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Photo by Grant Benson

VOX 5: How to Get Into Photography

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My name is Grant Benson, and I am a 17 year old photographer. I’ve been interested in photography for the better part of 4 years, as it has been a passion of mine. 

Originally I started off by wanting to be a director, but eventually made my way into photography. When I wanted to be a director, I only did photography as a hobby. But one day, I saw the most beautiful rainbow and sky combination that convinced me to fully transition into photography. I started off bad, taking pictures that were poorly composed and overexposed, but ever since then, I’ve been taking more and more photos in hopes to improve my craft. Now I’m a photographer that has done multiple photoshoots, and has even done work for a business. With these tips, I hope you can improve your skills as you start photography.

Tip #1: Inspiration

Photography isn’t as difficult as people make it out to be. It all starts with finding inspiration that makes you want to start. For me that was seeing different settings and environments. All of it was so beautiful that I wanted to save the moment. Your inspiration could be anything, as it’s something that gives you motivation to start taking pictures. There are many places in Atlanta that are very picturesque that can give inspiration. The picture on the left was one of my main inspirations for starting photography. Like previously stated, inspiration can be anything.

Tip #2: Equipment

When starting photography most would think that you would use some super expensive camera, as it would give you the best quality. I thought the same when I first started as well. Soon after I realized that I could take great quality pictures on my phone. While having a nice, fancy camera can help you, early on in your photography journey your phone will be the best tool at your disposal. Most phone cameras have some of the same settings that an expensive camera would have. For example, the Android S21 allows you to change the white balance, aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. These settings are some of the most important settings for photography, and to have access to them on a phone camera is a great advantage for beginner photography.

Tip #3: Discovering types of photography

 

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Now that you have your camera, you can find out what type of photographer you want to be. Different types include Portrait Photography, Sports Photography, Macro Photography, Product Photography, and more. While you don’t have to stick to one type of photography, focusing on one can help you master your craft and increase your portfolio. I started off with Portrait Photography, but I have now started to branch into Product Photography, which you’ll see above. Find whichever type works best for you.

Tip #4: Start taking pictures

Now that you have your camera and know the type of photography that you want to do, start taking pictures. I know it sounds difficult at first, but it’s the best way to start. Taking that first photo will be a good start, but as you take more it’ll only get easier. According to Los Angeles-based photographer and Greater Studios founder Decatur Dan, he first started by messing around with his cousin’s camera and was “instantly falling in love.” He then goes on to state, after losing his first camera and feeling lost, that his community got him a new one. He said this caused him to take his “work as a photographer more seriously because I felt what it was like to lose privilege to my passion.”

Tip #5: Get started

Finally, you have done all of the aforementioned things to get started. But there is one more thing you should decide: if you want this to be your career or if this is just a hobby. If you want this to just be a hobby, then you can go ahead and start your photography journey. 

On the other hand if you want to become a photographer, then there are a few more things you should do. These are finding clients to hire you, making a contract for your clients, and promoting your work. To find clients, you can start by asking your family/friends if they’re okay with you taking pictures of them or their things. By doing this, you can build a name for yourself and get people to hire you. Once people start hiring you, making a contract will be very beneficial to your career. A contract will detail your prices/price per photo. With pricing, don’t be afraid of what you’re asking for. Your work is important to your client and getting paid for your work is important to you. Now that you have your photos, posting and promoting your work on social media can help greatly. Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok can help your name and work get out there, and this will allow more people to come to you.

I hope these tips were useful to you as you get your start into photography, but there is one last thing you should know about photography: have fun. Having fun is the most important part of photography. As long as you’re having fun, then your photography will only improve as you fall in love with your craft.

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