Saturday, March 11, 2017

Photography Tips and Learning Websites for Beginners

Photography Tips and Learning Websites for Beginners
I love to share what I learn with others. My adult interaction is pretty limited these days and it is so refreshing to "visit" with you. Although I do not consider myself an expert photographer, I do feel like I am far enough into my learning journey to share a few tips.

I took a Great Courses photography video course that I really liked last year. The instructor is a world-class photographer who shoots for National Geographic. My biggest take-away from the course was that your camera's job is to tell a story. Learning the technicalities are important, but having a photographer's eye and patience is foundational!

  • First, decide what will motivate you to use your camera. Do you want to take quality photos of your children that you can display? Do you want to start a photography business eventually? Do you want to record your everyday adventures? Do landscapes inspire you? Again, like I said in my previous post about being a creator, if you know what your purpose is as an artist, you will learn faster and smarter. 

  • Second, start shooting without comparing yourself to anyone else. Every photographer you admire started just loving to take photos. They started knowing very little, but they had purpose and learned fast! Use your camera without worrying about the settings or the technicalities, at first. Train your eye to find beauty and to capture it without judgment. Give yourself time to feel comfortable clicking your shutter button. There are professional photographers who still use the auto setting occasionally so they can focus on the story of the moment. Of course, they know their camera inside and out, but the point is that you do not have to have tons of technical skill to capture beautiful and meaningful photos. One of my favorite pictures is not even taken with my expensive camera; it is taken with my I-phone camera and I love it. It is a treasure because it captured a moment that means everything to me. If you want to meet your photography goals, learn to capture meaning. I believe this goes for any type of photography.  

  • Third, whenever you can, learn about the basics of photography and be patient as you learn each concept. I have learned each basic concept and taken time to try and master it. I have plenty of room for improvement, but I was able to improve quickly because I immersed myself in the process and practiced each time I learned something new. As you learn more you will start to notice the limitations of your equipment, but exhaust all your resources before investing in more. This will force you to get creative and understand more before you move on.  

Below are my favorite websites for beginners. When I decided to take photography more seriously, I wanted to learn from someone who was a good teacher. There are plenty of super talented people in the world, but there are a limited amount of people who can teach their talent to others well. Use the resources available to you through your local library as well. I have done most of my learning for free, and I have learned so much. When you feel like a course will really be just what you need to meet your goals and you have the budget, invest in education.

1.
Clickitupanotch.com: This website was super helpful to me as I was trying to understand the exposure triangle (manual mode on my DSLR). She explains ISO, shutter speed and exposure in simple terms that really helped it to click in my mind. 

2.
Creativelive.com: I have bought courses on this website and I have been impressed with the amount of information that is available with each course. They have frequent sales on certain courses and I have not regretted any of my purchases.

3.
amyandjordan.com: Although I am not a wedding photographer, I love Amy and Jordan Demos' photography style, and as former elementary school teachers, they are really good at teaching photography skills and business principles to other people. I have bought one of their products and it has been very helpful in my business.

4.
Colesclassroom.com: This website if full of great articles, and although I am not a premium member of his "classroom," I have learned lots from articles on his website. There are various authors. 

5.
digital-photography-school.com: This website has been around for a long time and the amount of content available is staggering. The articles are written by many different people, but there is a bio for the authors under each article. Check it out.

6.
expertphotography.com: A great place to start for simple instruction on the basics. He shares what he has learned through his own journey of trying to figure out his camera. 

Check out my photography website lucyjophotography.com

If you have any questions, I can share what I know with you. I am willing to give feedback to you on your photos too, based on what I know. I really wanted someone's feedback when I first started, so I am willing to offer my feedback to others. 



Best,
Lucy

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