Lessons Learned From Photography

Lessons Learned From Photography

All the annoyingly true things you learn from taking pictures, whether you want to or not.

I was handed my first camera when I was in third grade. I don't think I knew it then, but I fell in love instantly. I grew up never believing I had a passion, that there was not a single thing that I felt deeply emotional towards. I think it was my freshman year of high school when it finally hit me that photography was something I enjoyed immensely. I haven't stopped taking pictures since then, and along the way, I've learned some things about photography.

1. Quality will always come before quantity.

You don't have to spend $3,000 on a camera body to produce incredible pictures (although my photography teacher senior year would try to say otherwise)

2. You inevitably will only find 20 good pictures out of the 476 that you take.

Just accept it now.

3. You can create an image out of anything.

Literally.. anything. Even paperclips. Or an old toothbrush.

4. You will find your own style.

You don't have to be good at every type of photography, or even like every type. Maybe you only want to shoot pictures of people, instead of landscapes and people. That's okay.

5. Photoshop isn't always necessary.

Learn how to properly work the manual setting on a camera, and you won't have to spend time on post processing later.

6. Learn how to use the manual setting. Please. Just do it.

I know that it can be frustrating, and exhausting and a long process. But stick with it. If you're stuck, google it. There are plenty of blogs and videos that can help.

7. But occasionally Photoshop IS necessary.

Because lets face it, sometimes even the heaviest amount of hairspray still won't prevent fly away hairs.

8. Don't feel bad about charging people.

One of the biggest things I have learned is that even if it's a friend, I can't feel bad about speaking up and asking them to pay for a photo shoot. If you are constantly being asked to spend hours of your day to drive to a location, shoot, and then post process, you should be getting something in return. Your photography is your art. Don't sell yourself short.

9. Which also means you need to come up with a price list.

"It's up to you" or "you can pick your own price" won't cut it in the photography business. Come up with a pricing list with guidelines and stick to it.

10. Test a lens before you buy it.

Lenses can be expensive, so it's a good thing there are websites that allow you to rent the lens first and try it out, before making a decision to purchase it.

11. There are always new things to learn.

You may think you know your camera inside and out but I promise there is always going to be something new for you to experience or discover.

12. You're going to make mistakes.

And it's OK. You will learn and grow over time.

13. Broaden your horizons.

Meet new people. Strike up a conversation on social media with someone who you admire. Take advantage of the resources around you.

14. There will always be people who tell you that you can't, or that you aren't good enough.

Believe in yourself. Know that you can and you will, and then do it.

15. It's not hard to create your own photography business.

There are so many websites that will help you set up your own photography website. With different types of social media, you can get your name out into the world and create something out of your work

16. The feeling in the end will be worth it.

At the end of the day, there is nothing better than seeing the final image that is a creation of your hard work.

At the end of the day, regardless of what you did or didn't learn, the most important thing is to have fun with it. Photography is a form of free expression, and in any case, it should be something that allows your mind to roam into creative dimensions, all while putting a smile on your face.

Cover Image Credit: www.creativelive.com

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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