by Shuva Rahim
There is no single right path to becoming educated about photography. It’s a vast field with lots of opportunities and possibilities for anyone taking a beginner’s course to shooters who have been in the field for decades. Regardless of what stage you are in, here are some tips that will help hone your skills:
1. Practice, practice, practice. The important thing is to get familiar with your camera and lenses to the point that using your equipment becomes second nature. Photograph your kids, the plants in the house, and the snow outside using different settings. Anything and everything you can find to shoot will help you gain confidence with your technique and massage your style.
2. Get together with other photographers. Whether that’s by attending a workshop, joining a local photography club or having a casual meet-up with photographers in your area, you will learn lots by just talking and sharing with others who are passionate about creating images.
3. Learn from online resources. MCP Actions is a great site for photography education, and there are tons more out there as well. Do a Google search for “photography education” and you’re bound to find many learning tools for free. Blogs, such as this one, and scores of others are also great ways to take in bits of information you can apply to your own work.
4. Take a class or go back to school. People learn in different ways, and if you’re someone who wants to dedicate the time and resources to focus solely on photography for a period of time then there are a variety of programs out there that will do just that. Decide what kind(s) of photography you are drawn to first, and then research what schools offer what you want.
5. Finally, have fun. Learning photography shouldn’t feel like something you have to do, but want to do. The second it feels like “work,” stop and get away for a while or look for some inspiration – from art exhibits, paintings, fashion magazines, war photography, graphic design…anything, really – to rejuvenate your senses and get back to having fun again.
Shuva Rahim is the owner of Accent Photographics, focusing on children, families and weddings in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Prior to starting her business, she graduated from the photography program at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine and was a freelance photojournalist for more than a year.