Starting photography is less intimidating than the past but the intimidation starts after you publicly post your first major project and the jeers rain down.

I seen photos that went viral and not for the best reasons. I see many making these photos viral for historically bad concepts, skill and execution. While starting off it can’t always be a winner starting off, here are some tips that I wish I could have used better starting off when the money was low.

Lighting

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Here is something without studio lights but the room was well-lit.

You may have spent all of your money to obtain that camera and hoped that will perform better at low lights. Chances are the camera you have is likely still too low-end and there is no substitute for good lighting.

To start, always shoot in well-lit areas. Natural light is great, on a cloudy day is preferred.  Don’t get sucked in by picking the sunniest day, the sun will be too harsh and never shoot mid-day. Morning or evening shots works well.

 Invest in Editing software

Why? because nothing says amateur than shooting in Jpeg.

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This photo was very red, after editing this made it look better, but something no one would notice until it’s there. We don’t want people to notice bad color.

That shrinks the dynamic range of your photos making it harder to edit. Always shoot in RAW, and if you are going to shoot in RAW that means you will need some editing software. Lightroom is a good starting point especially if you can front the monthly subscription. If you cant’ ask for donations for the people you shoot; it might bridge the gap that you need to afford it.

Editing is important in situations when you are dealing with lighting.  Color correcting will life your work to the next step beyond camera phones. If the lighting is good enough there shouldn’t be any problems with noise.

Shoot friends

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A good friend who helped me develop I will devote a post to her very soon.

I’m sure we heard this suggestion on all top list but they are the first muse many artist start with. Me on the other hand I hated this suggestion. None of my friends was willing to stand in front of a camera for me. So here is a bonus tip.

  1. Shoot anything else! Shoot nature, people and street photography build up some work maybe you can draw someone else.
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a popular model but was actually a good friend of mine. but she really push me to do better as her photos got many eyes on me.

 

Cheap Backdrops

I started with bed sheets. Yes, doesn’t feel or look professional but when starting with friend they will likely understand. Shoot some close shots and it will give you time to save up for a more professional set up. However, These close up head shots of the face and a white background will feel more professional to the internet. Add outdoor shots and paid inquires may come faster than you think.

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Master the Gear You Have

Learn how to shoot in manual. It makes you think. The first thing I noticed is the photos can come out a lot worse than taking it with a point and shoot or a phone. Don’t let a bad photo make you think the camera is just cheap. The right settings can help deal with difficult situations within reason. Bad settings can have an ideal situation become a seriously bad miss opportunity.

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3 Comments

  1. I just recently bought a camera and have just gotten into photography as a hobby. So this post was really helpful. Especially the RAW part cause i saw that setting on my camera and I had no clue what it was.

    1. Glad I could be of some assistance! A side note on RAW. They need to be edited then exported to jepg to use for the internet. But RAW gives you more flexibility when editing. I’m free anytime for any questions! I’ll likely update this with more information or do a second post to follow

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