My husband was once upon a time in a photography major and was about to graduate in the major until he switched to advertising.
He had a lot of photo shoots, and was heavily into the professional field. However, because of different life circumstance he changed fields and passed most his knowledge onto me. Where I have picked it up very slowly and I'm still learning.
I think its great to share knowledge and i did a photography class recently for a small group of women so I'm just going to share some tips. This is obviously going to be aimed for beginners but if you are a pro, feel free to add some more advice in the comments!
Today we will be mostly focusing on the basic stages of photography.
1. Learn to shoot in Manual, and then practice!!
Some of you may ask what is manual? Manual is controlling three things: the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.
Once I understood the way to shoot in manual, my photography and my creativity grew leaps and bounds. If you aren't shooting in manual your work isn't reaching its greatest potential.
When I first started learning to shoot in manual it took several reminders to remember what did what. Like everything, it takes practice! So don't be afraid and turn your camera to Manual and practice! Pretty soon you will be doing it in your sleep. I promise.
2. Invest in a good camera: When I say invest I use it liberally, because I know that everyone can't afford the top of the line camera, nor do I think it it is necessary. But do your research and find out what your wanting in a camera. Is it a crisper image? Is it the size of the camera? Is it the quality of the camera? Also don't forget about the lens, the lens plays a huge role in how your photos will turn out. Make sure you do your research for that as well. Currently I own only 2 lenses. A helpful hint the 50mm lens or the fantatic plastic, is the best glass you will get for the price. We have one and that is the lens I most commonly use.
Photography equipment is also important if you are wanting to have professional photos. We have both Lightroom(v. 4) and Photoshop (CS6). Many photographers have sworn by lightroom. It is relatively cheap ($100-$200) compared to photoshop and is easy to use. I like to use photoshop because you can get into more details with skin edits and a lot of other edits. Another helpful hint: We got both our programs while Brandon was in school at a deeply discounted rate, so if you are student I would take advantage of that!
3. Editing is important: The camera isn't as magnificent as the human eye, it can leave out a lot of details and color. So in order to capture the grandeur of the photo that you saw with your eyes, editing will be the stepping stone. HOWEVER, when editing it is important to remember less is more. When I look back at my first attempts at photography I realized I didn't understand nor have confidence in my editing skills- which meant I compensated in heavy editing. But this is common among photographers. As I have practice more with my programs I tend to leave the actions alone and use my own sense to what I think the photo needs.
I just want to add as well that I know that I have a lot more to learn. However, I am happy with the state I am at and know that I can grow even more from here. So I just wanted to put it out there, but share what I have learned.
If you have any questions or have anything to add, leave a comment! I would love it!