Almost all photographers, myself included, are self-taught. For example, in college I majored in history education; but, I always had the dream of becoming a wedding photographer, so I chased after it by reading blogs, going to workshops, second shooting, etc.
Today, on Photog Thursday, I am going to tell you the top five ways I learned how to work my camera and about photography as a whole. There are dozens of ways of developing your photography skills; just find the one that suits your personality the best.
There are a ton of local/regional/national workshops on photography, and, bettering your camera skills. One of the advantages of workshops is that they are particular-you can select the photographer you want to learn from all the way down to the style you want to try to emulate.
Whenever you sign up for a course, read the testimonials from other photographers that have attended, that way you can see if it would be a good fit. Also, read the workshop schedule, in order to make sure you are learning what you want to learn.
2) Second Shooting
Getting a job as a second shooter is a great way to build both field experience and a portfolio, especially for wedding photographers. To be a second shooter you must already be comfortable shooting manual, and, be confident to capture different perspectives during the day.
While you are second shooting, you will learn a lot about what goes on behind the scenes; for example, the timeline, wedding party and guest interaction, posing, etc. It is a great learning experience!
3) Online Courses
Online courses are great for learning at your own pace, and, from the comfort of your own home; they are perfect for people that are too busy to attend a workshop in person! Look for courses from seasoned professionals, while looking for a style of photography you adore.
Photographers offer a wide range of courses-from shooting manual, posing, lighting, etc. Just pick the one that will help you improve and better your business.
If you have the time, I totally recommend interning with another local photographer-this is in fact how I got started with photography. It is truly a hands-on experience! Not only are you consistently discussing both the photography and business side with them weekly; but, they will help you with the shooting and editing process personally.
While you are interning, it is important to build a relationship with them and be ready to go with lots of questions, because they are taking time out of their busy work schedule to work with you.
5) Photographers’ Blogs
Looking at photographers’ blogs, like this one, can give you useful content about photography and how to better your skills as a whole. They do not provide as much detail as workshops and courses; but, if you find you are loving a photographer in particular, email them about mentorship and internship opportunities.