Are you a new photographer looking for some great advice? Photography can be very overwhelming and it’s a good idea to find support and guidance. Whether you are looking to go into business or just starting out as a hobbyist there are some things you should know. I reached out to some fantastic pro photographers and asked them what advice they would give to a new photographer just starting out or what they wish they would have known early on. They responded with all kinds of fantastic advice for YOU! From business and marketing, to photography basics and editing, there is something for everyone. Keep reading on to learn some valuable information from those who have been in your shoes at one time! For additional reading, Scott Kelby has a great book here for beginner photographers.
1.Shoot often. Daily, if you can. I’m in my third year of doing a 365 project and it’s the best thing I’ve done for my photography. Shooting regularly will teach you to use your camera more effectively than any book or web tutorial can. And the bonus is you’ll have amazing images documenting your life. Also, don’t be afraid to share your images with others, especially a group of peers. It’s motivating and getting feedback is important to your growth as a photographer. – Nicole Sanchez Photography
2.“Without a doubt, shooting on a daily basis is the main factor that greatly contributed to diversifying and improving my photography skills. From the very beginning, I started taking a picture a day and now it has become a habit. My camera is always within reach and not a day goes by without me snapping a picture. If embarking on a 365-project feels too big of a commitment, you can also look into shooting on a weekly basis. At the beginning, what matters the most is to build a relationship with your camera so you get to know each other and see whether maybe you could become best friends one day.” –Camille Arner Photography
3. I’m gonna go deep here, because I wish someone would of told me this sooner…Never say you can’t because something is hard, cause if it’s easy there is NO growth! So, what does this mean? If your not shooting manual yet, just do it, and you will see the difference/growth, if you’re not doing or trying something you want to do, well, do it! Don’t let your fears hold you back.-Ama Photography
4. Don’t rush the process. Take at least a year of completely free clients. Use that time to practice without the worries and pressures that come with business. Take lots and lots of free clients to get the practice you need and don’t charge a penny until your sessions are consistently at a professional level. You’ll save yourself so much stress if you wait to start charging until you are able to provide consistent professional results. And when you do finally start to charge money, charge enough to make it worth it. Don’t just guess. Do the math, or you could someday discover you’re only getting paid $2 an hour. –Erica Courtine Photography
6. If you have a family, don’t let photography take over your life. It’s easy to do this when we are not only passionate about our craft, but we are trying so hard to earn money with our businesses. But, kids grow up quickly and they will only be little for so long. Photography will always be there for you. Remember that high volume and busy-ness does not equal success. You create your own definition of success. The beauty of owning your own business is being able to do whatever you want. If you need to scale back for awhile and then come back to it later, you absolutely can. I took the the busy Fall season off two years ago so I could enjoy my 40th birthday (in November) and spend more time with my family. It was so nice to do that and I did not regret taking more time out for my kids. It took some work on my part, but my business bounced right back. Good luck! –Rachel Manning Photography
7. This is a combo: manual mode, light and practice, practice, practice!!!
I can’t say that enough! Practice your little fingers off! Educate yourself as well. YouTube, read, join as many supportive tog groups as you can and look for ones in your area. And then, practice some more! –Christina Chapman For My Soul Photography
8. Start a mailing list! One of the biggest elements to my marketing is my mailing list. I was reluctant at first, because (like everyone) I hate promotional emails; sending them felt pushy and obnoxious. I got a MailChimp account and added a newsletter sign up to my website. To my astonishment people started joining the list. I send Newsletters once every few months and they always get a good result. Keep them short, relevant, helpful, and infrequent and I think you’ll have great results. Good luck! –Daisy Beatty Photography
9. Business advice – don’t undervalue yourself no matter where you fall on the growth scale or people will only take advantage of that. Shooting advice – don’t shoot for other photographers (trying to impress them) shoot for your clients and to preserve their moments and memories. Editing advice – editing should complement what you have already captured (learn your camera)-Alysia Dagg Photography
I hope that this advice has helped you or at least got you thinking at little bit more about photography and what you want to do with it! Photography is a fun journey!