I have been shooting since the age 11, and I’m now 17 years old. I have learned plenty. And especially since I’m a Hutterite and photography is still somewhat frowned upon in our society, especially in some situations.
This was first posted on my blog.
1.To take good photos you have to put time into setting up. A half hour of planning and setup is infinitely more valuable than half an hour of postproduction trying to correct it.
2.Share your photos, accept criticism
3.Look through as many photos as you can
4.One tends to overestimate themselves, but underestimate the power of their images
5.Your camera can not see like your eyes; in 3D, Try closing one eye before taking a shot to better visualize your scene
6.Always shoot RAW
7.Organize your photos in a way that no folder contains more than 50 sets of photos
8.Your real life friends are your most honest critics.
9.Your archives contain more gems that you would think.
10.Learn how to create layouts, it takes your photos one step further
11.No one will ever perceive your photos just like you do, so ask your family for their input.
12.Refrain from always using the extremes of your lens’s reach, use the ‘in between” focal lengths as well.
13.You won’t become a master in a week, or a year. It takes time
14.Doing what everybody else, will yield the same photos as everybody else.
15.You are the photographer, your camera isn’t.
16.Like all media: news-paper, movies, magazines, television, essays, poems, paintings and many more, they are all edited, your photos should be too, unless you are a photojournalist.
17.If you don’t have a ‘ah-ha’ moment while shooting, you don’t have a ‘winner’ photo, keep shooting….
18.Re-check your ISO, it’s a bugger to discover you were shooting at ISO 1600 on a sunny day.
19.Print your photos; they look better than you think.
20.Make it clear what the subject of the photo is
21.There are always these that will dislike your photos.
22.If people are sensitive about having their photos posted online, ask them. Nobody ever died asking.
23.A bad photo is better than none
24.People like stories attached with each of your photos. But don’t have your photos depend on them. Your pictures should be able to stand by themselves
25.Photographer love to know how a particular image was made.
26.Pixel peeping is not a type of photography
27.Try and make your photos meaningful, shooting flowers, kittens, and sunsets is cliché
28.Getting photos of the people that dislike the camera are always the most rewarding shots
29.Learn how to shoot portraits by shooting your family. If you can’t make them look good and like themselves, then you shouldn’t waste your time on strangers
30.Photoshop can fix almost anything. But not a blurry photo. Use a tripod.
31.Photography is about 10 percent about taking the photo. You have to learn how to see light, manipulate it to your liking, and work with people, with color and with time.
32.Your first 10,000 photos are defiantly your worst. Get though them as fast as possible
33.Most of my stunning photos come from experimenting.
34.There are stages of worrying for a photographer. First you worry about getting a better camera, then lenses, and then you worry about figuring out aperture and shutter speed. Then money gets really tight as you explore all the camera accessories and add-ons. Then you worry about lighting, techniques and copying styles. What lies beyond that, I don’t know.
35.Photographers are usually quite generous with donating time or gear.
36.Composition is important, learn how to apply it.
37.Color techniques is the almost the most challenging and rewarding thing to figure out, after using flash.
38.Taking the photo is not even half the work. Editing them to perfection is what turns an otherwise average photo into a stunning one. Though having a beautiful one to start with helps.
39.A good camera will create nicer photos, but having it will not make you a better photographer
40.Read your manual. It’s the most important book you have.
41.You’re your camera’s limitations.
42.Knowing how to pose people is essential. They rarely know how to by themselves
43.If another photographer asks for assistance or advice, never hold back from helping,
44.Experience something without a camera in your hand. It will clear your vision and help you see in new ways.
45.Photographers, helplessly, are often a bit narcissistic.
46.Getting a good photo is often just a matter of taking your camera along where you haven’t before
47.Flickr is a community. Put in as much as you take out. Help others like they help you. It will change not only your photography career, but your life.
48.Focusing correctly with an f1.8 lens is bloody hard work, but worth it.
49.Don’t be afraid to leave constructive criticism comments, it may make you sound like a dweeb sometimes, but both parties will benefit.
50. Learning to deconstruct a photo, and doing it correctly, probably signifies that you could produce that photo if you had the gear.
51.Getting weird looks from people is part of the job requirements you have to accept.
52.The greatest game changer for me was learning how to use flash. Sometimes as a harsh light, sometimes as a filler or color adder. But learn. How. To. Use. It.
53.Full memory cards…are just that….full
54.Batteries don’t charge in-camera
55.Keep your equipment clean. dust on your sensor is not something to clean in the field
56.Even if you have the best SLR, a point and shoot is often handy.
57.Never shoot a photo of a person that doesn’t want to be photographed.
58.Dress warmer than you think you need to.
59.It’s not the equipment you dream of having that will help create stunning photos, it’s the gear you have that will
60.Always listen to the subject, they have ideas that you would never think of.
61.Never blatantly copy a photo, build only on the technique. That’s the best way to learn
62.Never compare yourself to others in a better/worse context. It will make you feel lousy. Rather, try to be like them.
63.Try something you are afraid of doing.
64.Subscribe to a photography magazine
65.Take self portraits to experiment on techniques. So when trying for real, your subject wont have to wait as much
66.You are never the best photographer, everyone has their own strengths.
67.Record how your lights were set up, you will want to remember next time.
68.Learn to enjoy the situation you are in. it’s hard to think when in a sour mood
69.Doing something right is cool. But making a mistake is memorable. Don’t be afraid to fail.
70.If you have a good idea, write it down. Good ideas rarely pop into the head twice.
71.Keep all your thank-you cards. This will remind you why you are doing what you are doing when you feel like you’re in a rut.
72.Shoot at ground level or from above. Eye level is boring.
73.It’s often quite clear on your LCD to see if you screwed up. But don’t depend on it for all information.
74.Make your camera LCD as bright as your computer’s.
75.Conceptual shots that nobody can figure out are interesting.
76.Add meaning to your photos; add a person or a thing. People love photos with a meaning.
77.Watch a movie, and try to recreate an effect. It’s a learning experience.
78.A close-up, mug shot is only for the driver’s license. Get back and zoom in on the face.
79.On camera flash is ugly. Get a off camera flash or wireless trigger. So much better.
80.Use on camera flash for fill light when shooting outdoors
81.When someone is recording an event, never cover your face. You will regret it when looking at the photos.
82.Photography is more of a science than an art.
83.Some people grieve by taking photos.
84.Buy a prime lens, you won’t regret it.
85.Time is something you need a lot of to get good at something.
86.Browse through photographers blogs to get inspiration
87.Try and imitate an advertisement’s style. They are usually beautiful.
88.When asked why you are photographing a meaning-less even, and you can’t come up with an answer, just tell them “because I love taking photos”
89.Give away more than you get. Do photo shoots for free, that way you are not forced into anything by the power of money.
90.As a Hutterite, I get paid for about 5 percent of my photo shoots. Don’t feel too bad about not getting paid!
91.Don’t go trying to create photos you think others will like. Create ones you like. [if you are not on a paid shoot]
92.Selective coloring, over saturation, overdone HDR, soft blur: not cool.
93.The first while of your photographic career you will spend more time behind your camera, and unless you have an assistant, the latter half you will spend considerably more time behind the computer.
94.People will often ask for camera advice, be kind and help them as best you can.
95.Always think of how you could improve you photo, when taking it. Not when you are at home.
96.Listen to music; it helps you focus on the task at hand.
97.Person skills are essential.
98.Always compliment a subject, or they will feel uncomfortable in front of the camera and your photos will show it.
99.Photography is not precise. It’s an art. This list may have a mistake or two.
100.Write your own list. You will learn a lot.
[strobist] Small softbox on left side
Please leave constructive criticism or just a comment below.
Posted by Kelly Hofer Studios on 2010-03-13 21:56:30
Tagged: , list , learned , photography , kelly , hofer , shutterite , hutterite , blog , canon , RAW , ISO , photo , perceive , camera , postproduction , editing , edit , subject , pixle , peep , family , shoot , tripod , stunning , expierment , lighting , techniques , strobist , flickr , manual , lens , art , precise , prime , flash , am , http://kellyhofer.com/