Trying to get started with photography? I’m sharing 4 tips for beginning photographers. These tips don’t cover the technical aspects of photography, but they’re helpful for anyone who wants to make money with photography!
When I first got my camera, I carried it with me everywhere! I was the obnoxious person constantly taking pictures of my friends. When you’re just starting out though, that’s what you need to do! Practice as much a you possibly can. Practice is essential for a number of reasons. First, practicing helps you learn how to use your camera. I highly recommend shooting in manual, and sometimes it takes a while to figure it out completely. Second, practicing challenges you. There are a lot of photography opportunities that I had starting out that made me uncomfortable. Practicing and actually taking advantage of those opportunities though, forced me to grow in my skills and confidence.
When you are getting started with photography, it’s great to practice by shooting everything (see above point). You could shoot, weddings, families, babies, seniors, couples, real estate, landscape, events, products, or sports. You might have to spend a few months doing “all the things” just to decide what you like and are best at. At some point though, if you want to make money from photography, you need to decide what to specialize in. Specializing allows you to be really good at the areas that people are paying you for, instead of just OK at general photography. When I was in college, I shot sports, events, and basically anything I could. When I wanted to turn my hobby into a business though, it was the best idea for me to focus on weddings and portraits. Instead of getting burnt out by trying to shoot everything, specializing allowed me to focus on shooting what I love most. Specializing in one or two areas of photography will help you by attracting clients that are interested in the areas that you’re most interested in, and by keeping you from getting burnt out.
It took me about 2 years to finally nail down my editing style. When I was starting out, it’d take me hours to edit just a few pictures because I was always experimenting with different ways of editing. There are many styles of editing that look good, but developing a consistent signature editing style is extremely important! First, its important because it makes your work recognizable, which helps build a brand. Second, its important because it gives clients security and allows them to trust you because they know exactly how their finished pictures will look. Third, its important because it saves time. Instead of wasting time experimenting and figuring out what looks best for every single pictures, I’ve created my own Lightroom preset that will apply the same basic edit to all pictures, and then I can tweak them from that point. Creating your own presets, or writing down the ways that you will edit all of your pictures, saves time and allows you to edit consistently. Your style might change over time, and that’s OK! But once you think you’ve figured out a style that you love most, stick with it and be consistent!
Always keep learning, even when you think you don’t need to! The photography world is always changing and there’s always new material to learn. You can always learn to use your equipment better, or to its full potential. For example, I almost never use flash. It’s not my style and I try to use natural light as much as possible. But I’m trying to learn just for the tricky situations when I need it. You can also learn tips for your type of photography. Since I’m a wedding photographer, some educators I follow are Katelyn James, Amy and Jordan Demos, and Jenna Kutcher. These educators share great content that helps with posing, wedding day tips, and small business growth. Find educators that will help with your specific style of photography, and learn from them!