Wednesday, November 6, 2013

3 Photography Resources

This might seem like a small feat for the pros out there (look at this amateur patting herself on the back for mediocrity), but yesterday afternoon, I completed my very first photo shoot where I shot in Manual the WHOLE TIME.   I was so nervous about how the images would come out, so you can understand why I did a jiggy happy dance when I got home and uploaded the photos to find that some of them actually came out pretty good!

A few shots from my first all-Manual photo shoot.  A hurdle and a milestone indeed.
As I commonly refer to myself, I'm a "fake it 'til I make it" amateur photographer, learning as I go, taking pictures every day.  Since I started posting more and more photographs (and I created a Facebook page), I've had a few people ask me what type of camera I use, or where did I learn to do such-and-such... so today I wanted to share with you three of the resources that are helping me in this journey.  Sure, it helps to have good equipment (which can cost thousands of dollars if you want to get crazy) but the tips and things you will find in these resources are helpful for the everyday photo taker, whether you are using a camera phone, a "nice camera", or a pro-grade machine... and anything in between.

My Top Three Photography Resources (for now)...

1. Tony Northrup's book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography.  We'll call this photography for dummies and people who think they aren't dummies but they actually are.  Dan actually bought it for me on Amazon and didn't tell me, and when he proudly presented it to me one night, Honey, I want you to know that I love you and I support what you're doing. Here I got you this book...  at first I was like meh, I'm not going to read a book.  Books are dumb.  I'm just going to look things up online and try it all myself...  THEN I opened it up and two hours later Dan was asleep and I was still up, reading.  I'm not ashamed.  I'm reading it.  And it's very helpful.  And it's nice to not be staring at a computer screen for some of my I'm-a-photographer-now time.

2. Click it up a notch photography website by Courtney Slazinik with a handful of other female photographer contributors.  This site has an overwhelming amount of information and resources for anyone who simply wants to take better photos.  It's my fav.

3. For those of you who might be a little bit more serious.... I found this girl because my friend Jordan the wedding planner kept tagging her on Instagram. Then I started following her on Instagram and she posted a promo for this glorious series on her blog on Workflow for Photographers.  While I have no plans to ever ever ever enter the ultra-competitive, ultra-time-consuming, ultra-scary wedding photography business, her insights on time management, culling (I had to look it up too), and editing are so helpful for a beginner like me... who, like so many others, is feeling like she is "dying a slow death behind her computer screen" in postprocessing.  It's a series she started almost a year ago I think, and I'm playing catch up to read every single post.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to practice.  Without exception, every professional photographer I've talked to who has been mentoring me without even knowing it (muahaha I'm a question-asking brain ninja) has told me you have to make yourself shoot in Manual mode and you have to shoot every day.  This is good advice.  And the photographers I look up to most have been shooting for years.  

The one piece of advice you'll get from me in my limited wisdom is:  Pay attention to photographs that you like and ask yourself why you like them.  I'm not suggesting you try to recreate someone else's art... that's lame... but noticing the way a photo is framed or focused or lit might make you change the way you take your own photos.

Oh... and read your camera's manual.  That's a good place to start.

Happy clicking!

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