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.
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.