I've been into photography for years now. I started out with nature i.e wildlife, plants, scapes, and pets. In recent years, I photographed the occasional child because friends and family members were having kids. Eventually, this led into doing portrait work more often than not. In 2011, I started focusing entirely on building a portrait portfolio and learning all that I could about portrait work. The following image is a comparison of the very first portrait shoot I did (minus those children I mentioned) in 2011 and the most recent shoot I did a week ago.
Upon posting this to my photography page on facebook (Candice Smith Photography) someone asked me if I had any pointers for someone who was just starting in photography. So, that question inspired this blog.
My advice (which was given to me by many sources):
1) Just because you have
photoshop (or whatever program you might be using), doesn't mean you
should rely on it. The best tip I was ever told, know your camera and
how to get it as close to perfect IN CAMERA as you can. Saves you so
much time in post-processing.
Experiment with styles if you don't have one picked out already. Mine has
changed dramatically since learning my camera and my editing program
3) It's okay to be inspired by other photographers, but it's not okay to compare yourself to them. Everyone started somewhere, even THEY had their struggles.The only photographer you need to be concerned with, is you. And the photographer you used to be is the only photographer you should be comparing yourself to.
4) The internet is amazing when it comes to trying to learn new things. There are youtube tutorials, forums, blogs etc dedicated to helping people learn this craft and better themselves and others. There are also plenty of photographers who take time out of their busy lives to do workshops, mentoring etc (some free and some not). Assuming you have the time, I'm a huge fan of watching the live webinars on CreativeLive, so if you haven't heard of it before, I highly suggest you check into it. Take advantage of these resources!
5) Inspiration can be found anywhere so long as you look at everything with an artists' eye.
6) Not everyone will appreciate or understand your artwork, and that's okay. You don't necessarily like everything you see put into the Universe either, right? :) Just remember, art is subjective.
7) Practice, practice, practice. The time you put into it will pay off.
8) And finally, there will always be something new to learn. Technology changes, styles change, the artist himself/herself will change over time. As an artist, you must never stop trying to grow.
I'm sure you've all heard these suggestions and tips before, but it's worth repeating. Hopefully you take these words to heart. --Candice