Quote of the Month:

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
{Past Quotes}

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Being a Photographer

Being a photographer is a learning process. You don't just wake up one day, decide go buy a fancy camera and call yourself a photographer. Sure, you could do that, and quite a lot a people do, but it takes a lot of time and practice to become a good photographer.

I have referred to myself as a "professional" photographer for the last year or so, but that doesn't mean that I know everything about photography. There are always new techniques and new technology to learn. Photography itself can be taught (point camera at target, push shutter button) but seeing is much harder to master. Every photographer has her/his own way of shooting- be it a certain angle the fancy, a certain lens, etc. As Garry Winogrand once said, "You have a lifetime to learn technique. But I can teach you what is more important than technique, how to see; learn that and all you have to do afterwards is press the shutter."

I was actually given a great opportunity today to learn from a photographer that I consider to be a better photographer than me. Luis Carranza of LC Photography. He has been in the business longer and has much more experience and knowledge about equipment than I do. He found my ad on Craigslist offering my photographic services and wrote me an e-mail asking if I would like to assist him with a wedding he was shooting today. He said he would need help with some minor shooting and with lighting. I have never worked with any sort of lighting on my own. When I worked at The Picture People the studio lighting was set a certain way and I never had to adjust anything- not a great learning experience in that aspect. I really wanted to help him, but I didn't want to burden him with my inexperience. I let him know that I had pretty much zero experience with lighting, but he said it would be no problem and I agreed to help him.

It was such a great experience for me getting to basically shadow him for the first part of the festivities. I even arrived quite a bit earlier than he had asked me to and he gave me a rundown of all his equipment and how it worked. He explained how a lot of the lighting worked and taught me a bit about the lenses he had. Throughout the day I assisted him by helping switch out lenses, holding lights for photos, and carrying camera equipment; in the evening I helped by taking candid photos of the guests at the reception while he took the more important shots. He gave me lots of tips and tricks for lighting and just for photography in general! He did pay me for helping him today, but I feel like I got the better half of the deal! I got to see how a "real" wedding photographer works- which is something I've never actually seen before. I've never been to a wedding with a hired photographer, so I've never actually seen how others do it. He was a really great guy and gave me much advice on how to shoot, on lighting, and how to expand my business. I can't wait to see the results of today's shoot!

I only hope that I helped him as much as he helped me today.

Today was a small stepping stone on my way to becoming a better photographer. I've gained much knowledge, but I still have a lot to learn. I see many conventions and workshops in my future. Being a photographer is a never ending cycle of learning and I plan on continuing and expanding my education... the only thing standing in my way is money :P


P.S. Hey look! An actual blog post! :O
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