Photography Tips

Photography Tips 101:
Tip #1:

To anyone who wants to become a photographer – LEARN THE CRAFT! The ease of digital photography has created a major surge of people who want to call themselves “photographers”. I guess, technically anyone in the act of taking a photograph is at that moment a “photographer” but… there’s a difference. Know your shit or at least have enough respect for those that do. When I say have respect I don’t mean kiss ass or anything like that. It’s the basic awareness that someone knows more and has experienced more than you. I say this to people who are looking for photographers as well.

The proliferation of “photographers” and “models” on the internet has drastically changed our worlds for better and for worse. The good is the vast access and visibility. The bad, is the vast access, visibility and the uneducated acceptance of crap.  In simple terms, there are so many people out now that mediocre has become the accepted standard of excellence. This falls true for both the viewers and the photographers. Of course there are some amazingly talented models and photographers still out there and with the baseline of quality being so low, those individuals shine all the more. The problem is filtering through to find them.

In all, study the craft, study the masters,  learn the fundamental technical skills, explore what moves your soul. One note  about technical photography, I love toys and gadgets and I’m well versed in all the numbers and “math” of photography… but that stuff is to be learned and then forgotten. Therefore, in this blog I will rarely, if ever, discuss that side of photography unless it pertains to a specific comment or question. By the way, I think women make better photographers than men simply because women typically don’t get as hung up about the gadgets or have dick measuring contest over who has what gear. They generally just go out and do it based on inspiration and feel.

Tip #2: Lighting

Start with just one light. Many beginners make the mistake of thinking they need 4-5 lights.   First learn to see how one light shapes your subject. Through out your day, try to notice how shadows fall on various items and what’s casting them, do the same for the highlights.

Tip #3:

Cheap gear goes a long way. A cheap white bed sheet makes a great reflector. Drape it over your car and you now have a huge soft light reflector.

Tip #4:

Unless you’re a conceptual artist – don’t rely on photoshop to “make” your picture. What does that mean? It means get it as close to what you want BEFORE you touch the shutter button.

Save yourself the post production headache and get it right before you go home.  How? Know your craft and know your gear.

Tip #5:

If you photograph people, get to know great hair & make up artist – they are invaluable. Poor make up can ruin a photo, great make up will give the model confidence as well as make your results look more professional.

4 thoughts on “Photography Tips

  1. John I am happy to absorb any and all knowledge you can bestow upon me, especially now since I’m kind of required to be a photojournalist for the job I recently got!

  2. So happy to see your phenomenal work. I miss hearing you on the guitar… MI days were such fun days. God bless. Keep up the great work mi amigo.. When it’s time for me to do my photos i will be reaching out to you

    1. Hey!!! 😀 So good to hear from you!! I miss those days too – especially hearing your amazing voice!! I will be more than happy to do your photos when you’re ready. 🙂

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