Things have escalated so quickly the past few months with my photography - I'm still in shock to be quite honest. One minute I was just taking sh*tty blog photos and then next I was on the phone to a professional photographer talking about building a business...oh how things can change.
And yes I'd love to make my photography into a business but the key thing, like always, is experience. Experience, experience, experience...damn I hate that word. However, in this case it's different. My neighbour got in contact with her friend, who's recently created her own photography business, who then got in contact with me and offered to mentor me. Eight weeks later and I've done my first proper shoot as a second shooter and my first wedding - that's gone fast!
My mentor is a huge believer in helping woman succeed in the business industry and that's exactly what she's offered to help me with; the list goes on with the amount of things she'll help me with. I couldn't be more grateful with the opportunities she's led me to and I can't begin to imagine what's to come in the future. Obviously there are a lot of things I need to work on, which includes a photography website, and build my confidence with taking photographs of people.
What have I learnt so far?
Photography is so much more complicated than just the press of a button
Obviously I knew a fair bit about photography and the technical skills from A Level but I've learnt a whole new level of photography since. They miss some key factors to photography, no matter what subject you're shooting. Even though the amount I've learned this year has confused me a hell of a lot, it's made me more aware of the settings I should be shooting in on certain subjects, lighting, and compositions. I still have half the buttons on my camera which I need to teach myself about (before I press one of them and mess up all my settings on my camera...) so it'll take a while for this to all sink in.
A photography community DOES exist
There is a community for everything! It's amazing seeing everyone support one another, offer opportunities and give advice. My mentor added me to some Facebook groups and oh my god, I cannot believe the amount of photographers out there motivating each other to keep going. Sharing ideas, the fails we go through on a regular basis and the final results. One group is women photographers only and it's great to see women empowering other women and inspiring each other. I'm so thankful to be part of such a wonderful community (and I was oblivious to all this a few months ago!)
What is my main goal?
At this time I don't really have a big goal, I have a few small ones. Ideally I would like to make this a part-time business but goals need to be realistic and I don't see this happening in the next few years as I want to focus on my marketing job.
My small goals include:
Build up my portfolio
First and foremost, I need to have actual photographs to show off. Obviously I have the odd couple but they're not professional shoots or well edited. I should have a good few albums of shoots I've done which can be added to a website instead of it being completely blank...no-one wants that do they?!
Running a photography website
After I've built my portfolio up I need to present them on a website. A place where people can see my work and perhaps, in the future, book me for a shoot. We all know creating a website with your own domain will come at a cost. I've already started sketching a few ideas of what I want my website to look like, now just have to make it reality.
Shoot a few more weddings
To add to my portfolio, I will hopefully be doing some more weddings in the next year which will boost my confidence. I absolutely loved shooting my first wedding, minus the few stressful moments, so can't wait to do my next one and keep going. I must admit, I'm relieved I didn't have to do any in this heat...
Stepping out of my comfort zone
All this new information has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone, which is definitely a good thing. It's positive because I know I can do, and it's given me a massive confidence boost for the future.
I never thought I'd be shooting at a wedding, yet it happened a few months ago...and was very successful.
Little did I know I would be planning to build and create my own photography website and sell myself to families/couples.
Half what I know now, I didn't know a year ago and my photography has improved massively. Instead of just pointing and click, I actually think carefully about the composition, apply the necessary settings according to the lighting, and fast-thinking. In a situation like a wedding, you have no time to faff around with your settings and looking at your camera/photos every time you shoot. You need to be on the move 24/7 and aware of your aperture/focus/shutter speed/ISO whenever and wherever.
What I'm focusing on now...
At the moment I want to mainly focus on my blog photography. That sounds unusual as it's nothing to do with what I've been learning about but I really struggle with it. Yes, I'm one of those people who constantly compares their stuff to others, and my photography sucks compared to many.
It's fluctuated so much and I can finally take some time to concentrate on nailing it. Because I consider myself a perfectionist, if I take photos and don't like them, they will go in the bin right away.
But yeah, that's my focus for the next month at least 🙂