Photography Tips: Stuff I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Photographer

For his latest photography tips, J.T. of Run N Gun talks about the ten things he wishes he knew before becoming a photographer.

Being a photographer comes with its own set of challenges and misconceptions, especially when it relates to the topics of gear, making money, and creativity. As you delve further into the craft, you’ll gain your own perspectives and realizations about these things, and perhaps even make your own list of things you wish you knew before diving into photography — just like J.T. of the Run N Gun YouTube Channel has done with some of his latest videos.

In the first of his three-part photography tips series, J.T. talks about the first ten things he wished he knew when he was starting out. If you’re about to begin your journey as a photographer, you might find some insight in his list, below.

  1. It’s expensive.
  2. It’s therapeutic.
  3. Technology changes virtually every day.
  4. It’s time-consuming.
  5. The more you know, the more you know that you don’t know.
  6. It’s a great way to meet friends.
  7. There are so many toxic communities.
  8. It’s not about the gear.
  9. Your biggest critic is you.
  10. The worst day shooting is better than the best day just sitting around all day.

We see that items 1, 3, and 8 are related: photography is expensive mostly because of the gear, which changes almost every day. That’s most likely one of the roadblocks that keep an aspiring photographer from moving forward in the craft. Why spend so much $$$ on a camera when you can shoot using your smartphone? True, it’s not always about the gear, but those who are far along into photography will also tell you that your smartphone will only take you so far. You’ll need to pick up an actual camera at some point. It doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest straight away. Just go for something within your budget that will allow you to learn the ropes and practice.

Likewise, items 6 and 7 are also related: while a great way to meet friends (old and new) is via online communities and groups, we also have to be wary of the ones that are toxic. As items 2 and 10 stress, photography should be fun and therapeutic, so it’s best we move away from people, groups, and practices that keep us from growing as photographers and enjoying the journey.

At the end of the day, item 9 tells us to acknowledge that we’re our own best critics, especially once we move forward and notice that we made a lot of mistakes starting out. That’s just how it goes — the more we know, the more we realize that there was a lot we didn’t know back then, and still a lot to learn now. Having an idea about the style we’ve outgrown or techniques that no longer work for us is actually a good measure of the progress we make.

For those who are far along into their journey, maybe this is also a good time to ask yourself what things you wish you knew before walking down the path of the photographer?

Don’t forget to check out the Run N Gun YouTube channel for the next parts of this photography tips series.

Screenshot image from the video