Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Helpful Insight for the Newer Photographers

So, I wouldn't consider myself a 'newbie' photographer anymore, but I was and what I wish for the most... was that I knew then what I know now.  Here are some things that got me through trying to figure out what the heck I was doing.

Presets. Oh my gosh, all the presets (VSCO, LXC, Redleaf, SMAL, etc). You want to have the best ones (so you can produce images like your favorite photogs) but they cost so much money, and well... if you're like me you can't afford all of them, let alone 1 of them. So, I scoured the internet and I think found a good one. This website offers free 'film' presets... Travlr Film Presets. Inside are so many goodies. Agfa Vista, Kodak, Polaroid, etc...  They might not be the exact replica of 'film' that VSCO and Mastin Labs offer... but for free, who's going to complain?

Comparing yourself to other, more successful, photographers.  Oh, I was (maybe slightly still am) guilty of this. I have quite a few favorite photographers and they are just killing it with personal & professional images. Every time I produced an image that I thought was worthy of these photogs, it was either radio silence OR they would share an image that would make my jaw drop. LOL. Either way, it was disheartening. The more and more experience I gained, the more I noticed that I was hating on my work because theirs was better. Then it clicked. "Well, duh, theirs are better... They've had years of experience compared to my months of learning". So, I took a step back. I had to get out of the mindset that I had to produce what they're producing. What really helped me was helping a friend figure out her new camera, and be there for any questions she had. That truly helped me open eyes to the #CommunityOverCompetition . After that, I just knew that with time I'm going to grow. I'm going to find my style. I'm going to take photographs that are going to make people's heart sing the way others' images have made my heart sing. I am slowly starting to do that. 
So, hold on... it'll get better!

Finding groups on Facebook to join. There are lots of them! Most of them have a community of photographers that want the same thing... To share their beautiful images in a safe place.  Some of them have themes to get you out of a creative rut OR out of your safe zone. Then there are others that have other photographers that may not be so pleasant, lol. So, I'll suggest you enter groups at your own risk. The most friendly ones I'm part of are... The Artistic SoulSoul Focus, and Snap Maven. If you're looking to be inspired by amazing photographers from around the world, I recommend LooksLikeFilm. When you have questions, I recommend this group... BirdPack - A Community of Badass Female Solopreneurs. Great people in there that are willing to help answer almost anything!

Facebook Pods. YES! It's a real thing. The purpose of a Facebook pod is that it should produce higher engagement and reach for your photography (or other business) page. When the people in your pod like, react, and/or comment on your page it could help generate more likes and comments on your posts (it'll show in their newsfeed and reach their friend's pages, and so on). However, if you get in with the right group, it becomes more than that. I am part of one. The ladies in mine are from different states and they are the best to learn from & chat with. They have taught me so much, never made my questions sound dumb or a hassle to answer, and I've gained so much confidence from them. I'm the one with the least experience in my pod, and nobody treats me or my images any differently. And the best part is that I found a group of ladies that have never stated that they are better than another in our group. It's the truest form if #CommunityOverCompetition. I truly recommend a Facebook pod.  

Starting out doesn't have to be so scary. These are the things I wish I knew a couple years ago when I was starting out. Maybe these tips will help you, right from the start. :) 

Until next time,
  Kelli, from Kelli Hiser Photography