The process of learning never ends if you’re open to constantly developing yourself. However, in the beginning, you’re going to go from knowing nothing to falling deep into a world of knowledge and skill. This time is as exciting as it is overwhelming. You’re a blank piece of paper, open to people writing down their wisdom. You don’t know any better, why would you question anything? To ensure you don’t fall into some unhealthy habits or get sucked in by the wrong know it all, here are some tips for avoiding bad advice for the newbie photographer.
1. Ignore 99.9 % of Social Media
The internet gave everyone a platform. That meant people who were once never heard, could share their thoughts and opinions with the world in a few simple steps. That’s not a bad thing; it gave people access to information they previously never had. But the sad reality is, almost all advice given by people online is a waste of time. Everyone thinks they know best, and most people enjoy offering a differing opinion for the sake of arguing. Social media comments and statuses won’t tell you anything about your photography. In fact, it’s likely to make you insecure and could stifle your progress. Use social media to build your profile, but not to build your skillset.
2. Avoid The Class Know it All
Many new photographers take the decision to go to photography school to learn the basics. This is not at all a bad idea. If you go to a credible school, you’re going to get tuition from an experienced pro, who is more than capable of getting you on the right path in the world of photography. But, we can almost guarantee that in your class there will be one overzealous, cocky know it all that thinks they know better than the person paid to teach you. “I know what I’m doing, don’t listen to them.” Don’t listen to this nuisance. They have an ego and are struggling to manage it. Instead, focus on the course content and trust the person with the credentials.
“Make sure it’s someone with something of worth on their resume, rather than 200,000 Instagram followers.”
3. Don’t Do Workshops From New Photographers
Many new photographers are just looking to make a quick buck and get internet fame. It baffles us how many photographers, who know a thing or two about marketing, charge hundreds of dollars for workshops when they’ve been shooting less than five years. People pay it, so it keeps the under-qualified market alive, but don’t be one of them. We’ve heard first hand from people who thought they were going to learn a wealth of information, complain, “well, we just watched them. I’m not sure if I learned anything.” If you’re going to make a financial investment into your education, do it with a veteran of the game. Make sure it’s someone with something of worth on their resume, rather than 200,000 Instagram followers.
4. Be Careful of YouTube
A lot like Facebook and Instagram, YouTube can also be a hub of terrible advice. It’s great to learn about how your camera works, and the established channels get in the pros to help with tutorials. But on the flip side, there’s an overwhelming amount of people who just have a camera and want to make content – even if they have nothing good to say. If a YouTuber has been around a while, but their content is hardly gaining traffic, it’s likely to be down to the material and quality of information. Only listen to a pro, not the lad in his bedroom who wants to make “cool content.”
Enjoy The Right Photography Advice
Above anything else, photography should be enjoyable. At times, it can be frustrating perfecting your skills, but the effort is worth it for the end rewards. That’s why we want to ensure you stay on the right path as much as possible. Oh, and if you are wondering where you can get good advice and information, we know a place. Our team has decades of combined experience and love sharing knowledge with you to help you get better. Why not check out our education and tutorial sections and start improving right away!