What I Wish I Knew When I Started | Gainesville, Virginia Photographer
Do you want more success as a photographer? Because, I wish someone had written this blog post when I started my journey. Listen up friends, I am about to drop a ton of information that is eight years in the making.
What type of photographer do you want to be? Take the time to think about this and find your niche. Are you a newborn photographer, but your website has head shots, senior portraits, commercial work, landscape shots, and all the rest? While your work in different genres of photography may be beautiful, you aren't doing yourself any favors by showcasing it. Figuring out what type of photographer you want to be takes time. It took me almost four years to figure out where my passion lies.
High paying clients are looking for a specialist in the type of photography they are interested in. If they are looking for wedding photography and your portfolio shows how great you are at landscape photography they are going to keep scrolling. It is also important to remember that a specialist demands a higher price for a higher quality product. So master one thing....YOUR thing, and be the very best at it.
You may be thinking I am crazy, and you might be convinced that the more you showcase the better. But I promise, you will be far more successful and far less worn out.
I don't care who you are or how amazing you think you might be, in order to be a great photographer you have to take the camera off the auto setting and learn how to use that baby on manual. I know it's scary, but it is SO worth it. Your image quality will be a million times better.
But I get it, learning to take it off auto takes time and determination. You need to understand lighting, depth of field, how to pose your clients, where to place people in the setting.....I HATE when people have trees growing out of their heads! And the bokeh...you have to have to bokeh! That's that fancy blur happening in the background of your favorite picture.
When I first started I did NOT shoot in manual. It was probably a year in and by the grace of God I met a gal and she showed me three things... ISO, shutter speed and aperture. After I understood those three things... mixing in knowledge of the golden hour and how to manipulate light in any given setting... the sky was the limit. Trying to shoot any and all of your work in auto mode is a huge mistake. This knowledge is what separates us from Uncle Carl and his iPhone 11.
Social Media has been a blessing and a curse for me. I have found myself comparing myself to others and often wondering if I am good enough? I follow incredible photographers online and sometimes find myself trying to imitate them. This is SO WRONG you guys.
One day I decided I was going to unfollow the majority of photographers I followed. This has helped me SO MUCH. I concentrate on my own art and I continue to keep striving to be a better Jessica. Head down and hustle on.. :)
These pictures are from this year's Christmas Tree Farm Minis taken at Hartland Farm and Orchard. I love working with the owners of the farm. They are incredibly kind and the scenery is just perfect! We had both morning and evening sessions, and the light was INCREDIBLE! Props and decor are from Home Goods, World Market, and Hobby Lobby.