December 9th, 2019 was the day I bought my first DSLR camera. With less cash in my pocket, I carefully chose a camera body along with a kit lens: the Nikon D3500.
Here are 5 valuable tips that I’ve learned throughout my 1-year journey as a beginner photographer:
Photography Tip #1: Being out there is really helpful
I remember myself sitting on my couch, scrolling on my Instagram, being jealous of other’s content, and thinking how I could actually shoot the same beautiful pictures that I was looking on my phone.
Months later, I understood that time had passed and I couldn’t afford to waste more time. So, I had to go out, grab my camera, and shoot things that inspired my imagination to create.
As I remember, these first times were the hardest of this period, I didn’t know how to use a DSLR camera, I didn’t know what kind of pictures I wanted to capture, and neither any great photoshoot locations.
BUT the magic had already happened! I was there, outside, playing with my camera, not caring at all about what others were saying and trying to capture pictures that felt good to me. And in a short time, I had broken the ice, and I was truly ready to take the next level.
Photography Tip #2: Try as much photography genres as possible
If you are looking to be a great photographer, then stop declining photoshoots that you are not feeling comfortable with and actually step into every opportunity which is coming up.
The best thing about being a beginner and aspiring photographer is that you are free to explore every photography niche there is. Fashion, street, landscape, events—armed with a camera, you can try it all out and improve your skill at the same time.
As you gain more and more experience, you are going to discover what you actually like most and things will pull you into a few specific photography genres.
You will actually find that it’s hard to master a specific style if you don’t stick to it. In fact, it may be the very thing that could be holding you back from being successful in a particular niche.
Photography Tip #3: Quantity vs Quality
Oh.. This is a quite controversial topic to discuss about, but let’s do this!
On the one hand, quantity can be effective. Especially, when you are a beginner photographer, it’s very good to take as many clicks as possible. In this way taking more clicks obviously decreases the chance of delivering a not so good photograph. In this way, you will also be able to learn from your own mistakes and will help you understand what went wrong and what you can fix next time.
On the other hand, shooting many clicks may end up being more careless with your shoots, while you feel relaxed and you think that you can fix them in post. That means extra STORAGE & extra TIME.
And these two, are bringing me to Quality. Over some time, you will figure out that it will be impossible to keep shooting millions of photos. Because that means that you will need dozens of external drives to store all of these photos, but also a lot of time to pick up the best photographs and edit as always. So, when this time will come, don’t be afraid to take fewer pictures than you should and have no trouble deleting bad pictures.
Photography Tip #4: Have always in mind client’s goal
When you plan a professional photoshoot and I mean those that you are actually getting paid from and not doing for your own interests, then you should always have in mind the client’s goal.
I’m sure that when you plan a photoshoot, you are actually thinking about many kinds of stuff: shoots, angles, models, locations, and everything that can be helpful to achieve the client’s goal.
BUT, most of the time you are thinking of what YOU actually like, and then you are applying YOUR interests to the client’s goal. This is OK! But probably, this way of thinking ends up with more restrictions, and hence you are not actually being efficient.
I know that this may sound confusing. But indeed, think about it. There are many times that clients can end up selecting a picture that doesn’t make you feel comfortable to deliver.
So, to sum up, just be more flexible when it comes to planning but also delivering and always keep in mind the client’s goal. You will still make a client happy, make some money, learn and who knows, you can upload these photos that you didn’t deliver in your own Instagram profile :-).
Photography Tip #5: Shooting alone is good, but shooting with a team is best
As I said in the beginning, being out there alone was the hardest thing I’ve done during my first steps. I didn’t have anyone to fix me, ask a question, even brainstorm but also have fun :-).
Soon, I stood lucky and found 3 amazing people with common interests and passions, and in exactly a moment we form a photography team without questioning at all!
Do You know… Photoshooters? If not, check here.
With Aris & Petros we were colleagues in the technology company I’m working on and Anthi? Oh, I found her totally randomly. She posted one of her very first photos in a Facebook group, which I saw and gave a like. So, I simply texted her to join us in our upcoming photoshooting walk, and guess what? She said yes, she came up, and now she is one of our valuable team members.
But, I don’t want luck to get the whole glory, because I don’t believe that it’s only luck. We are making our own destiny and we are making our own choices. So just be more friendly and open-minded and always invite others to your photoshoots. And you never know, you may end up being invited by others also. So just say YES!
To conclude, this year I was taught a lot of new photography things, more than this 5-bullet list.
From now on, I wonder what great things I’ll continue learning! And I believe there are so so many to learn!
And you? How was your first year into photography? Even your first steps? What things you learned and want to share with me? I would be glad to receive your comments and thoughts.
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Till the next, get busy creating and start learning!