Sunday, October 3, 2010

50 things I've learned about Photography...

50 things I've learned about Photography...I recently saw a list like this by several other photographers and decided I'd do one myself.  We'll see if I can make it to the end of the list!

1.  Never do photography for anyone but yourself.  It's only worth it if YOU think it's worth it.
2.  You can never have enough charged batteries.
3.  Arrive early for your shoot, no matter where it is.  Rushing to set up equipment and shots always ends in disaster.
4.  Know the area you're shooting.  We've all seen youtube videos of the photographer who is shooting a wedding and stumbles into the fountain that he didn't see behind him.  Don't let this happen to you!
5.  Get a good camera strap and wear your camera around your neck at all times.
6.  Always shoot in RAW.
7.  Get good photo-editing software.
8.  Get an external hard drive.  If you are going to be taking lots of photos, you don't want to chance losing a memory card and/or you don't want all of those photos taking up all the memory on your computer.
9.  Don't berate yourself over your photography.  If you think you aren't good enough, don't give up...keep practicing!
10.  Even if you think you are good enough, you can always get better...keep practicing!
11.  Follow other photographers and their work, you just might learn something...
12.  But don't emulate another photographer's work...find your own style.
13.  Keep hand towels with you.  You don't want to touch that bulb in your light stand that's been burning for hours with your bare hands.  And you never know when you might get dirty.
14.  Sometimes your subject is not going to pose for you the way you want...and sometimes those non-posed photos are the best.
15.  If you need to practice setting up lighting or using your camera's different settings and don't have a willing subject, use whatever's handy.  I've gotten some great flower-in-a-vase photos this way.
16.  Never trust what you see on your camera's LCD screen.  Bracket, bracket, bracket.
17.  Using a flash is not always a good thing.
18.  Sometimes a flash is necessary.
19.  Always check the details of the scene in your viewfinder.  You can't always re-take a photo.
20.  Play around with the settings on your camera that you don't ever use...some of them might come in handy one day.
21.  Never leave the house without a tripod.
22.  Use a lens hood.
23.  If you are shooting below 1/60, use a tripod and a cable release.  You'll thank me later.
24.  Sunny F16, Moony F11.  One of the first rules I learned in a basic photography class...
25.  That means...when shooting in direct sun, use F16...when shooting the moon, use F11.
26.  Moon photos will turn out better when underexposed.
27.  Use the rule of thirds.  It really works.
28.  Don't always follow the rules of photography.  Experiment.
29.  Enter photo contests.
30.  You can't go anywhere in photography if you don't let other people see your work.
31.  Other people won't always like your work, but don't let that stop you from getting it out there!
32.  Know your style.
33.  Just when you think you've taken enough photos, take more.
34.  Sometimes no photo is better than a bad photo.
35.  What you think is a bad photo, may be a great photo to someone else.
36.  Shoot out of your comfort zone every once in awhile.
37.  If you think something won't work, shoot it anyway.  You never know...
38.  Learn from your mistakes.
39.  When shooting with a film camera, ALWAYS check that you have film loaded before you start shooting.
40.  Every once in awhile, go through your old photo files and negatives, there might be something good there that you missed.
41.  Keep your equipment clean and in good condition.
42.  You can always get good shots with the equipment you have on hand.  You just need to know how to use it.
43.  Remember why you got into photography in the first place.  It's not always easy, but it's usually worth it.
44.  If you've taken photography classes, go through your old materials...a refresher course in the basics never hurts.
45.  Keep your files and negatives organized!  If you're busy, you don't want to waste time searching for a photo or file.
46.  Always keep a camera with you, in your car, wherever.  You never know when you'll stumble upon an awesome shot...and it stinks when you can't capture it. 
47.  Even if you are only doing photography as a hobby, get business cards made.
48.  If you want to do photography as a professional, get a website, Facebook page, anything to help market yourself.
49.  Practice, practice, practice....
50.  Practice, practice, practice!

~ Kara Stewart

***Disclaimer (Just to be on the safe side.  Lol!)--I came up with the idea to do this from seeing other photographers do it...BUT these are things I have learned.  I'm sure some of the ideas are the same and/or similar to things on other peoples' lists, however it is NOT my intention to take any credit for things other people post.  The things that are the same and/or similar are generally things that ANY photographer would learn from experience.  Thank you.  :)

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  1. Love it! I think i might use this as a basic lesson plan for a workshop I teach at the youth center here in town if thats ok?

  2. Evan, that'd be great! Thanks! Feel free to use it! (If you don't mind, just credit me for it and let them know that I did this after seeing other photographers do it. I'm sure there are some common ideas on my list, but I don't want anyone to think I'm taking credit for something someone else has on their list.) Thanks again and I hope it helps! :)

  3. P.S. Evan, if you do this, would you let me know what you come up with? I love your idea and am very flattered! Thank you! :)