Monday, August 22, 2011

Getting into Photography

I received an email the other day from a girl who is aspiring to be a fashion photographer. I hope she doesn't mind but I'm going to share with you a few of the questions she asked me and my responses to them [for anyone else who is also aspiring to do photography (in any area)].

1. Your pictures are so beautiful...did you just start off by playing around with the camera and learn, or did you get instruction? 
A.  I started off just playing around with a camera. I've never taken any classes for photography. I just did a lot of research thanks to the help of Google.
I would look at other photographers who inspired me and try to recognize what it was that I loved so much about their photographs so I could get a better understanding for what I wanted to shoot and how to go about it.
  2. Was it hard to learn photoshop to edit your pictures? Do you recommend and websites or books to look at for help with post production processing?
A.  I think it was a little hard learning photoshop... I am continually learning, even today, and I feel like only recently have I begun to explore it's full outlets and what I can do with it.
I would recommend looking at Lindsay Adler's blog.
She has a few retouching tutorials as to how she's done things... She always gives good advice. 

I would also look at I've only subscribed for one month (about a year ago), but they have a lot of really great tutorials with some of the best photographers in the world. [Maybe I'll subscribe again and see what new things they've got. :) ]

Aside from that I really just learned through trial and error. I'm going to be selling curves soon (stay tuned), which is the probably my favorite thing I have learned in photoshop to date.

Whenever I have questions, Google is always my best friend.
3. How did you start getting TFP/TFCD models? I am nervous to do this! I've only shot my friends so far.
A. I contacted the agency I'm still working with and I just introduced myself, gave them my website, said I was interested in working with their models, and if they had any new faces they'd be interested in me shooting.
Fortunately, the agency I work with all the time is very relaxed, unlike some of the others in the industry. I remember how nervous I was when I first got an email back from them! All you can do is try. :)
4. Is there any advice you wish you had been given when you started out in photography?
A. I wish someone would have told me how hard I was going to be on myself and to never compare yourself to others. Especially since I didn't start until I was 19 and all the photographers that I was finding and first discovering were all like 16-17 (still in high-school). I felt soooo behind, and it made me really not want to grow up. I realized though that we all discover our passions at different times and comparing ourselves to others will only make us just like everyone else and that isn't what art is about at all. It's about being true to yourself and creating what you aspire.
5. What are some of the best ways to get more jobs?
A. TALK! The best way I have found to get more jobs is to simply talk more about it. A lot of my work I've gotten because of my Facebook fan page and my activity tripled just by posting a photo every day. I unfortunately haven't been able to keep up with it due to my busy schedule, but if people know there's going to be something new to look at everyday, then they are going to go there to look. Also, word of mouth has gotten me a lot of jobs. So just by getting the word out that you're offering "it" whatever "it" might be will always be to your advantage. A little advertising, bringing a business card around to different business that you believe target your audience will help.
I personally want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and lovely comments. It means the world to me and I cannot tell you how much it encourages me to continue trying. It is so easy to get upset with yourself, especially as an artist, you are never satisfied with yourself or your work. So thank you, truly.


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