Digital Camera’s: Nikon D810, Nikon D700, Nikon F100
Film Camera's: Pentax 645N, Nikon F100
Len’s: 35 mm 1.4G, 50 mm 1.4G, 85 mm 1.8G, 105mm 2.8 macro
Bags: Lowepro Pro Roller x200 AW Rolling Bag, Shootsac,
Kelly Boy Bag
Other Equipment: Nikon SB 910, Fotodiox Pro Video Light, Ona Strap
I went to USU to major in Speech and Language Pathology. About halfway through school I found a love for photography and was at a crossroads about what to do as far as my path for life. In the end I decided to finish my degree in Speech while working as a photographer with full intentions of going full time after graduation. In those years I spent my time slowly building up my equipment and second shooting for anyone that would have me. It wasn’t until the year before graduation that I started shooting my first solo weddings.
I consider myself half self-taught and half formally educated. Photography is an art so like many other artists there is a time for something formal and a time for soul searching and just straight up practicing whenever you get a chance. I did take a black and white film class in college where we were in charge of developing and printing our own film. Although in the real world I couldn’t think of a single instance where I would need to develop my film (especially in this digital age), learning how to develop actually helped me a lot with my editing and the way I saw contrast in an image. Photoshop tools like burning and dodging actually come from terms used in a lab so it was very helpful to learn that first hand.
Other than that one college class, most of my education has come from paying for mentoring with other photographers, attending workshops, taking online courses, and reading books. Everything else is self taught! I read somewhere that you have to take at least 100,000 photos to really start understanding your own photography. I don’t know if I took that many photos when I was starting out, but I will say that with every shoot I definitely saw improvement and learned a little more about my camera and how to shoot in different kinds of light. The more you practice the faster you will see results!
Most photography professionals are willing to have an extra hand at weddings and sessions. Take advantage of that! Email all the local photographers that inspire you and ask them if you can tag along at a shoot, hold bags, or even be a second shooter. This is prime time to see how someone works, interacts with clients, and gets the results they get. You may even have a minute or two in between to ask questions.
Definitely. You can only get so much by second shooting and reading things on your own. Sometimes you just need someone to sit down and show you exactly how to do something. I remember starting out and really wanting to learn to shoot my subjects backlit. I also felt like my workflow was so long and needed some fine tuning so I scheduled a mentoring session to learn how to do just that! After just 3 hours of one-on-one teaching I felt like a whole new photographer who was now able to edit more time efficiently as well as get those beautiful backlit results in my work :)
I’m always discovering new tricks and am all about sharing experiences and advice with others. Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to know my thoughts as well as get some questions of your own answered!
I cull all my photos using PhotoMechanic then I edit them in Adobe Lightroom with my own recipe of presets. I try to get my exposure as accurate as I can in camera so that my post-processing is efficient and only enhances the natural beauty of the original photo.
Nicole’s Classes (nicolesclasses.com)- great resource that really breaks down all the camera tech talk to understandable terminology.
Tuesday’s Together Groups- find your local Tuesday’s Together group on the Rising Tide Society website and meet some amazing entrepreneurs in your area! What a wonderful resource that can help you on a more local level.
Do you have a question that I haven’t answered or topic you would like covered in a blog post? I would love to hear it!
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org