It is a passion and a potential opportunity for income. Photography is something that I, like most people have always been interested in. It all started with snapshots and eventually evolved to more elaborate shots. The person who started it all was my wife. She has been documenting our lives with photographs for many years. My sons and daughter are also my inspiration as they have the talent and creativity that I can just dream of.
Despite that I never had any formal education around photography, it didn’t take me long to learn and understand some of the basic things like good lighting and composition. This has giving me the opportunity to appreciate photography even more and has motivated me to keep learning.
Photography is magical, it is a great way to see the world in a way you wouldn’t do otherwise. When I am traveling or just walking down the street I cannot stop thinking of the various opportunities to photograph the things around me. Photographs of streets, buildings, and architecture are my favorites.
Without thinking about photography I would have missed many beautiful moments, buildings, and streets among other things. Thinking about photography makes me think about angles and composition which then forces me to look at things with a different eye and perspective. It is a good thing, it has helped me to slow down and really pay attention to the world around me.
Consistency is key to getting better at anything you do. Photography is not different, the more you get out there to acquire better and more consistent shots, the better your photography skills are going to be. Be patient, look up, slow down, and shoot as often as you can.
Beyond the hobby
The truth is that acquiring a few good shots does not make you a professional. If you are not interested in making any sort of income with your photography then this is OK. Becoming a professional photographer is very different. While you might be happy with getting a few good shots while on vacation, a paying client will expect you to do your best and get great shots every time.
Dedicate more time to shoot photos and share them in as many places as possible. Unless you share your work and put your reputation and skill level on the line, you’ll never learn where you stand. There are many places where you can share your photographs: Flickr, 500px, Instagram, Facebook, etc. All of these places are filled with photographers and if you ask for it, you’ll get honest feedback about your composition, post-processing, etc.
Build a portfolio. There are many companies out there that offer free online portfolio for photographers. Companies like 500px and Flickr offer this and for a low monthly subscription, Adobe offers a site builder and portfolio at myportfolio.com.
Try shooting raw if your camera allows it. This gives you more flexibility during the editing process and it will really help you bring some photographs back to life when you end up with some underexposed or overexposed images.
Equipment and Software
There are many cameras to fit any budget. The truth is that you don’t need to break the bank to start with photography. You could start with your mobile phone and then upgrade to an entry-level DSLR or Mirrorless camera. The options are abundant, and it is really up to you to decide what you want to get based on your budget. You don’t need to buy an expensive camera. Once you have a camera, try to get at least a wide-angle lens and a zoom lens. These two lenses will cover most of your photography projects.
Another important piece is the photo editing software. While there are many options out there, I found Adobe Lightroom to be the right one for me, and it is also used by professional photographers. Adobe offers a monthly subscription to Lightroom which is very inexpensive.
There are also a number of apps that will allow you to edit the photos in your phone before you post them to your social networks. My favorite photo editing apps are Snapseed and Lightroom.
In my next photography post I will share my workflow in Lightroom to edit photos before posting to Instagram.
Please visit my online portfolio to learn about my photography business: http://www.creativesroom.com