It’s amazing how quickly you can learn new skills if you really put in the time and effort to make it happen. For a few years I’ve been dreaming of owning my own camera and being a photographer, and about a year ago I made the big purchase and bought a Nikon DSLR. I knew the real photographers shoot in manual mode not auto, so I began the adventure of learning to use my camera. At first it was frustrating because it was a lot of trial and error, but eventually I learned all the ins and outs of how to use my camera. I bought a few lenses (the 35mm 1.8 is my personal favorite) and purchased editing software (Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop) and learned to use those as well. After only a year of learning about photography, I feel like I am a decent photographer and I absolutely love the art.
I don’t say all this to brag about my photography skills because I have WAY more to learn, but I want to talk about the power of social media and the internet in general. I didn’t learn all these things by just messing around with my camera and Lightroom on my own (although I did some of that). I gained about 92% of my photography knowledge by learning from other people on social media.
I started out by finding a few photographers that I liked on social media, and just following what they did. I watched how they handled their photography businesses and the variety of photo sessions they did. Many of them post tips and suggestions for beginning photographers. They would share videos explaining how they edit their images or giving advice on what camera equipment to buy. I watched tutorials, read blogs, and tried out the things I was learning until I understood it.
Social media is a powerful tool that should not be underestimated. It’s more than just sharing that cute picture of your dog. I’ve learned so many valuable skills from following professional photographers, and I wouldn’t be where I am today if these people had not put their knowledge out there for others to benefit from it.
So far I’ve taken many photos of my sister and my friends for free, so my next step in my journey as a photographer is to take photos for paying clients. Eventually my goal is to incorporate photography into my career. I hope to have a job that lets me get outside and be creative with taking pictures because that’s what I enjoy most!