As a photographer, I have learned a number of tips and tricks that have helped me during my time in the photography industry. From camera gear, inspiration, composition and shoot prep, here are my top 5 tips for new or up and coming photographers!
Tip #1: Don’t rush when buying a camera
You do not need the most expensive gear when you are first starting out in photography. It is more important to hone in your style of photography and develop a unique voice through your photographs. You can do this on any camera. As your thoughts and feelings develop, you will begin to shape your style which will ultimately help you invest in the right equipment. By experimenting with different types of photography you will learn if purchasing a $589.95 (CAD) AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G prime lens meets your needs as a portrait photographer, or if it would be more beneficial for you to purchase a wider angle lens that will help you capture beautiful landscapes. Ultimately, this will help you become a smarter buyer and could end up saving you from purchasing expensive equipment that you may or may not end up using.
Tip #2: Follow other professionals on social media
It can be hard trying to figure out your style of photography. Searching for photographers that you find interesting or have a style of photography that you admire is a great source of inspiration for your own personal work and can help you get started. Seeing imagery that inspires you is an easy way to trigger new ideas and is a great way to motivate yourself to try and create new imagery. This is why I recommend following different sources of inspiration on different social media sites. They do not necessarily all have to be photography based, but try to surround yourself with anything that captures your attention or makes you excited to go and shoot!
Tip #3: Learn the photography essentials - manual camera controls, lighting & composition
When creating art, or photography in this case, it is important that you do so in a way that is unique to your voice. The composition of your work can play a leading role in what sets you apart. Learning your manual camera functions will give you more control over the subject of your imagery. You can ensure that you are exposing correctly for the lighting and creating a composition that will engage your viewers, while speaking to your unique aesthetic.
Tip #4: Plan out your shoot
I recommend drawing out storyboards to help you visualize what you are about to shoot. It will help you contextualize what you have envisioned, giving you more confidence when you are shooting. It can help you frame your ideas and allow them to translate into action!
Tip #5: Have fun with your edits
You can have a lot of fun in post production. Programs such as photoshop, lightroom, and VSCO, among others, allow you to play with the colour, light levels and shadows to help define your image beyond what you captured. You can use this to enhance the photograph in a subtle and more natural way, or you can get really creative and experiment with all the different options. This is also a great way to find what colours and textures you love represented in your photography.