The world of photography is infinitely thrilling and interminably satisfying – but making moves in this fast-paced industry requires a solid grounding in the fundamentals before you can stake a claim to be the next David Bailey or Todd Hido.
Whether taking tentative steps to becoming a professional photographer or you’re already well-versed in the intricacies and simply need a reminder of the art’s awesomeness, our five top tips, below,serve to inspire and reinforce in equal measure …
1. Gain a degree in photography
By gaining a photography degree, it gives you a fundamental understanding the industry and allows you to appreciate the historical processes of the art and the science and technology that underpin-it.
Additionally, a degree course offers the opportunity to develop a wide range of photography skills, which are sure to hold you in good stead as you begin to beef up your portfolio to send to potential clients and employers.
2. Shoot as often as you can
It may sound obvious, but one of the best ways to get better as a photographer, and boost your confidence, is to be out and about taking shots as often as physically possible. Whether it’s after class, on your lunch break or at the weekend, simply get out there and take some snaps.
It’s a cliché, but practice really does make perfect, and alongside regular shooting, it’s vital to get out in different conditions to experiment. Quite simply, a career in photography has the potential to throw up less than perfect conditions so it pays to obtain as much experience as possible.
3. Keep notes of your journey
When you first start out on your journey to becoming a professional photographer, it’s advisable to keep a notebook to detail your experiences, jot down your dreams and aspirations and keep a mini portfolio/scrapbook of shots that have inspired you.
For many photographers, a notebook is just as essential as their camera or zoom lens, as it allows them to keep track of different landscapes, lighting and areas they would like to come back and shoot later.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Throughout your photography career, it’s inevitable there will be times when you feel like asking a million questions – and this is perfectly acceptable! In all honesty, few, if any, successful photographers have reached the top without a bit of help along the way.
In addition, if you’re asking questions, it’ll help you go about your photography in the correct manner and ensure the techniques you’re using are improving your skills rather than being detrimental to your learning.
5. Set realistic photography goals
Whether it’s learning a new technique or attempting to recreate a shot that’s left you mesmerized, it’s important to set realistic goals in order to improve your skills and keep you striving for perfection – and this is where your notebook comes in handy!
Share your goals with friends, family and peers and feed off their encouragement to help yourself take the next step. Once you have your goals figured out, all that remains is to get out there and accomplish them …