Some people (me too, of course) can be scared of the scale of the goal they want to achieve. Sometimes you think that it is almost impossible to become successful in the area of your interest. For example, you have a dream to become a well-known professional photographer, you really like to take pictures but… You are only at the beginning of your career and your way to the top is sooooo long and difficult. But take a deep breath and you will realise that every great person was at this point too. Everyone starts from zero and it is a huge work to become a hero at some point. To inspire you to make first steps in this long way to being a pro photographer I will share with you my thoughts about common amateur mistakes. And hopefully, you will have an opportunity to avoid a lot of them.
TO BUY THE MOST EXPENSIVE CAMERA
When you start to take pictures and decide to become an amateur photographer, you might think that the more expensive camera you use the better. And the faster you will be progressing on your way to the fame. That’s not true. I believe that it’s much easier and more effective to start with a simple mirrorless camera that has a lot of automatic modes. Because the picture is not only the result of finding the best angle or subject, it’s the result of your technical knowledge about how camera works. And to get this experience you can attend special courses or just start taking pictures with a camera that is easy to set up. When you feel comfortable and think that it’s the right moment to update your gear – go for it.
Here is a couple of ideas of what to start with. These cameras are good options in the matter of functionality and price. Panasonic nowadays doing a really good job, they are using famous Leica lenses but it costs reasonable money. I would recommend choosing cameras with RAW option and 4K video capability.
TO TAKE PICTURES FROM TIME TO TIME
If you aim to be a successful professional photographer it’s necessary should be a huge part of your life. I think that it’s impossible to turn your hobby into your professional career without taking it for an actual job. To do so make sure that you practice as much as possible, read articles, watch videos, attend workshops or even go to an actual photography course. It will definitely give a better result than just taking pictures from time to time and dreaming.
TO TRY DOING EVERYTHING AT ONCE
You have a camera that has an option to capture video, good zoom lens and you feel like nothing is impossible for you. You also feel a temptation to try taking portraits and landscapes, animals and parties, macro shots and night sky pictures. So much interesting things around you!
I know what I’m talking about because I feel like this even now. I can’t tell I specialise at something particular. I really like being a blogger with a huge variety of different scenarios for taking pictures. I started as a fashion photographer and shot a lot of pictures of models on a runway. Then I switched to travel photography and street style. That was good to learn something new every time, but I’m pretty sure that it’s easier to be successful in something particular.
Figure out what is the most interesting subject for you. It would be great if this thing is easy to find. For example, if you want to be a wildlife photographer it is good to have a cat at home to practice. Try not to focus on something that is difficult to access like fashion weeks or jewellery. It can be your next step, but at the beginning, you can ask your friends to pretend they are your models.
POST-PRODUCTION IS NOT IMPORTANT
It’s up to you how every picture will look like. And one of the most important things to achieve the right impression is to be good at post-production and editing. Sometimes even not outstanding shot can turn into a hit with a smart approach. My advice – always take pictures in RAW format if possible. After that use your favourite software to make a picture look better. Nowadays even iPhone can take pictures in RAW and edit them.
I discovered the way to edit pictures in my current style just a couple of months ago. It took me more than 5 years to understand how I want my photos to look like and how to achieve that. All this time I was experimenting, watching tutorials, asking for advice, reading articles and so on. I tried to improve as much as possible.
SHARE YOUR WORK WITH EVERYONE
At the beginning you feel so inspired and happy, so you decide to share your first works with the world. Stop! It’s not a good idea. It’s not the right time for that. In our modern world, it’s vital to make a good first impression. So if you started your own Facebook page and upload quite average pictures, it’s a one-way ticket to nowhere. It’s much better to show your pictures to your family and friends, ask for feedback, wait and get more practice. You definitely will become better and judge yourself more strictly. When you will be ready to show the results to the world, go for it!
If you aim for average results it is almost impossible to achieve really outstanding goals. And it’s very important to be self-confident. Of course, you want your pictures to be published in Vogue, National Geographic or on the billboard in the city centre. But it’s also important to understand that it can be achieved by hard work and with help of luck. The world of fashion or advertising is quite small and to enter this market you should be very very lucky.
But don’t think it’s impossible. Just try to concentrate on steps that should be done on the way to the top. It’s good to start with a local or student newspaper, Facebook communities and small competitions. Another useful idea is to make friends with other more experienced photographers and experts to learn their experience.
I KNOW BETTER THEN THE CLIENT
My friends offered me to put this advice on my list. Sometimes amateur photographers think that they know better how to achieve the goal for a particular shooting. But remember one of the most important rules – the client is always right. It doesn’t matter you have fresh look or excellent idea. At the beginning of your career, it’s just better to agree with clients and try to gain more experience.
TO SUM IT UP
I hope that my list of amateur mistakes will help you to avoid a couple of them in your career. Maybe you feel more inspired and want to take more pictures. Or you decided to buy your first camera. Because this topic is massive, it’s almost impossible to share all my thoughts in one post. That is why if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments or on Facebook. It will be pleasure to answer them!
And here are some examples of really good cameras. We are using couple of them, some of them we are dreaming about.