Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Photography LOVERS! ~here you go

To all aspiring photographers. Weather you're interested in just taking better photos of your everyday life or becoming a professional here are some things that have helped me along the way.

I became a professional photographer by accident. I was Vice President of Internal Operations for a large furniture company. I was laid off after working there for 8 years. I searched for a long time to find another position that I would enjoy and could have a career I would love. After a long search and photographing on the side for almost 2 years, my husband suggested I start taking myself seriously. He believed in me and my work and said to go for it. If it wasn't for the push from him, I don't think I would have dreamed of starting my business.

I read a TON! Understanding Exposure is a great way to learn about photography. It's a wonderful introduction and will give you a good basic understanding on how lighting and functions of your camera interact. Read your camera manual and then reread it again. You will find valuable information in there. I still carry mine in my camera bag.

I took as many classes as I could. I still attend seminars to keep up on trends and get new ideas.

Join a photography forum. Have your peers critique your images. I truly believe its an invaluable way to improve. Don't take the comments personally. Sometimes they are harsh, mostly helpful and you will discover things about your work, you never would have. People will give helpful tips and tricks. It was on forums that I discovered my personal style.

If you are interested in becoming a professional...There are so many people who can afford professional level equipment and can gain the same knowledge you can. You honestly have to be on your top game. You have to be 10x better than the people around you for you to stand out. You've got to discover what it is that makes you different. It's so easy for anyone to get a website or blog up and going. Search the web and you will see some amazing work and some awful work. You have to educate your clients. If your clients are educated, then your work has to be top notch. You won't be able to fool them, however they will appreciate good quality work and know the difference.

Practice, Practice, Practice. I'm still learning and evolving as a photographer. I don't want to be in such a rut that photography is not fun any more or that all of my clients have the same pose with the same prop on their walls. Every session is custom and I wouldn't have it any other way. I still love photography as much as I did when I was in third grade. I'm still excited to get my prints back from the lab. To keep up the fun, I schedule at least one experimental session just for me each month.

Keep shooting and love the art of it!

1 comment:

kmjustice3 said...

Wow. Great post. I was just at my nephew (and I guess your little boys) baseball game today. (My brother-in-law Don is the coach.) My cousin Brian said "Hey do you remember Cait/Kate Gagnon? (Please excuse if I trashed the spelling, ugh), well that's her sister Jamie and she's a professional photographer." He mentioned the name Fodale and I knew John, he's my age.

My cousin knows that I'm just starting to get interested and inspired by photography. I just bought my first DSLR and signed up for some classes. It's so funny that you mention Understanding Exposure because I just bought it last week. I have found to be invaluable, so far.

I just requested Deanna Zublick (again, spelling) on Facebook and I noticed one of her groups was your photography! What a coincidence!? No kidding. So strange, and awesome. What a small world. That lead me here.

I want to say thank you for posting this blog. I've read so many discouraging things about how impossible it is to become a pro photographer. Well, you did it! And you sound very encouraging and I think that awesome.

Your photos are very nice and I can only dream of becoming that good. I haven't felt this motivated by something in years though so, I'm very excited.

Thank you and best wishes,

Kate Justice