Whether you’re a student or a hobbyist, here’s 5 tips from me.
1. Don’t worry about what gear you have.
Gear is a lot less important than you think. In my line of work I do both daily press & PR work as well as family portraits, so my equipment is my income and it goes through all weathers so it needs to be robust. But as a student you really don’t need to spend out on the latest equipment. There’s a saying “Cameras don’t take pictures, people do”
2. Get out and Shoot.
There’s only so many YouTube Videos you can watch and learn from. The real learning is by doing. The more you do, the more you experiment, make mistakes and learn, the better you’ll get. It’s really that simple.
3. Expect to fail.
Don’t be surprised if you can’t do it, or if your work doesn’t look like the ‘Rock Star Photographer’ who’s work you saw on Instagram or YouTube. Everyone has to go through stages of getting it wrong, it’s the only way to learn. Never put yourself under pressure just because some images didn’t come out quite as you’d imagined. It doesn’t matter, what matters most is that you keep trying, making small adjustments to your technique until you get what you want.
4. Try different genre’s
There are so many different genre’s of photography. Sport, weddings, news, fashion – the list is endless. Try as many of them as you can to see which you love and build on that. I know some amazing wedding photographers who can’t shoot a skateboarder in action, so just because you’re a photographer it doesn’t mean you’re expected to photograph everything. Find your niche and develop it.
Now I know this slightly contradicts with point 3. But when you find someones work you love and aspire to be like, try to imitate it. Now I don’t mean literally copy someone else work, I mean use their example to work towards. Try to see if you can replicate the lighting or the way it was composed, then you can begin to put your own style on things as you learn.