How to Get into Photography – Risk-Free
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Photography often means different things to different people. It can be a lifetime profession, a thriving business, an absolute passion, or an enjoyable hobby but is it actually 'risky'?:
It can be VERY RISKY! Here's why:
Getting started in photography costs a lot!
Not just a lot of money, but also emotionally and creatively. Many people worry:
'what if they don't like my work',
'Why even bother! There are so many other talented photographers out there on Instagram anyway!'
You are here, so you're ready to find out how to dive into the photography world without the risk of loosing social or monetary capital. Even if you are a complete beginner, this is the place to start.
In this How to Get Into Photography Guide you will learn:
If you are a budding photographer and want to know more about to getting started in photography, even if you are not sure to which level you want to take it, read on. I will highlight how you can not just get into photography, but develop a passion for photography.
Types of Photography
One of the first things you will need to think about is the type of photography that interests you. It doesn't need to be the type that you will only ever do. This exercise is just to get the ball rolling. One of the main reasons for this is that the barriers to entry into each different photography category varies in terms of the gear expenses and the skills required to enter the space.
This is where the risk factor comes in, you don't want to be chasing a photography from the start that will:
Here are a few suggestions of a few different flavours of photography to get you thinking about the initial investment of time you want to make:
- Wedding photography
- Portrait photography - senior portraits
- Product photography
- Ocean photography
- Sports photography
Wildlife or Animal Photography
Expense ($): Mid-Very Very Expensive
Time Expense: Mid-Very Intensive
Maybe you want to photograph the wildebeest on the plains of South-East Africa, or a Lion in Tanzania. Or maybe you just want to take beautiful images of your cat or dog to share on your instagram account.
The costs involved quite obviously vary significantly.
If you are planning on going on Safari, then you would need to be thinking carefully about the type of camera equipment you buy.
These are the factors you would need to consider: * The distance from the animal you will be taking the photo from. - As a general rule, the further the distance, the more money you would probably need to spend on quality lenses. * The weight of the camera. - If you're going on Safari, it's pretty important to take something that isn't too heavy and bulky. You really have two options here if you are conserving weight. I would be looking at either a Mirrorless DSLR or a High end Point and Shoot (with a decent zoom lens obviously - possibly something from Sony, Canon or Nikon).
Expense ($): Low - Very Very Expensive
Time Expense: Low - Very Intensive
Just Get Started
Although it might sound like the most obvious of statements, the first advice we have if you want to get into photography, is to simply start taking photographs.
By that, we don't mean rushing out and buying a $1,000 all-singing, all-dancing camera, but to simply use whatever camera you have now, or as is more likely, the camera on your smartphone.
There is no need at this stage to be overly concerned with the quality of the photographs you take, but it gets you used to taking photographs of lots of different scenes, in variable light levels, various locations and will confirm for yourself whether or not photography really is something you wish to pursue as a hobby, or career or as a business.
Learn the Basics
As with anything that requires a degree of skill and experience, you will want to learn the basic principles of photography. This can be done in many ways, such as online courses, downloadable materials, reference books, or even local classes.
Some of the basics of photography you'll want to learn relate to exposure, shutter speed, apertures, ISO, depth of field, focal length, polarizing, contrast and light levels, to name but a few.
As well as these it will also pay dividends if you learn about the equipment that you might use in photography.
Obviously, there is the camera, but the camera has many parts, and knowing what these do is essential.
You also have accessories such as lenses, memory cards, flashes, filters, tripods, cleaning kits, and even the carrying cases should be researched.
Join a Local Club
There is no better way to learn about and get support for a pastime like photography, than joining a local group such as a photography or camera club. Here you will have photographers of all levels, and some are likely to be experienced professionals.
Having them answer your questions and share their knowledge can really accelerate your learning. A local club is also likely to arrange photo shoots and field trips where you can practice your photography in different locations and conditions.
Join Online Groups
Although not quite as hands-on as a local club, joining an online photography group will have many benefits.
Again, you will be able to get questions answered, and also be privy to lots of hints, tips, and even the occasional secret that only the best photographers have knowledge of.
These groups and forums can be found on sites like Facebook, and although most will be free, look out for paid groups as these are likely to have premium resources.
Offer Your Photography Services to Friends and Family
A great way to gain lots of experience, and to network so that others know that you do photography, is to offer your services to friends, family, and colleagues.
While you are learning, and until you feel you can justify charging a fee, you can offer to do it free of charge, providing they offer you some kind of testimonial, or that they refer you to others.
There are all sorts of events you could photograph, such as birthday parties, sports days, anniversaries, retirement parties, store openings, and church fetes.
Any kind of gathering where people would love to look at photographs of the event is an opportunity for you to practice.
Enroll in a Photography Class or Course
Just about every town and city is bound to have a photography class or course going on at some point. These can range from one person holding a weekly class in a community hall, to a full degree in a university or college.
Look for Part-Time Jobs
If you are determined to follow photography as a career, then one of the best ways to get a foot on the ladder is to look for part-time photography jobs.
Obviously, you would only do this after you have gained sufficient knowledge and experience.
Not only will this be a great way to enhance that experience, but you will make a lot of contacts who may be able to help you in your career, or even your photography business, if decide to go down that route.