I got a little older this year an hopefully a little wiser which has left me pondering if I was to magically go back in time what advice would I give my younger self about photography. Apart from investing in three small unknown companies (Apple, Samsung and Facebook) I’ve come up with 5 top tips for my younger self.
1. Take your camera everywhere you go
Taking your camera everywhere you go will pay off in so many ways. You will learn how to use your camera and all of its idiosyncrasies, you will take lots of photos which will help to improve your photography. You might not capture every moment but you will start to see things happen before it happens and you will be better prepared to take that epic shot.
2. Canon vs Nikon vs Sony vs Fuji……..
is quite frankly bullshit! and its not worth getting into an argument over. In today’s world, everyone has a camera, its called the iPhone and Samsung. They sold more cameras than any other DSLR or Mirrorless manufacture did in 2018, sure they have a smartphone attached to them but they all have a camera. Have camera – will take photos.
I’m not sure how many DSLR or mirror less cameras were sold in 2018 but it won’t be anywhere close to these numbers from the 4th quarter of 2018, Samsung sold 70 million smartphone units and Apple sold just shy of 43 million units which begs the question. How many cameras (DSLR/Mirror less) do you see in the above photo?
3. Gear doesn’t matter
The older you get, the more you will realise that gear doesn’t matter, sure you need a camera and one or two lenses but you don’t need the best gear or the newest gear, you just need a camera to make photographs. Don’t waste your money and time except follow this simple principle – When it needs a service, get it serviced, when its broken get it repaired, when its passed broken its time to buy a new one.
4. Printing your photos is important …..and awesome
I’ve uploaded more than my fair share of the 70 million photos to Instagram everyday but if I was to stop doing photography today, my biggest regret would be that I haven’t printed enough. Having all of those photos sitting on a hard drive will only be forgotten about and never seen, never critiqued and never improved on.
5. Don’t be afraid to learn something new (or old)
There is this guy who is super passionate about his art, his eyes light up every time I talk to him about his style of photography. Even the near mention of a technique or the chemicals he uses to achieve an effect has the light in his eyes glow even brighter and he starts using his hands to talk. He is incredibly passionate and his name is Scotty, He runs The Travelling Alchemist using a really old school photographic process called “wet plate collodion” or “tintype”. I have found that after talking to him and being inspired I want to learn how he makes his photographs and develops the wet plate. So I figure the only way to see how its all done is get a portrait of my own. This shouldn’t be scary but I’m finding that I may not be as comfortable in front of the camera as I am behind it.
Bonus Tip – Photograph your loved ones…..and your fur
Don’t forget to photograph your loved ones. They’re important people in your life and they provide you with purpose and inspiration every day. They also provide a
captured great audience to practice your photography with and when that one day arrives you will have photographs you took to remember those special moments, those moments that can not be recaptured or replaced and your printed photos can be held and passed around to other family members as you remember the good times.