.
5) RGG EDU
Looking for a website offering video tutorials on photography and other creative programs? RGG EDU is one of those websites. It specializes in fashion, natural light, commercial and other types of photography. I purchased the Dani Diamond Natural Light tutorials and this helped my specialize more in portrait photography.
Like CreativeLive, this website is a great resource for purchasing tutorials. If you are wanting to learn on your own pace, this can be a great resource.
Phlearn is a website with a weird name, but awesome content. Pretty much a photography resources website dedicated to Photoshop tips and tricks. I have picked up countless valuable tips from this website and I always recommend it to my network of friends.
They have recently released their Retouching 101-301 tutorials, so if you have ever been interested in learning a more professional retouch workflow, then this set is for you. When you visit the site, check out the free tutorials sections and get used to the style of teaching from creator Aaron Nace. He makes the learning fun and I love that he is not a boring guy.
Lynda.com is a professional website dedicated to professional continued education and learning. You can learn anything from writing, social media, photography and more. I personally used this site to learn the basics of photography and advanced Adobe Photoshop techniques.
If you are pretty good with these applications and you are looking for something else to learn, I recommend checking out the business development courses.
Fstoppers.com is a website community you need to check out. You can be a portrait photographer or landscape photographer and you will find great articles covering a wide range of subjects. Also, check out the community section to get constant inspiration for your next photography shoot.
The videos are a mix of learning and humor so I highly doubt you will get bored. The website also touches base on video production and not just photography. this is great if you are interested in transitioning to video later in your photography journey.
Petapixel.com has a mix of technical and creative content. The focus of the website is photography resources, but you will find valuable resources such as tutorials, reviews, news and inspiration. The articles are written by a diverse set of authors so you will hopefully find a writing style you can connect with on the site. Be sure to also check out their online podcasts if you are wanting to listen and learn on the go.
10) Digital Photography Review
DPreview.com is probably one of the most technical blog resources I will recommend. If you are wanting to learn about camera technology and see how the industry is growing, then this website is for you. The website is constantly reviewing new equipment and technology for the photography and video industry.
If you are looking to learn about buying your first camera, I recommend checking them out first and seeing what they recommend.
If you are interested in learning budget friendly hacks to help you with your photo shoots, then this website is for you. It is a blog dedicated to simple inexpensive tips and tricks for photography. Enhance your shoots using everyday household items and cheap craft store resources. One of the coolest articles on the site is 40 Photography assignments to get you inspired.
When it comes to online photography communities, 500px.com is a leader in connecting photographers and creative professionals. the website is dedicated to allowing photographers to create profiles that showcase your work. You can also upload meta-data from your photos in order to help other photographers learn from your settings.
Social media is no secret, and photographers are using it to their advantage every day. Instagram is one platform that is specifically geared towards visual content. You can create a profile for free and connect with people all over the world. Upload your photo and use hashtags to allow people to search your work. Follow some of your favorite photographers work and get inspired every day.
I needed a website that I could do research on lighting, posing, and just general photography resources. Pinterest turned out to be that website. It is full of visual pictures called pins from creative and technical websites. I love how you can create public or private boards and pin your favorite resources to help organize your thoughts and concepts.
When it comes to creative inspiration, Behance.net is one of the largest available. The website was recently purchased by Adobe and is now a driving force in the professional creative community for showcasing design portfolios. You can start a profile for free, or just browse some of the creative artwork the website has to offer. They have categories for inspiration such as photography, web design, fashion design and more.
For something a little different, PhotographyTalk offers inspiration and learning in one. The website offers photographers the opportunity to become part of a community, get inspired and ask questions in the forums. You can get great tips in Portraits, landscape photography, macro photography and so much more. You can sign-up for a free profile, and upgrade your account based on the type of learning you would like to pursue. A great resource to consider for beginners.
Never Stop Learning
No matter what type of photography you love, make sure to keep learning all you can. Even seasoned professionals will tell you to never stop learning and reaching your goals. I hope these resources help you get started or help inspire you on your creative journey.
Checking out new Gear
If your interested in starting your own photography journey, I recommend checking out some of these great resources and gear!
Great Sony Full-Frame Cameras for Portrait Photography:
My Sony A7riii Mirrorless Camera – High resolution Sony Mirrorless Camera
The Sony A7rii – High resolution Sony Mirrorless Camera (2nd Generation)
Sony a7iii Mirrorless Camera – 3rd Generation Sony Mirrorless Camera
Sony a7ii Mirrorless Camera w/IBIS – 2nd Generation Sony Mirrorless Camera
The Sony A7 Mirrorless Camera – Great full-frame starter camera for beginners
Sony Full-Frame Lenses for Portraits: (e-mount)
Sony 85mm f1.4 G-Master – Best 85mm portrait lens
Batis 85mm f1.8 – Lightweight 85mm portrait lens
Sony 85mm f1.8 – Smallest 85mm portrait lens
Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8 – Small, sharp, lightweight portrait lens (my favorite lens)
The Sony 50mm f1.8 – Cheap starter nifty fifty
The Sony Zeiss 35mm f1.4 – Great wide option for portraits and lifestyle images
Sony 24-70 G-Master f2.8 – Sharp and versatile zoom lens
Sony 24-105 G Lens f4.0 – One of the best zooms for Sony
Wide Angle 16-35mm F2.8 – G-Master wide angle lens
The Sony 70-200 G-Master Lens f2.8 – Long range telephoto zoom
Great Sony Starter Cameras for Portraits: (crop-sensor)
Sony a6400 Mirrorless Camera – Amazing eye auto-focus detection
Sony a6300 Mirrorless Camera – Sony mirrorless camera (2nd generation)
The Sony a6000 Mirrorless Camera – Great affordable interchangeable lens camera
Sony a6500 Mirrorless Camera w/IBIS – Amazing photography and video camera
Affordable Crop Sensor Lenses for Portraits: (e-mount)
Sigma 30mm f1.4 – Great for blurry backgrounds
Sony 50mm f1.8 OSS – Made for crop sensors and shallow depth of field
Sigma 16mm f1.4 – Amazing lens for Vloggers and video
Sony 35mm f1.8 – Super walk around lens for travel