Look at me, starting a blog. I felt like I should put my writing skills to something so I don't become completely illiterate from lack of use. Haha. No, but really, you all know how bad I am at being consistent with YouTube, so a blog is something I really felt like I could at least semi-regularly keep up with. Or, it could just be another started-and-never-finished project to add to my resume! I guess we'll see.
For this first post, I wanted to address some of those commonly asked questions I get regarding careers in photography, building a business, and establishing your brand. I get SO many people asking me the same stuff over and over, and while I don't mind answering, it's so much easier to have all of these answers in one place.
What advice do you have for aspiring photographers?
- I always say this: KEEP SHOOTING. You'll never find your photography or editing style by doing the same stuff over and over, or by leaving your camera at home. Take your camera everywhere, take pictures of everything. Experiment to see what you really like shooting and hone your skills to perfect that. Editing is the same thing; mess around in Lightroom and Photoshop to find what looks aesthetically pleasing to you.
Should I go to school for photography?
- Short answer: no. Long answer: sure, if you have a ton of time and money on your hands. Here's my opinion (and this is an OPINION) - anything you can learn in photography classes now, you can learn on Google. YouTube tutorials are out there for just about every style, technique and topic you may be interested in. You can befriend other photographers and they can teach you the ropes too. Honestly, I'm pretty much self-taught with the exception of two years of film photography class in high school; my college degree is in sociology and look what I'm doing now. A photography degree is just SO specialized to the point that if it doesn't work out for you, you're thousands of dollars down the drain. You're better off getting a degree in a social science, business, education, etc. and having photo as a side hustle until you can afford to make it into your main hustle. That way, if you go another career direction later in life, you have an awesome liberal arts or business degree to fall back on. I know that's not the answer everyone wants to hear, but it's the realistic one.
What camera do you use? What camera should I use?
- I shoot on a Canon 6D (upgrading to the Mark IV soon). I love my 6D to death, and I'm only upgrading because I've had it for like 5 years and it's just time. What camera should you get? I don't know. To be blunt, your camera doesn't make your photos good; you do. Talent over gear, people.
How do you meet the right people and make connections that get you jobs?
- Be nice. Be a nice fucking person! I don't know how much I can emphasize this. I've gotten so much work by just befriending people and being genuine. As far as meeting people, go to events in whatever realm of the industry you're interested in (concerts, parties, store openings, etc.) and just talk to people! Take business cards. Learn to pitch yourself without sounding too braggy or desperate. It's actually really easy. I know these days we all stare at our phones a lot and find it hard to speak words to other humans, but I'm sure it'll come back to you.
How do you get press passes?
- Again; talk to people. Email the venue or an artists's management, and you'll usually get a response. If you can't find an email, a DM never hurt anyone, just be professional and maybe ask them for a business email you can reach out to.
How do you find models? How do you pose models?
- DM's are great for finding models. If you see someone online and you like their look, ask them if they'd be interested in shooting. Chances are they'll say yes! If they say no or don't respond, no sweat. There are literally millions of other people out there you can shoot with haha. As far as posing models goes, I normally try to keep it pretty natural. I honestly don't go into shoots with poses already planned out. People look their best when they're not trying, so just tell your models to move around and do whatever feels natural to them, and keep snapping shots. If you have a direction you're trying to go in though, just tell them exactly what you're envisioning.
How do you make a website?
- Squarespace is the BEST! Not even sponsored, I just love this platform :)