10 Things To Have To Get Started in Photography

Photography can be expensive. Whether it's a hobby or profession, new photographers are always looking for ways to cut cost by buying off brand items or even DYI (Do It Yourself) projects. Don't be discouraged but before you jump in head first, here's a few things to consider.


Here's a list of my 10 things that I believe a person should have before they make the plunge into photography.


1. The Passion - If you have the drive and want to create gorgeous landscapes, breathtaking human interactions, or stunning portraiture then this path will be self rewarding and an addiction that will last for years to come. "Keep Calm and Carry On" to number 2.


2. Focus (Starting Point) - My focus when I started was landscape photography. There is always something captivating about being able to transport yourself to another location by simply looking into a photograph. I very quickly learned what makes a good portrait by taking hundreds of photos of my daughter. Who doesn't like a good kid shot anyway? Are you into landscapes? ....still life? .....macro? What puts you behind the camera?


3. Camera - Let's be honest. You had to expect this one to pop up somewhere? Do you have to go out and spend $3000 or more on the latest camera and shiny lenses? Heck no. Will they help you take better photos? Absolutely not. Oh wait, Sean!!! What about $500. I need a $500 camera right? Guess what, the answer is still no. There's no camera in the world that takes it's own photos for what you're trying to do. YOU take the photos. Buy what you can afford, and we’ll go from there.


4. Computer - Unless you’re shooting film, you’re going to need a computer. If you’re reading this then you’re probably good to go.


5. Editing Software - The photos that come out of your camera shouldn’t be the final result, even if your shooting in JPEG format (which I hope you change to RAW). So for that, you’re going to need some sort of editing software. There are a number of free solutions out there, but if you have the means, then I recommend Adobe Lightroom for the processing control that you'll really want.


6. Website - You need somewhere online to flex your photographic muscles and show off your newly taken shots. No I'm talking about facebook (more on that in a minute) but a real showcase of you and your photos. You could go and spend a few hundred bucks on a well put together site that you had some super geek create for you, and that's all fine and dandy, but you could also start out on a free site like Flickr or 500px.


7. Social Media - Much like your website, social media is a great way to put yourself out there and get your photos noticed. One problem with this is, everyone else has had the same idea. You're going to be a single fish in an ocean of fish schools and some will be better than you (take note and figure out what makes them better than you) and there will be alot that won't be better than you (try not to gloat, we all start somewhere). Just because there's a saturation of photos and photographers out on social media doesn't mean that you shouldn't cowboy up. C'mon cupcake.


8. Guts - It takes a bit of nerve to lay it all on the line and expose yourself with the photos that you create. "Will others like my work?" Let me leave you with this quote: "Use the talents that you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those who sang best".


9. Determination - This is a big one. You're going to fail. Everyone does. It's only when you're down, do you find out what you're made of. Not everyone is going to like your photos. That's fine. You don't shoot for everyone. You should only ever shoot for yourself. Shoot what makes you happy. One of my more popular photos in my gallery, my Mother doesn't like. I'm fine with that. I didn't shoot it for her. I shot it for myself and it's a photograph that I'm very, very proud of. You can do it. Keep trying.


10. Never Stop Learning - To me this isn't just a photography thing, it's a life mantra. There's always something out there that you can learn, when it comes to photography. The more you know, the better prepared that you are. You may NEVER want to do portraits... but one day, your significant other, or someone close may ask you.... be ready. Lean everything that you can. Always.


Does anything on this list surprise you? I hope that you have a better insight into what lies ahead. I hope that you keep moving in a direction that makes you happy, and if it falls with photography, then good for you. Share your view of the world with everyone. We all have a story to tell, photographers just choose to tell it with pictures.








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