So you want to be a photographer? if this rings a bell for you then chances are you are looking to develop an existing passion, hobby or even paid work that you may have already started. So where do you begin? Well like anything I suppose its all about your mindset. If you're good with your camera and happen to make people smile with your snaps, don't automatically think your a pro. I know that sounds like I'm raining on your parade but starting off with the mindset that you have a lot to learn will help you develop your practice quickly.
Don't get me wrong, your style, your eye and your charisma is all your own, if all this helps separate you from the rest then hold on to what makes you different. After all, the market is pretty much saturated and your unique touch is whats going to get you hired. Hang on though, before we even think about getting you hired, lets think about all those magical words like composure, framing, context detail, exposure etc. This will come with practice, I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about the technical terms. Shoot shoot shoot, like anything guys, master your art, even if you shoot in auto mode to start with. Get those hours under your belt. I'll give you an example, in April 2018, I carted my gear, wife and kids to the Scottish Highlands. We needed a break and a getaway, but my camera also needed the exposure, no pun intended. I was rocking a Nikon D750 with a Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 back then. A capable body and a half decent lens let me capture some beautiful shots of the Scottish landscape.
The thing is, there are only so many different angles of your backyard or your local park. Travelling is by far the easiest way to fuel your imagination and inspiration. It makes the whole idea of a hobby expensive, just when you thought you had done a good job convincing your spouse that your hard earned cash was going to be spent on a camera, now you have to justify the long drives and more frequent trips. It gets easier though, trust me. Any how, the image above was captured on our way back from Plodda falls (half way between Fort William and Inverness.) I was driving down to the main road on a rough country path from the highest waterfall in the area when I saw this beautiful home on my left. So I stopped dead in the middle of the road and put the window down, picked up the camera from my wife's lap and with some minor adjustment to the shutter speed captured this image. Edited later that evening I proud of my off the cuff capture of a very picturesque scene.
The point is, don't be scared to travel and get into awkward places to capture that moment, keep your camera to hand, be safe but be daring if you want to set yourself apart from others. Before you know it, you will have built up a bank of great images. Keep your best images in a folder on your desktop and keep updating it with only your best work. Before long you will have what everyone will start requesting... a portfolio. Don't be scared to go back and delete what you thought was good at the time and replace with what is good now. You are your own best critic, watching your work evolve and seeing your craft grow will only fuel your passion further.
I'm not going to bore you with shutter speed and ISO settings here, YouTube is pretty much your one stop shop for that, but know this, a good photographer can see a moment unravel before them, before it has even happened. In other words, us folk can see into the future. I suppose what I'm saying is that you can almost imagine an image captured, printed and framed in your gallery moments before you hit that shutter button. That might sound daunting, but the first time your get this hunch, you will know it. keep snapping and pushing yourself to travel that bit further and capture those images. I wont paint a rosy picture, some days you will come home with what you thought is amazing but end up with something pretty unremarkable. But that's all part of the learning process right? Its a good thing we are in the digital age and not churning through all that film hey!
Don't forget to head over to my UK and Global galleries and take a look, you never know, something may inspire you!