So You Want to be a Photographer? My Best Advice to New Photographers That Others Probably Won't Tell You.
So you want to be a photographer? I dish out some of my best advice to new photographers. Advice that you probably won't read on other blogs.
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We all know what you came here for, so let's get right into it...
My best advice for new photographers is:
1. Practice With an Instant Camera.
My favorite way to take pictures has always been with a Polaroid camera. I have 2 old cameras that it used to be so hard to find film for, but now it's really easy to find film since it's become more popular. There are even new instant cameras available, if you don't own a vintage one. My favorite new instant camera is the One Step 2 from Polaroid Originals. I use it all the time and I love it! There is also all kinds of film available from Polaroid Originals for new and vintage cameras.
Why do I recommend practicing with an instant camera? Because you have one shot to get it right. And only 8 shots in a pack. There's no room for getting snap happy when using an instant camera. Unless, you just have tons of money to blow on film! Instant film is more than just nostalgia. It teaches you patience, planning, and seeing the final image before you ever press the shutter button.
2. Never Stop Learning.
You will never be a better photographer if you think others have nothing to offer you. There is always something you can learn to do, or learn to do better. Bluprint is a great place to learn about photography. You can watch as many classes as you want... at your own pace. Get a free 7 day trial of Bluprint here.
3. Rules. Learn Them. Practice Them. Then Break Them!
There are a lot of different "rules" in photography. It is important to know them and know how to use them, but don't let them box you in. It's okay to break the rules when it adds to the creativity of your image.
4. Learn to Edit Your Photos.
You can take a boring flat photo and make it pop if you know how to edit correctly. You can also ruin a great photo by over editing. So, if you plan to edit your photos, take classes and learn how to do it right! Again, Bluprint is a great place to start learning. I really have learned so much from Bluprint, starting from back when it was called Craftsy Unlimited, so that is why I have suggested it twice here. It really is a great and affordable resource for learning... and not just for photography! I learned how to quilt from Bluprint!
6. Get Light into Your Subjects Eyes!
If you are photographing faces, the eyes are the most important part. If they are in shadow and there is no light in the eyes, you get dead eyes. Get light into the subjects eyes and see the difference it makes!
7. Learn All You Can About Light.
If you learn about light you can photograph in any situation! There is no such thing as "you can only take photos at such and such time of day because it's the right light." Or "You can't get any good photos in this building because the lighting is bad." I believed those lies when I was a young photographer, and it hindered me. I was determined to over come that and so I studied EVERYTHING about light. It turned out to be the best thing I ever did. Natural light. Artificial light. Light temperature. Light direction. Light fall off. Good light vs bad light. How to use good light. How to overcome bad light. Learn it. All of it. You'll thank me later! (wink)
8. It's Not The Gear, it's The Photographer.
Don't be intimidated by others because you don't have the gear they have. Start where you can, with what you have or can afford. Learn and practice. Perfect your skills. Once you have done all you can with that gear, then consider upgrading. You can take great photos with what you have if you learn how. I know. I have been there.
9. Lenses Matter.
The quality of your lens affects your photos more than the camera itself. It's true that lower end cameras on the market don't have some of the abilities as the higher end ones, but what it really comes down to (in my opinion) is the lens. I would upgrade the lens first, before the camera body, if I were you... and I was. ;)
10. If You Can't Afford it, Rent it.
Yes you can rent photography gear! You can rent all kinds of gear. Camera bodies. Lenses. Lighting equipment. It's a great way to try things out before you buy them or to just be able to use things that you can't afford yet, or things that you don't really want to buy, but want to try out. BorrowLenses is a great place for renting. Get $30 off your first rental here.
11. Never Stop Photographing!
Yes your photos may not be great yet, but if you keep at it, they will be! You will make mistakes. Don't be defeated by them. Learn from them.
12. Put Down the Camera and Enjoy Life in the Moment.
I know I said to never stop photographing, but it's okay and even beneficial to put your camera down sometimes. You may miss a shot, but you can't experience life if you are always looking at it through a lens or digital screen. It's okay. Put it down. Talk. Laugh. Live a little. Enjoy being present with your friends and family!
Was this advice helpful? Do you have any advice for new photographers that I didn't mention? Share with us in the comments below!
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Hi! I'm Lyndsey.
I am the artist behind iystudios. I have loved photography for as long as I can remember. Believe it or not, it all started with a disposable camera. Yes, disposable!
Flashback about 30 years and you will find me as a toddler taking my first selfie before the world even knew what a selfie was. I still have the photo. It's not pretty. You probably will never see it online, but it does exist. I have come along way since then!
I have worked hard at perfecting my craft and learning all I can about photography and design. I have spent most of my years behind the camera and you will rarely see me in front of the camera, if ever.
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