When you get started, the photography industry can be a pretty mean place. There will be opinions coming from all angles, and some of the harshest or most confusing can often come from the professionals in the industry. I’m here to help you cut through all the rubbish, and give you a little taste of good old-fashioned honesty, so you can focus on what really matters: getting your butt in gear and becoming an amazing photographer!
1. You can take amazing photos with any camera.
Although this is true in part, what professional photographers want you to think is that you can take photographs as amazing as theirs, with your entry level DSLR instead of their thousands of pounds worth of professional gear. Why? Because they know that the only thing standing between a hobby and a career for budding photographers with heaps of talent is the gear. This is a harsh truth, professional equipment is necessary, that is why it is called professional equipment, and not entry level or semi-pro. The reason I tell you this, is that you shouldn't be frustrated with your photography because your best photo isn't as good as the photographer’s best photo, who told you that the camera doesn't make the photo, when he is using equipment with a combined value of £10,000. He didn't buy it for no reason. There is of, course, some truth in the photographer making the photo, but more on that here.
2. Professional Photographers Shouldn't need to Edit their photos.
Again, although some photographers do achieve this incredibly well, for the best part this just isn't true. The majority of professional photographers who shoot digital are shooting in RAW format, which means they are absolutely processing their photos to some extent, no matter what they tell you. Editing is not a crime, I personally think editing is an art form in itself, you can add your own ‘je ne sais quoi’ to your photos through colour correction and effects, and it is totally up to your personal taste how you choose to edit your images. Don’t be put off that you need to edit your photos a little before putting them out to the world, that does not mean you are a bad photographer!
3. Every Other Photographer Is Your Competitor.
When sending out emails to other photographers asking to second shoot weddings, you may find people to be pretty apathetic. I remember one particular email response when I first started out, from a photographer who told me that any photographer who allowed me to use photos from second shooting in my portfolio would be stupid to do so, as I would eventually be their competition. This is really not at all true. Around 250,000 people get married in the UK every year, and I only want about 20 of those max, thanks. Imagine if every photographer was your competition? What a lonely industry that would be! You will have your own style of photography, and therefore your very own pool of clients, so you can apply be best friends with other photographers without stepping on each others toes. In fact, it can do you the world of good, as your photographer friends will often refer you for weddings, or whatever other industry you are in, that they cant shoot, and vice versa, as well as learning new techniques from each other. For more information of finding your own style, click here.
4. You Have To Have Qualifications In Photography To Be A Professional.
I’m planning on doing an entire separate post on this one, so I won’t go into it too much. Here is my honest, upfront rundown of my official qualifications: I did one year at college on a photography A level course, and then quit because I wasn't getting what I wanted out of it. The rest of my education? Self taught. I am still a professional photographer. Photography is my profession. Other big shot photographers, the photography super stars, like Jasmine Star, did not get ‘qualified’. Other industry professionals may be quick to point out your lack of qualifications if you don't go to college, but if you are booking work and getting happy clients, that is the only qualification you need. You need to put in a hell of a lot of work to learn the art of photography at home, but you absolutely can do it on your own. Photography, like any other creative industry, should be run by passion, not education, so don't sweat it that your mum’s professional photographer friend turned his nose up when you told him you were starting up a photography business without (GASP) going to college or uni.
So there it is, in black and white, do with it what you will but please remember that whatever opinions come your way, what really matters is passion and creativity. Let me know if you agree, or disagree with any of these points here or on Instagram, I’d love to hear your opinions! If you think this could help any of your friends out, share it by hitting the button at the top left corner of this page!