It’s not always easy to figure out what you want to do with your life. For many, the answer doesn’t come until later on in life, and oftentimes after a lot of trial and error. I was one of those people who knew from an early age that I wanted to pursue photography as a career but had no idea how to get started, who gave me the tools or resources for said pursuit of photographer jobs austin.
But then I found my way — into photography that is! And once I found it, it became something that changed my life for the better.
The best way to start on this path is to develop an interest. I remember being fascinated by the old photo cameras and chemicals — it was both an amazing process of destruction and creation! It was something that I wanted to learn about as a kid, so I sought out more information whenever I found myself in a room with a lot of chemicals or cameras.
But something also drew me into the more artistic side of photography. The idea that it could be more than just a tool for documenting life but also for creating something for others to enjoy, it was enticing and captivating.
The next step is to get out there and start taking pictures! I started off with a film camera in high school, and while I had some fun taking pictures, I was more interested in how the images came together. I wanted to learn how it worked, so when I moved onto college that’s what I did — photography for the sake of learning about photography.
Go find a friend with a fancy camera, or some free time at work and start snapping away. Take some pictures of people you know (and don’t know) as well as objects around you (and try to get your hands on something expensive). Figuring out the basics of photography is where you’ll learn the most, from equipment to lighting and even physical movement.
3. All About The Gear
I personally love photography gear, like crazy amounts of it. What I mean by that is: I love learning about all the fancy shmancy things out there and almost never buy a new piece of gear unless it has some sort of added benefit over what I already have. (Unless it’s an amazing deal — that trumps everything.)
It’s not just the gear itself, but also what you can do with it! Being able to be creative within the limitations and possibilities a piece of equipment gives you will help cultivate your own photographic vision.
The key here is to not get hung up on a certain type of gear or specific piece — you can always find someone with something better, but the real trick is figuring out what you need and when to use it.
4. Compose Yourself
I’m not going to lie, I find 2D composition easier than 3D — which might be why it was the first type of photography I fell in love with. It’s all about trying different things until it looks right and then repeating that process until you aren’t learning anything new. Start building a library of common compositions with different subjects and different settings and you’ll find that it becomes all the more easier.
3D composition is a whole other ball game, though! With three axes to work with instead of one, you have to be careful not to fall into the trap of just shooting everything straight on. Having a reference point in your frame is great, but in 3D it’s even better if you can have multiple obvious points of interest within the image.
5. Translation & Post-processing
So by now you’ve taken some photos (hopefully) and they look great — but you’re not done yet! At this point, I like to start really looking at my images and seeing how they work together. Light, composition, and color are some of the things that stand out at this point. I love to experiment with different aspect ratios, trying to find something visually interesting and pleasing that you can’t really see in your frame right away.
I’ll also start playing around with post-processing filters and more specific effects — if I’m feeling really creative, I’ll use Photoshop!
6. Contests & Community
I love ra-ra competitions where you take one image a day for the entire year — but it’s not necessarily something that I would want to do on a regular basis (for various reasons). However, it’s great for showing off what you can do and getting people interested in certain things or specific genres of photography.
The same goes for communities — whether it’s Flickr, 500px, or any other site. This can help you build a reputation and get your name out there!
Once you feel like you have a steady stream of work going on (and have equipment that will let you), it’s time to start contributing! Whether that be posting your photos to Facebook, sharing them with family, or submitting them to competitions — getting people to interact with your work is important and will make you feel great about what you’re doing.
I hope this has been useful for you! It took me a while to navigate through the ins and outs of it, and I hope it can help someone else out there. I’ll be adding more details as things come up in my own progress, so keep an eye out!