If you’re reading this, then you’re probably a photographer and hopefully fairly new – otherwise this’ll be quite a boring blog for you! It was not too long ago that I was gifted my first camera and this beautiful journey began for me. In trekking along, I have definitely learned a thing or two and made countless errors. Today, I hope to share with you just five of those errors so you don’t repeat them. None of these “tips” are rules or absolutes – just my two cents and reflection on my ways.
- Focus on Experiences – Short and simple. Many photographers these days are absolute gear junkies to the point where we are constantly thinking about the newest lenses, technology, bags, remotes, etc. But early on, these things hardly matter. The most important thing is to GET A CAMERA. Then, focus on getting out there and using your disposable income to see and experience the world. Additionally, the more you shoot, the more you’ll realize exactly what gear you need! (images below are of trips I took to Paris, Santorini, and Alaska before I really upgraded my gear much – basically kit lens and a6000)
- If you HAVE to get gear, get lenses!! – Face it, at some point you will cave on #1 and want to buy some gear. When you do, focus on lenses in my opinion. The reason is that photographers often date a camera body and marry a lens! If you shoot APSC now, upgrade APSC lenses. And if you plan to upgrade to full frame, then consider upgrading to full frame lenses and use on your APSC body until you upgrade it too. Trust me, in the long run it’ll be worth it.
- Learn Composition, NOT Editing – I feel like I’ve heard so many people get bogged down by not feeling like they have a handle on photo editing and processing right away. My recommendation is to learn composition and framing and focus 99% of your effort into that then slowly learn editing along the way. Why? Because years down the road, you can go back and re-edit and better process old images as long as they are composed well. However, if they aren’t composed well… you can’t really polish it to be any better. For strengthening your composition, utilize tip #4 and #5 below. (For the images below, I shot the original a year ago, then edited it quickly, then more recently learned some PS skills to push the edit further).
- Just Go Shoot – Forget all the rest. Forget reading, forget watching YouTube tutorials, forget the drama, forget the nervousness. Just grab the camera and a battery or two and go out and take photos. Lots of photos and lots of different kinds. Then come home and utilize tutorials, books, instructionals, mentors, etc to analyze and build upon the work you have created. See this blog post for ideas on shooting: https://www.minhazsarker.com/blog/overcomingtimebarriers
- Find Work/Artists that Inspires You – This is another great way to improve your skills and especially improve your composition. Find photographers, images, etc that you admire and try to analyze them to see WHY it is that you are liking those images specifically. For example, early on I found that I really enjoyed the images created by Thomas Heaton (https://thomasheaton.co.uk/) and thus, I followed his IG and his YouTube and can honestly say he has significantly improved my photography! The goal is to find someone that influences you but not to the point that you are mimicking or copying their images. A fine line! (The images below are ones in which I have taken some of his influences although they do not mimic any specific photo of his).
Anyway, that is enough for today, I think. Those are 5 tips that I have picked up along the way and ones that I still strive to follow every day while I continue on his amazing and fun journey. Hope you’re able to take away a nugget or two from this short blurb/rant/blog post!