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Interested in Photography? Read this.

March 24, 2011

Me! Photo Credit: Nicole Roberts at Vintage1981photography.net

On March 12, my friend Nicole and I photographed our first wedding. It was an incredible experience and I am so grateful she asked for my assistance. The wedding was held in the beautiful town of Channel Islands, CA, about an hour north of Los Angeles on the coast. It took place at a clubhouse of a gated community and had about 80 attendees. Photographing a wedding is no easy venture and because it was my first, it took hours of preparation and practice.

I’ve always had a love for photography and when I moved to Los Angeles it was the perfect time to turn my passion into a practice. After extensive research, I purchased my first DSLR camera, a Canon Rebel XSi, in the spring of 2010. The moment the camera was in my hands I was in love.  I have since only taken one photography class at Santa Monica City College due to the exorbitant amount of work I have for my graduate program, but am excited to learn photography more in depth after graduation in May.

Here are some valuable tips I can offer novice photographers:

1)   Do you research & pick your passion(s). Whether it’s weddings, engagement shoots, family portraits or landscape photography, find what you enjoy photographing. This will aid in helping to choose what equipment to purchase.  Both Amazon and B & H Photo offer great reviews and advice for purchasing equipment in your price range.

2)   Learn your camera. Buying an SLR is extremely exciting, but it’s much more than a costly investment. After a full year, I am still learning about my Canon. It can be both a fun and stressful process, but once you begin paid gigs, knowing the ins and outs of  your camera is priceless.

3) Network. Have fun with this! Take a class, do a weekend seminar and look for photography events in your area. Photo groups can also be found anywhere online from Meetup.com to Craigslist.org. It can be more fun (and educational) to have practice sessions with others who are learning or with more advanced photographers.

4) Practice, a lot. If you are into portrait photography, practice with friends, family member, pets, people you have met networking, anyone!  If you enjoy landscape or wildlife photography, plan as many day trips as possible to different locations. This is a great way to build a portfolio and, more importantly, build confidence. 

5)   Invest in editing software. Whether it’s Photoshop, Photostudio or one of the other popular photo editing software, it’s a worthy  investment. No photographer is going to take a perfect picture every time, and a software helps to create those picture perfect moments.

Photography is fun, exciting, challenging and rewarding. I am meeting with Nicole this weekend for an editing session of our wedding pictures, I will be sure to post a link to them ASAP. In the meantime, if you are looking for some pictures I am looking for the practice!

By Jenna Markowick

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