An open letter to a new photographer...
To any new photographer out there,
I'm so excited that you're beginning your journey with photography. This is a big step, it's one that will completely transform your life if you let it. Looking through the lens will not only transform your creative eye, but your entire outlook on life in general. You'll begin to see life in a new and beautiful light. You will start to notice the beauty in the small moments, and fall so much more in love with the world.
If you're just starting out and hope to eventually photograph for profit one day, start by photographing anything and everything around you. Take every opportunity that comes your way. Photograph your Uncle George's 60th birthday party. Take your cousin's baby pictures. Bring your camera along to a concert. Ask your friends to model for you. Grab a couple and take some engagement photos. Bring your camera on a road trip and give landscape photography a try. Take pictures of your house and see if real estate photography is your thing. Find your niche. In order to succeed in the field, you have to figure out what you enjoy photographing the most. When you just start out, it may be hard to pick. You'll find that in time, you'll develop a love for photographing certain subjects. After you develop that passion, start to build your portfolio. Keep shooting! Don't stop!
Maybe you're patiently waiting for your time to grow, or you want your work to be recognized by others. You'll get there, I promise. It takes lots of time, hard work, and consistency to get to where you'd like to be. Don't give up. Stay inspired! Follow other photographers along on their journeys. Ask them questions, ask the internet questions! Keep learning. Which brings me to the next part...
Remember that everyone has to start somewhere. That same photographer who may have clients pouring in from every angle, they started right where you are this very second. They wanted more too, they wanted to grow. They wished they had it easy. As bad as we want it to, success doesn't happen overnight. Dreams don't work unless you do! It's with hard work, consistency, and confidence that so many are so successful today.
If you're really serious about this journey and you want to level up, make it legal, get a website, invest in an editing software and gain experience with photo retouching and adjustments. Make it legal by creating contracts to protect yourself and follow the steps to establish your business. Create a website online for free or at such a low cost! Having a portfolio online is better than no portfolio at all. There are a number of editing softwares out there with great options on pricing-- especially if you're still a student. Spend your time editing your images. Experiment with the colors. Find images that you like from other photographers and try to replicate their editing styles on your own work. Not to mention that it's all a lot of fun!
Don't give up. Seriously, this one is huge. It's so easy to get distracted with school work, your job, etc. Life gets in the way. I get it. That's totally okay! But if you give up, how do you expect to grow? How do you expect to get better at what you hope to succeed in doing? Write a note to yourself and tape it on your mirror, reminding yourself why you started to begin with. Print out images of others work that you admire and collage them into your notebook. Pray about it. Write about it. Add reminders on your phone to pick up your camera. Do your thing in life, however, if you ever find yourself struggling in the field, always remember why you started to begin with.
Best of luck. You won't regret this miraculous journey you're about to take!