Written by: Peter Minkoff
Photography is one of the most amazing jobs out there. You get to see amazing things, interact with cool people and earn some decent money. However, there are many aspiring photographers in the wild, and you have to stand out and offer something new and fresh. But before you go experimenting with your style, listen to what tips pros have to give you:
Break all the rules
According to experts, composition is one of the rules you generally want to stick to, but all the other ones are there to be broken. It’s important to be aware of the rule of photography but not be scared to take your own path. Feel free to experiment with ideas—try something that might not work and you’ll get to tweak it until it looks awesome. If you study the works of Diane Arbus, you’ll see that she broke many rules with her portraits. The same goes for any artist that got celebrated for their ingenuity. While fame shouldn’t be your primary motivator, it’s good to strive toward making a name for yourself.
Know the lenses
Your camera’s body is very important, but not the only important part of photography. With your lens, you will get to expand your repertoire of photos greatly. Study different lenses and see which type matches your style and preference. No matter if you choose telephoto zoom, wide angle or prime lens, knowing how each affects your photography is crucial for your shoots.
Don’t go overboard with equipment
Here’s a piece of advice to remember: always buy the equipment you can afford. You don’t have to have the most expensive setup and all the lenses in the world to take amazing photos, and it’s definitely not worth going into debt. With mid-range Canon Cameras – digiDirect, people with skills can capture stunning images without having to break the bank. A camera like this will allow you to practice your work, experiment with settings and get a feel for the photography you definitely need.
Shoot on manual
If you need to whip out your camera in a rush and just shoot, the Auto setting will be a true lifesaver. However, shooting manually will give your photos a whole new dimension. Learn how to handle shutter speed, ISO, exposure, etc., and get to really know your camera’s settings. The better you know how to manipulate these details, the better you’ll work within a shoot, especially outdoors when conditions change all the time.
Always shoot in RAW
You will need a lot of space for those big files, but shooting in RAW will give you a ton of flexibility in post-production. It allows you to further manipulate the photo, making it an ideal product for your client, stock photo websites or yourself. If you’re forced to shoot in a less-than-ideal environment, which you often are, RAW gives you better editing opportunities.
Practice in different lighting
Outdoor shoots are great when it comes to diversity and lighting, but it can be quite tricky. Make sure to practice shooting in all different lighting conditions, not just the “golden hour”. Practice in low light, bright daytime and darkest nighttime to get more experience and be prepared for all situations.
Get some studio experience
If you want to grow as a photographer, you’ll need some studio experience, shooting both with a white wall and a backdrop. The studio gives you the best control of the environment, lighting, background and even wind. You can introduce your own elements and enjoy all the control you need. However, a studio can cost a pretty penny, so try to shadow another photographer or volunteer in exchange for some alone time. It will take time, effort and money, but it will be worth it.
As long as you stay true to your dream and push forward with your skills and artistic expression, you can become a respected and sought-after photographer.