People take pictures with their cameras all the time, but not everyone can call themselves a “photographer.” It usually takes a new level of interest for any shooter to want to get into photography and make it a hobby or a career. At the same time, potential expenses and the vast amount of information you’ll need to acquire can be overwhelming for any aspiring photographer or anyone embarking upon a beginner photography career.
So what’s the first step to take? Any photographer will tell you that there’s no single road to get into photography. There are, in fact, many ways that you can kickstart your amateur photography journey.
If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.
Do you find yourself taking portraits the most? Do you fancy abstract imagery or stunning landscapes? Perhaps you would like to get into event photography? Or do you simply want to capture every moment and object that catches your eye? Whatever it is that made you want to get into photography, hang on to it and use it as your inspiration to grow and follow your newfound passion.
An excellent way to find your inspiration is to figure out what you already like to do. If you love travelling, you can start by being a travel photographer. Similarly, if you’re into sports, you can try action and sports photography. Feel free to try out different types of photography that may interest you!
Once you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you want your subject to be, the only other thing you really need to start taking those amazing stills is a good camera. Today’s amateur photographers are lucky to have a wide variety of cameras that they can get their hands on. Just a few years ago, there was a significant gap between compact point-and-shoot cameras and more professional DSLR cameras in terms of image capability and price.
Anybody who’s just learning photography now can purchase budget mid-pro mirrorless cameras that are not only very lightweight but also highly capable of delivering professional, magazine-quality images. But whatever you choose, it’s essential that you learn how to use your camera and that it fits your preferred type of photography.
In photography, it’s obviously always quality over quantity. Taking hundreds of pictures won’t make a photographer, especially if the shots are not well thought of. Before holding the camera up near your face and clicking the shutter:
Take a few seconds to study the scene.
- Properly focus on your subject.
- Carefully frame your shot.
Don’t just take photos of everything—as professionals say it, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid). A simple tilt or movement of the camera to the right is capable of adding a story and appeal to a photo, so use that viewfinder well.
12 Things Every Beginner Needs to Get Started in Photography
Are you interested in stepping into the vast and wonderful world of photography? Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place! This short checklist of a dozen items is designed to get you started and headed in the right direction! Looking for wedding photography Melbourne? Look no further! Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.
The first thing you need is an interest in photography. If you are reading these words, you likely already checked that box. If you are debating whether to take the dive into photography, you might want to give it some careful thought or cater your purchases toward your level of interest. Photography, both digital and film, can represent a significant investment in time and money. Know this before you take the plunge.
Sorry again to state the obvious, but you will likely want to create photos with a camera unless you are doing alternative forms of imaging. Your first consideration will be what to explore first—digital or analog film when entering the camera market. The vast majority of us reach for digital cameras these days; once you choose that path, there are three basic options: point-and-shoot, interchangeable-lens mirrorless, and digital single-lens reflex (DSLR). We have a good breakdown of the types of digital cameras in this article and a similar study here. In the realm of 35mm film cameras, you have the option of S.L.R.s and point-and-shoots.
If you get a DSLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, you will also need a lens. Many cameras ship with one or two “kit zoom” lenses that range from wide-angle to telephoto. The verdict is still out (and will always be out) on whether your first lens should be a zoom or a prime lens. A prime lens has a fixed focal length, which requires the photographer to move to frame a picture rather than the lens doing the work by zooming in and out. We are not going to settle the zoom versus prime argument here, but be sure to buy a U.V. filter and lens cloth to keep your optics clean for whatever lens or lenses you choose.
If you choose an analog camera, you’ll need film. If you choose a digital camera, you’ll want to get a memory card, even if it has internal memory. There are many different types of memory cards, but the two most common are S.D. (Secure Digital) and C.F. (Compact Flash). Make sure you get the correct type of card for your particular camera.
The tripod might be the most overlooked camera accessory for the beginning photographer. It should not be ignored. Even if you are not planning to go out on a night photography excursion the first time you take your camera out of the box, you’ll still want and, in reality, need a tripod for lots of different things. Group portraits when you are in the photo? Check. Macro photography? Check. Low-light photography? Check. There are lots more. Invest in a good tripod.
A lot of what I learned about photography came from absorbing the words and images inside great photography books. The internet is a great resource as well, but, at least for me, it is the words and pictures from photography books that have resonated the most.
Computer and Software
One of the necessary burdens of digital photography is the computer and associated photography software. Of course, you can always buy a giant memory card and just take a ton of photos and never remove them from the camera, but that might defeat the purpose of making the images in the first place. You can organize folders of pictures on your computer, but the software is needed to browse and edit them efficiently. If you want to make adjustments to the way the pictures look, you will need post-processing software.
Many entry-level cameras come equipped with a built-in flash, but you might want to add an external flash to your camera to emit even more light, depending on your photographic needs. Today’s digital cameras are good at seeing in low light, but there are times when the photographer will be required to add light to a specific scene.
A UV filter will protect the front of your lens from dust and grime, but there are other filters that can enhance your images—and I am not talking about Instagram filters here. You can do some fantastic things with neutral density filters and polarizers that cannot be simulated with software.
You already found yourself here, so pull up a chair and stay awhile. The B&H Explora website is a treasure trove of information about photography, with everything from educational articles to inspirational videos featuring famous photographers. Soak it up! It’s free!
Like any hobby, passion, or pursuit, photography takes time. In the old days, you could throw a camera around your neck or drop one into your bag and carry it around and take photos. Then you would drop off your roll of film and pick it up in an hour or a day or two later. Today, digital photography demands that you spend at least some time in front of a computer to finish the job. This should not deter you, but you should be prepared to dedicate some time with your images beyond what is required to shoot them.
What Kind of Photography Career Path Should You Follow
The last component of kickstarting your photography career is determining what kind of employment you will seek in the industry.
This choice depends on a certain number of factors such as financial stability, comfortability, photography niche, and marketing abilities.
Photography has never quite fit the standard job description as few traditional photography positions follow the 9-5 method.
With this being said, there are still options for contracted positions – you just need to seek them out. On the other end of the spectrum, a majority of photographers will choose the self-employed route. Which path you choose is unique to your preference. Let’s explore these options below. Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.
A contracted photographer may be someone who works solely with one client, studio or agency to produce images. For example, a hired photographer could work for:
- An e-commerce brand at their headquarters where the primary responsibility is to create photographs for their online store and product distribution.
- A photography studio within their city is focusing on capturing portraits of clients that come to the studio.
- A photography company that hires photographers to capture events or tours.
- A wedding photography company that hires photographers for their client’s special day.
- Working with a modelling agency to photograph all new talent in their studio.
These are all examples of working as a photographer under the employment of someone else. These positions can range from part-time to full-time opportunities, but most actual contracted photography work is salaried and meant to fully support you financially.
If you’re a photographer who wants consistency and work satisfaction, you should consider working in a contracted manner.
Freelance / Self Employed
On a completely different note, many photographers prefer the freelance, self-employed route of the industry. In this way, your business is built off of multiple client contracts and the ability to take work from anyone you choose.
Freelance opens up a plethora of opportunities for a budding photographer. You can choose to work with fashion brands, magazines, news sources, online publications, bookstores, agencies, and studios – all on a retainer or project to project basis.
While this flexibility is great, it is essential to remember that freelance and self-employment can be inconsistent and stressful. Finding clients can be a daunting and challenging process that will take many hours of dedication and perseverance. When working as a freelance photographer, you have to remember that you are now running your own business.
If you’re considering jumping into this photography route, you will want to have some client leads or financial savings to keep you afloat while you aim to land work. Being a freelance artist can be difficult, but the end pay off makes it a worthwhile experience. Being able to choose your clients and projects is every creative’s ultimate dream. Create lasting memories through your Yarra Valley wedding photography that will be cherished forever.
The absolute path you can choose as a photographer is to work solely out of your home studio. This aligns with the idea of self – employment but calls for a reliance on creating only studio work. This option can be great for portrait photographers or even product photographers who capture images exclusively on backdrops.
A home studio can be relatively inexpensive to set up, making it a viable option for building your business.
If you are considering starting a home studio, you will need to identify your ideal client base.
- Are you located in a small city and want to focus on headshots or individual portraits?
- Or are you located in a thriving metropolis where you can photograph models, celebrities and influential industry leaders?
Whichever you decide, creating a home studio allows you to work from home, determine your ideal clientele and market your work with consistency.
Don’t Stop Learning.
The best part about photography is you will never run out of things to learn. Take advantage of the countless free resources on the internet. Browse through websites, such as Flickr and 500px, for inspiration and tips from some of the best photographers out there in the world. You can also pick up some valuable pointers by following photographers on Instagram. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.
Visit your local library that will have many books on all types of photography and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and upgrade your skills. There are many people out there who post tutorials along with valuable tips and tricks about how to get into photography on YouTube. Hence, if you have access to a good internet connection, nothing stops you from learning from the pros.