I want to be a photographer...how do I start?

So…you want to be a photographer. So do many. But you probably already know that. You persisted and that means you have what it takes: passion

Whether you want to take up photography as a side hustle, turn it into a business or just make the memories of your little ones last forever, there are a few basic rules that every beginning photographer must recognize. Here they are:

1. Light. It’s one of the most important aspects. At the beginning of your photography journey it is absolutely crucial to learn how to work with natural and artificial lighting. The best way to do that is to practice. Of course, it’s good to gain theoretical knowledge, but nothing beats learning the rules and then breaking them from time to time - it’s the only way to develop your signature style and lighting is a very important part of it.

2. Frame. You need to know how to frame the picture, so that the viewer sees what you want him to see - nothing more and nothing less. Don’t make it accidental - practice framing in your head first and then try to get that shot in reality. Some people say photographers are unfulfilled painters. Well, in fact, you can be a painter. Paint the picture you have in your mind - with your camera.

3. The what and who. If you you’re ambitious and want to have your work recognized, you should pick a theme. Decide, what and/or who you want to photograph. Pick something you love, it will drive your work. And believe me, you’ll need lots of drive.

4. Editing. Get a proper software. Lightroom for photographers, Photoshop for graphic designers. Professional photographers need them both. Be a professional photographer, they really do go hand in hand.

5. Equipment. It doesn’t make you a good photographer but it’s still somewhat important. Don’t start by spending all your retirement savings on a camera though - start small. Best with an average body and a fixed lens. For example a 50mm one - it sees the same way a human eye does. This set-up will allow you plenty flexibility to learn and grow. You’ll know when you’ll need something more.

6. Inspiration. Not to be mixed with stealing, but please, by all means take frequent peeks at other photographers work. You need that to make your own better. 

7. Education. There’s plenty - from free basic tutorials to paid online courses and real-life workshops. Did I mention that I’m running these this spring? No? Well, you’re very much invited! Take a look here. You need to be constantly learning. This business and craft changes faster and faster. If you want to stay on top, you have to keep up-to-date. 

8. Patience and empathy. Photographer’s most important virtues. Your clients and models demand it, there’s just no going around this fact. Use your family as practice, they are the best teachers. :) A beautiful photograph takes time and effort - if you don’t like working with people, don’t go into this business. 

…and that’s my two cents. If you have any other points for photography newbies, share them! <3 

Monika Serek

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