Photography Tips

5 Things I wish i knew

photography-tips

Ive made a lot of mistakes in my career as a photographer.  More than I can list I assure you.  And i’ll continue to make them because frankly I'm still learning and I hope to always learn and grow.  But there are some things that many newbies get stuck on in the beginning, distracted by or overwhelmed by.  Thats why I thought you might like to learn from me and my mistakes if you are new to photography and are looking for advice.  Or maybe this will make you feel better about  yourself because you are already doing all these things….  hopefully some of these will help you not do what I did.


1) The latest and greatest is overrated

Photography 101 -  There is no camera or lens that will magically transform you into the next Annie Leibovitz.  

Do you know how many times I have been told that my photos must be good because I have a good camera? Too many times.  It's an innocent comment granted…. but a seriously offensive one because it implies you are only as good as your equipment.  Well why then have some people made mega bucks out of their iPhone images and even published books from them?  Also why is it that some awards go to amateur photographers who use entry level camera's and kit lens? Ahhh got you thinking now don’t I.  Maybe, just maybe it has nothing to do with your equipment? Actually I'm telling you it doesn’t.  Trust me please.  This lesson alone will save you cash.  You’re welcome.

Emotion over editing every time...

Emotion over editing every time...


Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect

2: Get intimate with your equipment

That sounded better in my head.

If you are really interested in starting a photography business try and get to know the equipment you already have.  I started out on a little holiday point and shoot.  My photos were hideous (like you will never see them - eva) but boy I knew after using that little camera what I needed.  Don’t go waisting your money on expensive cameras and lenses BEFORE you understand what it is that you need.  Oh and don’t ask the guy at JBHIFI what lens you should buy……..  that is a disaster waiting to happen. 

My first ever camera I bought was 7 years old when I upgraded to the next model.  If I needed a backup camera I’d hire one. When I have a photoshoot even now, I don’t change lenses I use the same one for the whole shoot.  That's because I know and love the 50mm because i’ve been using it for so long.  I’ve learnt how to get the best out of it, how to step in and out of a scene and not rely on a zoom.   Get to know the equipment you have well.


3)  Stop!  I said stop! comparing yourself to others

Oh my goodness.   This is the worst thing you can do to yourself.  Seriously how the heck do you think these people started out?  Taking crap photos like you!  No one buys a camera and instantly takes amazing photos.  Give the leaders in their field the respect they deserve (they spent years getting to where they are) and draw inspiration from them but please don’t compare yourself.  Its a slippery slope that you don’t want to be on.  Its incredibly soul destroying for you and all those around you who have to hear that you aren’t as good as *insert name*.  

Don’t worry if you do this, I did too.  But remember this post is about “what I wish I knew”, so learn from me and my stupid mistakes. 

Light is your friend

Light is your friend


Follow your own dreams not someone else's

Follow your own dreams not someone else's

4)  Followers = who cares

In this age of social networking and being told constantly “you need more followers” it's really hard not to get carried away or jealous when you see others having followers in the thousands. Seriously I get Instagram messages and emails daily telling me, for a small amount of money, they’ll give me more followers   Its such a con!  Don’t believe it.  Having more followers does not, I repeat, does not give an indication of talent or success.  Having a lot of followers does not always equal bookings or sales.  Some people have a small amount of followers but they have very loyal fans that are genuinely following them and interested in their product, these are the kind of followers you want to attract not the ones that are looking for a follow back…..   Try and change your focus onto what you are putting out there rather than how many people are following you.  The more effort you put into your content and the quality of it you will see your follows grow organically.


5:  Editing schmediting

The amount of time I have waisted on editing and trying out new filters and styles only to end up back where I started is embarrassing.  

Going back to my original comment about knowing your equipment and no magic pill to looking like an Annie Leibovitz portrait…. remember? It applies to editing too, at the end of the day its just another tool like your camera.  If you take an ugly photo there is no magic filter (some might say it's like polishing a poo, not me I'd never say something like that) to disguise an otherwise poor image.....  But what happens is, the photo ends up being about the editing and not the subjects.  For some that's important but for me its the opposite of what I am trying to achieve.  

The key to a beautiful image that captures someones interest is firstly the connection in my subject, then the light and composition.... not editing.  The only way you can achieve this is lots of practice.  Once you have nailed beautiful light & interesting composition editing takes on a different meaning, usually consisting of minimal changes because you have done all of the hard work in camera.  If someone comments on my editing I know something is missing......  The point of this is to tell you - don't waist valuable time in front of the computer.   Get out and take photos, nail light and composition and you'll thank me later..... I promise.

Photography 101 - Lighting and composition = wow.

Photography 101 - Lighting and composition = wow.

I hope you enjoyed reading my list of "don't do's".....

One more is.........Don't miss out on more blog posts like this.  Sign up below and be the first in line to receive the goss, new blog posts and tips. Bx

Styling tips for your photoshoot

Without telling you what to wear (I'd never do that to you!...... well actually if you asked I would haha)

I have shared some tips and hints to start you off in choosing the best outfits for you and your family.  Hope this helps!  Feel free to share.

Bx

Styling-tips-for-your-photoshoot-brisbane
Styling-tips-for-your-family-photos-brisbane

Photography 101 : How to take a natural photo....

Parents, how do you take a gorgeous *natural* photo of your little one?  

My little niece Athena pondering life and its meaning and whether the flowers are edible.....

My little niece Athena pondering life and its meaning and whether the flowers are edible.....

They do say never work with children or animals....  honestly, I think thats rubbish.  Children and animals don't have self esteem issues in front of the camera, they don't worry that you'll get their double chin or fat arms........   what they don't love is being posed and told what to do constantly.  

So what I say to you is this....

First: Have the spot in mind that you think is pretty.  Make sure the light is even (all shade, or all sun, no dappled light unless you are trying to be all arty farty).  

Second: Choose the outfit and have fun with your little one getting dressed, you don't even have to tell them that you are going to take a photo of them.  

Third: Have your camera ready, exposures set way before your little one steps in front of your camera.  This is important because kids get bored very quickly.  Very.important.step.com

Fourth: Encourage them to stand in the beautiful spot you had in mind, don't rush it..... now leave them there to do their thing.  Don't ask them to smile or say cheese........ pleaseeeeee don't do that.  Just see what happens, you might be pleasantly surprised.  You might have to try it again and thats ok, these things take practice.  But it works for me most of the time like it did with Athena.  

Let me know what you think..... B

HAIR BY LIVIE
IG Little Olive Styling
E littleolivestyle@gmail.com

How do I pose for my photoshoot?

By Brisbane Family Photographer - Britt Spring

Luke, Marie-Claire & Marco in the soft light of Brisbane {Brisbane Portrait Photographer}

Luke, Marie-Claire & Marco in the soft light of Brisbane {Brisbane Portrait Photographer}

Posing... eeek!  how scary.  I have not met one client who has said they love posing for photographs.  Ok yes I lie, I have they are called professional models!!!!!  But hey if i looked like a model i'd be happy to pose it up for photos too but instead when a camera is in my face I look like I've bitten into a rotten egg.  That's because most of us are normal looking and have normal insecurities.  Its called being human.  

So I wanted to share with you how I get my clients looking so relaxed.  I understand how scary this process can seem and I want to put your mind at ease.....

Achieved in 10 minutes, what a gorgeous family!

Achieved in 10 minutes, what a gorgeous family!

  • One word.... drugs.  Lots and lots of drugs.  KIDDING. haha.  Now focus.
  • Being prepared....  whats that got to do with posing?  Well being prepared for the shoot helps us relax way before we get to the location.  Before every shoot I send my clients an email that will help you get ready for the shoot and hopefully give you ideas that you hadn't thought of.   
  • Trust me.... How do you trust me a person you don't know?  Well one way is to get acquainted with the person who is photographing you.  Check out their work, get to know their style, what do their previous clients think of them?  (Check out my "Raves" link) Look at their images, do they look "posey"?  Once you feel safe knowing you love your photographers style you can relax a bit.  Deep breath. 
  • The "not" pose.  So to be honest posing isn't about tilting you head at a certain angle and telling you to smile.  Its about capturing a moment in time, a real moment between you and your loved one. This is something I set up in a very natural way.... 
  • How can a pose be "natural". Well its relatively easy actually.  My goal on the day is to get you in amazing light and then guide you into a "pose" thats real and natural and let you be yourself.  Example photo above article..... pretty light check, sweet comfortable pose check, natural expressions check, dog looking cute check.  Its that easy.  
If only you knew how nervous Dom was on the day.... and he nailed it.

If only you knew how nervous Dom was on the day.... and he nailed it.

Ok these two weren't nervous at all, I think they might of actual forgotten I was there... :)

Ok these two weren't nervous at all, I think they might of actual forgotten I was there... :)

  • What a lot of people don't realise is that you don't have to be looking at the camera to achieve a beautiful portrait.  I will often start you off looking away from the camera and then when I feel you are comfy i'll guide your eyes back at me.  
  • The point to all of this is I approach every client with the same goals but allow you the freedom to be yourself.  I gauge how you are feeling the whole time we are together and never push you beyond what you are comfortable doing.  At the end of the day I really really want you to have fun and enjoy the experience!

So I hope this has helped with any nerves.  Next post I'm thinking about is "what to expect during your shoot with me" 

Bx