Dear Beginning Photographer... Don't Make the Same Mistakes I Did.
I was on facebook the other day. I see an ad for a photographer that was selling a discount for her services for $40 for an entire session.
Of course I was intrigued. I clicked on her profile and the only images that she had up, were some blurry photos and random people standing in the middle of the street next to cars giving the "#1" sign with their figure. It was like those people were trying to endorse the photographer.
I felt so bad for her. Her watermark was neon red and covered half the page. Her photos were highly photoshopped. Shadows covered peoples faces in the sun. Her subjects were squinting. The saddest part is that her cover photo said "professional" photographer. It reminded me of when I started out.
Honestly, I don't even call myself a professional. A professional is someone that does it full time. I am a mom full time and I run a small business. A professional is someone that is completely comfortable in EVERY situation. Honestly, I still get surprised!
But I am very careful about using that word. At least I am now. 5 year ago, I thought that buying a camera and the latest version of photoshop that I was set! How little did I know.
Below are the worst images that I could come up with on my facebook feed. They make me want to barf now. But I am going to be brutally honest about my mistakes so that you won't have to make them too!
Watch my VLOG about this point here:
Not nailing your focus is a HUGE issue. No one cares about the image unless your focus is sharp! Getting a prime lens and a powerful camera is key!
I thought that putting a baby on a blanket on the couch in a dark living room would be a great photo. But natural light is the key to flattering your subject!
I would never put a lens flare into my picture now. I hate putting unnatural things into my images in photoshop. I only like to enhance the image's beauty naturally.
I thought it would be cool to do vintage edits for every single photo I took! I never do that now. I believe that every photo should be classy enough to hang in your house 20 years later.
Photoshop (or lightroom) is there to enhance your photo, not to make it be so unrealistic looking that your subject looks fake.
Having a huge watermark can ruin your photo. I honestly don't like even putting one on. But I know that it's important for my branding to do this online. I don't even care if people steal my photos now, I just want them to be familiar with my brand and my logo- kind of like pepsi or coke. Every one knows the brand because of the logo.
I rarely use flash, but when I do, I want it to be on-point. Off camera flash knowledge is so important for wedding photography.
I thought it would be cool to put a lens flare, a vintage edit and a blur into the photo, thinking that it was romantic. But now, I see it for what it is: cheesy.
Having a brand, a logo, a website and social media that all flows together is so important for people to recognize your style and heart. You are the brand, not your business. You want your logo and all media that you put out to represent your colors, your fonts, and your style.
You want your logo to be simple, classy and recognizable. I chose my logo to be my website address. I hate trying to google people all the time. I just want to see the website EVERYWHERE, so that I can remember it. I used to have pink and orange as my colors, but since I was doing a lot of guys and families I switched to a more gender neutral color scheme.
Also, I wanted to name my business something generic. I didn't want something like "butterfly love photography." or "ABC 123 photography." Because I wanted something to translate into many kinds of photography- not just babies or kids.
I would love for you to let know if any of these tips have helped you in your photography journey!
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