Camera 101 – The Basics

In summer 2011, I ordered my first DSLR. The Canon Rebel came in this sexy, sleek black and red box. I thought I was big time.

And guys. I took some shitty photos. Heck, I’m still taking shitty photos…just not as many as I used to.

I wanted to share you guys what I’m doing to ever-so-slowly get better at this little thing we call photography and how you can, too.abbey_OKC3

1. Don’t believe the hype. Lots of folks around the ‘net say full frame sensors are the way to go. They say buy the biggest and baddest camera body, paired with a brand new top-of-the-line lens and *poof* you’re a photographer. Not entirely the case (I love this post about why).  I’m still holding on to my crop sensor and still loving it. She’s a big girl, she’s capable of more than she let’s on. It’s all about your skills and how you’re working and growing behind the camera.

Also, I buy lots of used equipment. Used lenses are cheaper but usually impeccably cared for. Plus, I kind of dig meeting up with local photogs and hearing their advice, stories, etc. and buying some equipment they’ve outgrown.

2. Get legit. This is a hobby for me and sometimes a nice, small side gig that affords me some pocket change. If you want to really do this professionally and full-time, I would suggest drawing up some contracts for your clients and familiarizing yourself and your business with the legality of what you do. Because it’s all fun and games until you shoot a wedding, the bride hates her photos and then proceeds to take you to court for all you’re worth.

Of course, that’s not likely to happen. But it is possible. If you’re aiming to run a business, protect yourself and your finances. Contracts are a great way to set and manage expectations for yourself and your clients, and ensure you get paid.

3. Sharing is caring. For whatever reason, creatives can get super territorial and defensive about their work and their clients. Guys, newsflash: there is plenty to go around. Plenty of clients, plenty of creativity, plenty of money. By simply shifting your attitude from a place of defensiveness to an attitude of abundance, you open yourself up to greater and more diverse opportunities. Share your tips and process with others instead of being shy or secretive. Encourage others in the game. Celebrate the growth of others. It’s good karma and teaching is the only way to truly master anything.


P.S. – These photos were shot with a Canon t2i and an 85 mm 1.8 lens. I almost always edit images in Photoshop…I run a clean edit color base action and then top that off with some eye brighteners and (if needed) some skin correcting.

What camera Q’s do you have? What photog skills are you working on? Tell me in the comments!



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