You recently got your first DSLR and convinced Megan to come over and start teaching you manual mode. Yes, it is super confusing but you will get there.
Manual mode seems like a daunting and confusing new language that you do not understand.
Take your time.
You will get there.
You will be amazed that you will eventually be able to change your shutter speed, ISO, and aperture without even thinking about it. Your fingers will do the work for you.
Despite your first several “photo shoots”. You don’t need to have your ISO at 6400 in a full lit room. Set your aperture first, not ISO.
You know that yellowish look your photos have when shooting inside that drives you batty and you don’t know how to fix it. That is called white balance. Just saved you hours of googling. You’re welcome.
There are going to be days where you are going to yell and get beyond frustrated with the girls when trying to take their photo.
They are trying to listen.
They are trying to understand what you are saying, but if you give a 3-year old an umbrella and expect her to stand still for a silhouette shot…you are asking too much.
When you find yourself losing it with the kids over photography, take a deep breath, walk away, and think why are you doing this. You are doing it to capture their childhood.
Each and every shot does not have to be perfect.
Let it go. Let it go when the kids don’t want to look at the camera, tilt their head just so, look out the window, look at you, look at their sibling, look down.
If you stay patient and keep the experience fun than the kids won’t get burnt out and run away from the camera.
When taking your family photos yourself, aim low. Seriously, you will enjoy yourself more if you only hope to get one good photo.
You know that lens that came with your camera? Get rid of it!
Buy the 50mm 1.8 Megan suggests. Yes, $100 seems like a lot of money for a lens but I promise that will seem like a drop in the bucket later down the road when you buy more lenses.
The 50mm 1.8 will be your trusty lens for over a year before you can purchase another one.
Those blurry backgrounds you love? Yeah, you can get those with your 50mm 1.8 by shooting wide open. Don’t go crazy shooting wide open because you will miss the focus more times than I would like to admit.
You have a tendency of finding a hobby and obsessing about it for 6 months before moving onto another one. Not photography. You have finally found your true passion (besides teaching).
Photography is THE hobby you have been searching for.
Read as much as you can about photography. Find blogs, forums, and books. Soak it all up. BUT get out and practice it.
Spending all that time reading is important but if you don’t implement you new skills than they will not become second nature.
That Project 365 you keep hearing about. Do it! Single best thing you did for your photography.
Get in front of the camera. You will eventually figure out how to get yourself in focus in those shots.
Take the workshops. Participate in them fully. Critique your classmates images and really study their work.
Continue to practice what you learned once the class is over.
In fact, when you are in a rut and you will be in a lot of them, take out your workshop material and repeat a workshop on your own.
The hardest times in your photography journey are normally right after these workshops. You will have learned so many new things but struggle to put them into practice.
Don’t get discouraged.
This typically happens right before you have a growth in your photography.
You will have ups and downs. You will have months where you feel like your photos aren’t good enough. Stop looking at other photographers’ work.
Don’t compare yourself.
Your journey is your journey.
There will be photographers who start after you and pass you in skill. That is ok. Don’t let it get you down.
The only photographer you should compare yourself to is yourself.
And let me tell you, you will come a LONG way from the photos you took in your front yard of the kids.
Yourself in 3.5 years
What would you tell yourself?