Start shooting as soon as you have the camera in your hands, don’t wait for the right moment. An iPhone with a camera or professional equipment doesn’t matter. Take your first pictures not far from home, capture the nature, sweep the beautiful places. If you find talent and desire, offer services to your friends (while for free, the time will come for commercial orders).
That’s where I started 10 years ago, armed with a camera on my iPhone, and today I’ve become a professional photographer. Take the advice and just go for it. And 45 more recommendations from me for a novice photographer:
1. In the field of photography, it is now more and more harmonious and more difficult to earn money, so do not expect to earn enough in photography in six months or even a year to be enough for existence. Charge yourself for a long-time filming primarily for your own pleasure.
2. You don’t have to go straight to photography school, start by watching YouTube photography tutorials. Watch videos in accelerated mode. Chances are, you will end up photographing people, not landscapes. So, learn portrait photography right away.
3. Photography is an image created by light, so look for an interesting light space or create an interesting light yourself to create a cool shot.
4. Do not be “nerds”, people will be drawn to you and will turn to you again and again, not because you gloomily create masterpieces in a torn and smelly T-shirt, but because you are a pleasant person with whom you can have interesting and fun time on the set. Show a sense of taste in your appearance.
5. Love yourself and those around you. The professional interacts with people at every photo session. To make cooperation pleasant, treat models with warmth and love.
6. Attitude towards the camera. Make the camera a “stranger” child. Aspiring photographers in New York worry about every little trouble with the equipment, and it is stronger than you think. Withstands hard blows, heat, cold. My advice: treat your camera with moderate awe.
The hood is not needed on an ongoing basis, but in some cases. For example, to enhance the contrast of colors on a sunny day or cover the lens during precipitation.
7. Bring only the equipment you need to shoot. Under the weight of a photo of a backpack or bag, you will not get a back injury for a long time, stay healthy for an excellent result.
8. Use the zoom lens when you really need it. If you want to shoot a wedding or other event, so as not to miss a single moment, you cannot do without a zoom.
9. Shoot often with fixed focal length lenses. You will learn to think focal.
A lens for all occasions with a focal length of 35mm at f/1.4. Whether you’re shooting in low light, taking a photo shoot outdoors or filming, this lens helps out everywhere.
Focal 50 mm is better than 35 mm in situations where you want a slightly smaller angle so that unnecessary objects do not fall into the frame.
10. Do not seek to collect a range of lens, find two favorite focal lengths and work with a bunch of 2-3 lenses that will allow you to cover 99% of all photo tasks.
11. Get rid of equipment that is idle on the shelf. Photo equipment is easily sold on the secondary market with minimal financial losses.
12. The lens makes the picture, not the camera itself. Often, budgetary photo equipment allows you to take pictures in a quality comparable to the capabilities of expensive cameras. So, focus on choosing a lens.
13. Understand the mechanism of the camera and the purpose of all control buttons before shooting. Real situation: you urgently want to photograph a beautiful place or person, and the equipment is completely new. A beautiful frame may disappear while you search for the button you want.
14. Get ready for quick shots. If the equipment is with you for a walk, keep it switched on. We saw a panorama or an interesting moment, took out the camera – captured an excellent shot.
15. Use Aperture Priority – A more often, with minimum shutter speed and maximum ISO limitations. It’s nice to show off your ability to shoot in manual mode “M”, but the main goal is still pictures. The easier it is for you to photograph, the better the result.
16. Befriend Auto ISO, the level of sensitivity of the camera to light in situations where the intensity of the lighting in the scene changes frequently.
17. If you are puzzled as to why your shots are not sharp at high magnification, most likely the camera did not have enough light. First, think about how to increase the amount of light falling on the subject, and therefore already adjust the camera settings.
18. Use the “rule of thirds” for dynamic photos. I use the method on a case-by-case basis. I recommend this rule when you or your clients need “live” visuals.
19. Shoot, shoot, shoot. 90% of the received frames will be unusable. The more material you have, the higher the chances of finding the very masterpiece.
20. Consider the need for UV filters. Sometimes their only useful property is to protect the glass of an object from mechanical stress. Use a better PL polarizing filter, it will make the picture clearer and more contrast.
21. Compose the frame for photos or videos without overexposure. The sky and clouds are often overexposed in the frame. Therefore, try to take shots without capturing the sky, unless the plot requires it.
22. Sort obvious faults on the way home by rating them on the camera itself with asterisks, but don’t delete those frames. This will save you time in the second stage of selecting images for the entire series.
23. Never format a memory card until you have 2 copies of pictures. One copy on the computer is another in the cloud storage.
24. Position yourself as close to the subject as possible. When shooting a portrait, get closer, the more likely you will get a sharper and clearer image.
25. Determine an advantageous shooting angle. This skill is more important than having a cool camera that won’t save a bad photographer. Finding the best angle comes with experience, so shoot as often as possible.
26. Remember the importance of sharpness in your pictures. It becomes a determining factor only when processing materials for advertising billboards. Take sharpness more easily when photographing for fun or taking friendly photos.
27. Alcohol is incompatible with filming, and you can get inspiration while sober.
28. Take a photo session when you are full of energy and desire to create. Otherwise, do other things.
29. Make it a rule to shoot only at sunset. Noon or night, a beginner is definitely not to help.
30. Take ideas from famous photographers, but don’t copy. Implement the idea your way. A borrowed trick can work multiple times, and constant use is harmful. You can turn into a “fake tasteless copycat”.
31. Remember the reflection of two people. The photo session conveys the natural state of the model, and I will also tell you a secret: in each frame, a part of the photographer himself remains. Stay in a good mood to convey positive energy to your subject.
32. Take pictures for your own pleasure only. Minimal personal interest and involvement leads to… what result? The minimum. Make each shot with the desire, the desire to get the most, experience the real thrill of filming.
33. Shoot both forehead and back. Sneak photographs can be better than direct photographs.
34. Choose a subject for your photos to focus on one aspect of the shoot.
35. Refresh your personal space and constantly evolve, with the fresh ideas for photography will come.
36. Treat a creative crisis like an experience and just keep going.
37. Be moderately critical of yourself. Honestly identifying your weaknesses helps you grow.
38. Seize the moment. Good shots can be the result of luck. Keep the camera on at all times, any second can become defining.
39. Delete the worst shots mercilessly, save the best shots with pride. Set aside questionable material for re-evaluation on another day.
40. Upload to your social networks only selected portfolio photos and sometimes photos of yourself in good quality.
41. Color grading and applying filters will not save “dead” photos. Try to get a properly exposed frame in the source.
42. Shooting in JPEG can make things much easier, especially in the early days of the photographer’s journey. Sometimes a correct JPEG file is difficult to distinguish from a RAW file even after processing.
43. Follow the photographers on Instagram for pictures that inspire you. Analyze their work for light.
44. Publish your materials on the Internet, do not shoot “on the table”. Let other people look at the footage from the outside. Comments will include sound criticism that will help you improve.
45. Be patient in your quest to start making money. Friends satisfied with the photos will launch word of mouth about your work, and then you can make the first price list.
I wish you creative success.