5 Important Lessons Photography Has Taught Me

5 Important Lessons Photography Has Taught Me

It has made me a better version of myself.

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1. Patience.

Taking pictures requires time and effort, especially if you're a hired photographer. You have to understand that sometimes getting the perfect shot takes a while, and editing afterwards can take hours. Patience.

2. Time management.

For me, I've had to learn how to balance schoolwork, my social life, my job, and everything else with my photography. I learn to prioritize. If I just take pictures for fun knowing they won't go anywhere, sometimes I'll push those photos to the backburner and focus on my class photography assignments and my paid photoshoots instead.

3. Knowing what a good picture looks like. 

When I first got into photography at age 12, I would take pictures of anything and everything. I didn't know the difference between a good and a bad picture. I thought everything was photo-worthy. Turns out, it's not. The more I photograph, the more I can distinguish amazing photos from just run-of-the-mill ones. This helps me weed out my less appealing pictures when I'm editing.

4. Perseverance. 

Sometimes there are days when I go into situations thinking I'll get amazing pictures, but in reality, my results are far less than my expectations. That's alright. I know I can't get great photos every single time I take my camera out. However, what I do know is how great the satisfaction is when I finally do get a really good picture. So I persevere.

5. How to develop an artistic eye. 

I've always had a creative side to me, but photography has really taught me how to refine my artistic nature. Sometimes I'll have my camera on me and a voice inside will just say, "Hey, you should take a picture of that." And because I've been practicing photography for years now, my eyes can discern how I should compose my scenes for the best lighting, dramatic effect, etc. Photography truly has aided me in becoming a better version of myself, and I'm incredibly grateful to be studying it in college.

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10 VSCO Presets That Make You Look Tan As All Heck

Because come on, we can't all be sun kissed while also working 40 hours a week.

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I don't know about you, but I cannot seem to get to the golden shade that I so desperately want. Think I'm silly all you want, but being tan makes me more confident. Now, working 40 hours a week, during prime sun hours doesn't exactly help this dilemma, so I have taken the matter into my own hands. These are a few of the VSCO Filter pre-sets that make me feel just as sun-kissed and stunning as I aspire to be, from the comfort of my cubicle.

1. E8 +8, Contrast +1, Temperature -1, Saturation -1, H. Tint Magenta +3

2. HB2 +7, Contrast -1, Exposure -1, Temperature +0.5, Saturation +1, Fade +1.5, Grain +4

3. C8 +12, Exposure -2, Saturation -2/+2, Grain +3 (Optional)

4. C1 +12, Fade +4, Contrast +2, Exposure +2, Saturation -2, Tint +3

5. A4 +7, Exposure -2, Contrast +1.7, Temperature +1.7, Tint +1.0, Saturation -2.0, Skin tone -1.0

6. M3 +12, Temperature -1, Contrast +2, Saturation -1/+1

7. E3 +12, Temperature -1, Saturation -2, Skin -2

8. HB1 +8, Exposure -1, Temperature -1

9. C1 +12, Exposure -1, Contrast +2, Temperature +2, Saturation -2, Skin Tone -3

10. G1 +8, Exposure -2, Contrast +2, Saturation +2, Temperature -1, Fade +2

Cover Image Credit:

Erika Glover

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25 Fun And Unique Places You Can Go For Your Next Photoshoot

Think beyond the forest or the desert hiking trail near your house.

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If you're a photographer getting tired of the standard photoshoots at parks or places with beautiful landscapes, or just friends looking for a place to take fun pictures, look no further than this list.

1. The lights aisle at a hardware store.

If you have a camera capable of a shallow depth of field, just trust me: the lights aisle at places like Home Depot or Lowe's is where you want to be.

2. A book store.

All those shelves make for amazing lines and symmetry.

3. The inside of your own house.

If you're looking to take couple or family photos and want them to feel genuine and warm, look no further than your own home. Doesn't matter if your home is traditionally "nice" or "aesthetic." It's where you live, and the photos will reflect how comfortable you are there. I would suggest cleaning up though.

4. A parking lot.

Forget the over-used parking garage. Parking lots are more open, bright, and are less often private property. Remember: trespassing isn't cool.

5. An older, less polished part of your town.

City shoots don't have to involve graffiti, huge skyscrapers, and traditional sidewalk pictures. Just a quiet street

6. The local library.

For reasons similar to to a bookstore. While you're there, check out a book or two. Support the public library system.

7. Music store.

Music stores are harder to find, but they are so worth it if you want one of those classic record-in-front-of-the-face photos. Also: support the CD and vinyl industries.

8. 24 hour laundromat.

Make sure you bring actual laundry with you. Remember, the point is to be artistic but not be rude to local store owners.

9. Local coffee shops.

We're not talking about a Starbucks or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. We're talking about the small, individual entrepreneur-owned coffee shops. They are often decorated very nicely and uniquely, and the proprietors love when you tag their small business in photos!

10. A grocery store or pharmacy/corner store.

You'd be surprised what cute and funny photos you can get at your local Target or CVS/Walgreen's. Similarly to the book store, the aisles lend themselves to photos with a very satisfying composition.

11. Inside/outside of your car.

Play with the reflections of the glass, with the open windows, sitting with your legs up in the back. Great for those boys who love to talk about nothing but their matte black Honda Civic. Even better for people who actually have cool cars.

12. Arcade.

Neon lights. Need I say more?

13. Next to a window.

Looking for the easiest place to take selfies and get interesting lighting? Open the blinds on your window but don't pull them up or push them aside and use those lines on your face to your advantage. Use a pasta strainer or colander to create an interesting pattern. Get a CD and reflect those rainbows.

14. Anywhere while it's raining.

This requires you to protect whatever camera you are using from the rain, but if you can do without damaging camera gear, any photos you get will be fun and dynamic.

15. Anywhere after it has already rained.

Rain leaves puddles. Puddles have reflections. You can figure out the rest for yourself.

16. Roadside attractions.

Does your town have the world's largest ball of yarn? Visit it? Did you just pass the exit for a strange historical marker? Actually stop at it next time. The photos will be of something interesting and portray a sense of adventure.

17. Any chain link fence.

Like literally any chain link fence.

18. In front of gas pumps at a gas station.

If it's retro even better. Go at night, use the cool lights of the station to get some interesting and mysterious photos.

19. Inside the store at a gas station.

If your hometown is anything like mine, getting Polar Pops at the Circle K was an actual destination. Take your friends, photograph that process. They will be funny and relatable, and can be beautiful if you compose and color them correctly. Quick caveat: make sure you're safe. Definitely go to a gas station you have already been to.

20. Thrift store.

Head to a Goodwill, Savers, or even just a local thrift store. The model can try on fun outfits and the knick-knacks section undoubtedly has something cool you can purchase and take somewhere interesting and get even more photos. Thrift stores are also a great place to find props to incorporate into future shoots.

21. Public transportation.

A bus stop. An actual bus. The subway station. In the subway. A long line of taxis. Especially good for people who live in big cities, but most small towns have some kind of bus or train system somewhere nearby. Another plus: supporting the public transportation system.

22. A furniture store.

Furniture stores are designed to show off their merchandise, so the lighting is always dynamic and you can get a diverse amount of backgrounds. And think beyond your nearby IKEA too. Look for a luxury furniture store or a family owned one. But always make sure you're being respectful of the merchandise and the staff. If they ask you to stop taking photos: actually do it. No photo is worth being a jerk to people. Don't force someone to kick you out of their store.

23. A nursery or tree farm.

The right framing can make it look like you're somewhere exotic. But in reality you're in the patio section of Target. If you're going to a real nursery, be sure before you go that it is open to the public and make sure you are being careful and not ruining any of the plants.

24. Anywhere you've never seen someone take a photo.

One aspect of taking great photos is showing people what you see that nobody else does. Think about that place you drive by every day and have always wanted to take a picture of. Think about something you find beautiful that you've never thought to share before. Think of places and things you have an emotional connection with. What do you see through your eyes that others don't?

25. Literally anywhere you are.

A good photographer can take a great photo somewhere beautiful. A truly great photographer can take an amazing photo anywhere. If you use composition, light, and sometimes even editing after the photoshoot, you can pictures worth sharing no matter where you are.

Happy shooting!

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