For me, I’d say,
- Only upload or share pictures you like, before asking others whether they like it.
- Dont waste money on gear. Buy books, and travel instead.
- Don’t try to be a “serious”photographer, but a big kid… having fun 🙂
i started waaaaaay back when. Nixon, Watergate, Vietnam
I just started my photography journey a few months ago and am very interested to read the thoughts in this thread from long-time photographers.
So far I’ve been following Eric’s ‘Buy books not gear’ philosophy – my recent Amazon order history is littered with stuff from Eric’s “75+” book list 🙂 No regrets, I’ve learned more from those photo books than anything I’ve seen on photo-oriented social media sites like Flickr and Instagram.
Being so new to street photography and photography in general I don’t feel like I’m really in a position to provide any meaningful advice here. But the one thing I have started to tell myself is to not be sucked into ‘trends’ in street photography in order to fit a mould of what people think street photography should be. I know that many are looking for ‘the decisive moment’ but I think that there is as much value in the sort of street photography that documents the human condition or is simply beautiful to look at, rather than catching some oddball fleeting moment that doesn’t make for an enduring photograph. Just my two cents. Looking forward to the responses from more experienced posters.
Have fun going crazy with your gear/software, experimenting and doing it “your way”… But do not skip learning them the slow, methodical way, from the ground up.
Mastering the basics takes a long time, but you’ll be amazed how much you’ll learn—and it will make your “imaginative” and “rebellious” choices much more powerful. Your workflow will be so much more efficient as well.
If I had done these things when I first started shooting at about age 20, I wouldn’t be kicking myself now at 43 every time I learn something I should have known all along.
My Two Cents On Photography
Any art requires time for mastering. Learning curve is a slow process if we want to excel. Study shows that the first 20 hr of learning any new art is the most fruitful time. Later, the learning curve flattens and you need to put more and more time to make appreciable change in your quality of work. – this is the hard face and reality.
Good thing is that many photographers spend this initial hours and find themselves standing on a higher level. Then as time goes, they get frustrated due to lack of progress and then they leave photography (except professionals who is forced to hang on). So if you could stay on and keep practicing then you will be a master (10,000 hrs of practice).
At times when we face stressful situation and demotivation remember about Vivian Mayers. She persisted on taking photographs irrespective of any likes or even seeing her photos. But she kept on clicking because she liked it. And now she is considered a game changer in street photography. So be a child, persist on taking photos and improving yourself. Don’t worry about external recognition.. there are van Gough’s and Vivian Mayers to lead you.
i would tell myself to focus less on gear, and not to waste time with “traditional” photography courses, since i never really learned anything from them anyway.
Speaking of which, im enrolled in photojournalism for the fall semester… maybe i should take my own advice lol
I started out in photography in 1999 at the age of 17. I’d read articles in photography magazines and online, and I’d let these people convince me that I needed every different kind of lens for possible eventuality in order to be a “real” photographer. I swear 50% of my photographs were test shots of new equipment.
My advice to myself would be to only buy one lens and one camera body. My Nikon F70 was a great body and I wouldn’t change that, but I would only buy one lens; the 50mm f1.8 and no flashguns, no protective filters. Spend money on travelling and film/developing rather than gear and take your camera everywhere you go. A cheap camera and lens is easy to replace.
This is my advice to new photographers:
Now if only I could stick to my own advice.