February 2, 2016

Beginning a Photography Business | Columbia SC

Real talk. So if I am really being honest here let me start with this. I am NOT perfect and didn’t get to where I am now with ever making any mistakes. I made HUNDREDS! BUT I have definitely learned from those mistakes and they have helped me get to where I am today! Making not so great choices when starting out is something almost everyone does BUT if I can help one other photographer NOT make some of the same mistakes I did, then this post was worth it. So here they are…10 mistakes I made when first starting out. This is a no judgment zone!

  1. Not shooting on Manual. WHAT the heck was I thinking?!? Cameras are like little dumb computers. They think they know what their doing but actually….they don’t! Using manual give all the control to ME! I tell the camera exactly what I want my photos to look like and how I want them exposed! Starting to learn Manual mode and need a little extra help?! Here is a great post on click it up a notch to get you started!
  2. I used Photoshop to edit ALL my photos. Oh lord this took FOREVER! Photoshop is a GREAT program don’t get me wrong! But its not a program that is soley geared towards photographers. You can pretty much do anything in Photoshop. Which is also why the editing process can take so much longer. I finally got smart one day and started using Lightroom. If you haven’t ever heard of or used Lightroom. Let me tell you it will change. Your. Life. (you’re welcome) I am pretty sure they have a free Lightroom trial download you can try if you haven’t ever used it before!
  3. Not investing in good quality gear. I would always complain that my photos weren’t sharp or sometimes they didn’t seem to be in focus. I couldn’t ever figure out why?! Then after many many times of saving my pennies I was able to purchase some GOOD equipment. My first GOOD quality lens was the Canon 50mm F/1.2. I mean this was the turning point for me! Having good quality equipment was like a missing puzzle piece for me. I know some of you are thinking yea but the good stuff is EXPENSIVE! Oh I get it! I still don’t have all the pieces I want BUT there are many different rental companies out there that you can rent from to see what you like before you buy! This mistake takes time to fix but it is SO worth it!! I am still making my way towards my new gear goals! Keep savin those pennies!
  4. Inncorrect composition. The rule of thirds. Leading lines. Correct Cropping and Framing. These are all things that take a good eye and practice. When I look back on the photos I took when I first started out I kinda cringe. Little did I know that if I would have used the “rules” when taking photos it would take my photography to a whole new level. Now sometimes its okay to step out of the box and NOT follow any rules except your own! Its your photography and art so make it what you want!
  5. Not investing in EXTRA Photography Education. *face palm* Its really easy to say to yourself that you don’t need to keep learning and that you don’t want to pay someone to keep teaching you new things. Learning and trying to understand new things are hard! I used to find comfort in the fact that I went to school for photography so what else could I really learn?!? Well that was dumb. The photography industry is constantly updating and if you don’t keep up you are going to get left behind. Learning new things makes you more a more well rounded photographer and who doesn’t want that?!?
  6. Not making friends in the industry. This was a hard one for me when starting out. I was very weary about making friends with my competition! I mean they could literally be the ones taking my business so why would I want to be friends with them?! I soon learned that these were the people who understood what I was going through and had the same doubts as I did. It has been nice getting to bounce ideas off one another and LEARN from each other. It takes a lot more energy to NOT like someone than it does to open yourself up to new friendships!
  7. Over Saturating photos. Okay lets be honest we all used to do this with Instagram to make ourselves look tan! Taking photos in the winter? Need a tan in your photo? Bump up that saturation and WA BAM! Tan in an instant! Do not and I repeat DO NOT make the same mistake I did and make sure the colors in your photos look natural!
  8. Using the little on camera pop up flash. If you are using he flash that comes with your camera, the little pop-up one… stop! This flash is not good for MOST things! It is going to create very FLAT images that have no texture or dimension. I remember when I was first starting out if I was in a dark room or there wasn’t enough light I would just pop that little sucker up and think ‘oh of course I just need my little pop up flash’….What I really needed to understand was how the direction of light can add depth and a three dimensional feel to my images!
  9. Shooting in JPEG instead of RAW. When I first started I had NO clue what this meant or if it would make any difference if I shot one or the other. OH was I wrong! If you don’t get anything out of this post at least do this one thing! Shoot in RAW! An easy way to understand the difference is think of a RAW photo as having a TON more information in it than a JPEG. The RAW files are uncompressed so they have more information such as sharpness or contrast. Think of the JPEG files as the processed and compressed versions of your photos. When editing photos you can push your photos a lot further if you shoot in a RAW format.
  10. Using presets in Lightroom and Actions in Photoshop. OH goodness! I LOVED these! I literally think I purchased HUNDREDS! Why are these not so great? Think of it like this…Unless you are standing right next to the photographer who took the preview photo of the action or preset your photos will NEVER look exactly like they are advertising.  There are so many factors that go into creating a photo. Time of year, weather, location, people….Its very hard to recreate photos and produce something identical. Creating your own presets or actions would be way more beneficial and give you back control of how your photos will look when edited!

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