Photography is one of the major arts a large number of people have interest in, having them wondering most times what to do and know before going into it. I have had people ask me questions and things to know before going into photography quite a number of times. Ranging from the camera to software to photography itself, a lot is needed to be known and I can categorically tell you that a photographer never stops learning. However, if you’re ready to start a career as a photographer, here are five things to know before going into photography.
1. Photography is expensive!
The realization will dawn on you probably a couple of months into it when you realize the amount of gadgets and accessories you have to constantly buy as well as investment into publicity. I applaud people who use big cameras though. Some DSLR cameras cost as much as the tuition fee of private universities in Nigeria, just one camera! And the worst part of it? The prices keep increasing. So yeah, be prepared to spend a lot, even on software and upgrades.
A great option is to start with a moderately priced camera or look into used gadgets. At first it might seem somehow and skepticism comes in, but neatly used gadgets will save you a lot of money in the course. You do not need the latest and most expensive equipment to take great pictures.
2. LENS! LENS!
The type or brand of camera you get is great but most of the magic is done with the lens (and editing) used. Lens can make shooting as easy as you want as well as produce great images. The kit lens that come with most cameras is great but a second lens would suffice later for better photos. I shot for quite a while with kit lens and still do occasionally, I can tell you the difference is always obvious compared to pictures taken with standard lens. Great lens allow you to play around with focusing on subjects. Focus on getting the picture right before post-production.
3. Photography is time consuming
Going into photography means you’re ready to dedicate a large part of your day and life to everything that revolves around it, editing as well as learning more about photography. Don’t have the time to spare? Move along. I am steadily watching YouTube videos to learn how to do what. My first retouched photo was done by watching a tutorial late in the night.
Asides tutorials, textbooks and photography workshops are necessary too. Time is needed in shooting and getting better. There is a lot to be learned. If it takes 5 minutes to edit a photo, imagine how long it would take to edit 100 photos. Some shoots could take a lot of time as well.
4. Not everyone is meant to go pro
“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.”
— Ralph Hattersley
Honestly, not every camera wielding individual is meant to become a wedding photographer or portrait shooter. If you’re into photography simply as a hobby, you really don’t have to jump on every job you’re offered especially if it is one you’re not really equipped for. You will stress yourself out and might end up not delivering as expected. Going pro also demands that you know how to relate with customers. Taking on a job means a customer must be satisfied and if you lack customer relations skill, your career won’t last.
5. You have to know your camera in and out
Knowing your camera necessitates that you’re able to control it in all situations and lighting conditions. Some photographers under-use their cameras because they shoot mostly in ‘perfect conditions’. Know your camera and wield it like the gadget it is. Understand what functions what part perform and how the parts relate. Find out how the shutter speed works, each mode and the ISO level for what shots. Practice with exposure is a key part of the rudiments of photography. Shoot with high exposure and the picture might end up being too bright. Shoot with low exposure and the image will be dark.
These five tips will have you set and good to go if you keep them in mind. Photography is fun and beautiful but still not meant for everyone. You can see my work over at Playground Media. Cheers on the journey to being a photographer!
The best part of posting here is getting your feedback and comments. Ever considered a career in photography or photography happens to be your hobby? What are your thoughts about this post?