This year marks my second year in business. Despite having a college education for photography and shooting film for 15 years, switching to digital media and shooting weddings/portraits has been like going from night to day. When I look back at how much has changed in the last 2 years, I have a serious case of “hindsight is 20/20”. (Disclaimer: I have done most of these things myself, but there are 1-2 that although I didn’t do, I have seen numerous people do when first discovering their love of photography.)
Things I’ve learned thus far:
- The mistake of not learning first and instead, just plunging in to buy stuff so I could ‘practice’ came with a $3,000 price tag once I figured out how bad that idea was to begin with.
- Offering “free” photography did not get me the portfolio I wanted and the only experience I gained from it was painfully scarring and damaging to relationships with family & friends.
- Editing software should not be used to give people a green, brown or grey tone. If people look green, then they’re aliens and should be viewed as ‘intruders’ to Earth. If people look grey, they’re dead and belong in a morgue. Under no other situation is it appropriate for skin to have those tones.
- Selective coloring (where an image is supposed to be B&W with a pop of color, but usually is flat grey with color applied incorrectly) is a very, very bad thing to do to photos. Like spandex and mullets, it was all the rage for a certain amount of time, but is now something to make people cringe, laugh at, and deny doing at all costs.
- Having a photography business is like having a needy toddler around your neck. It drives friends & family away, takes about 80 hours of your time each week, and leaves you feeling like you’re insane to even want this type of life.
- Whenever I forget a bad shooting experience, Google or Facebook is there to remind me and rub it in my face.
- Being a photographer is like being on American Idol. Just because your family & friends rave about the photos you take doesn’t mean you won’t be laughed off the stage when you try to audition. If you wholly rely on the feedback of your family & friends, then you kinda deserve to wind up on “you are not a photographer”. (Go to that website and if *any* of your photos look like the ones on that site, run to the nearest bookstore and start learning photography for real.)
Stay tuned over the next few weeks for more blog posts to give you serious advice in the hopes it will prevent you from having any of the experiences listed above.