There are so many tips and things you should do as a photographer that I decided to make a list. I've seen these lists all over the internet when I was at the beginning of my photographic journey. I feel that maybe I'm at the point where I can contribute to those that need a little inspiration or guidance. Hopefully this post helps as much as it helped when I was learning. Some of these I got from a few photography friends on Facebook. Big props to Photography I Facebook Group! Some of these you may have heard before...
1. Always look to learn. Even when you feel that you have mastered your craft, there is much more to learn.
2. Learn how to use Google! Google can help you find almost anything. The internet is so full of "How To's".
3. Don't stay on auto mode too long. Learn manual mode for more control.
4. Buy good glass!
5. Don't quit your day job!
6. Be patient, learn, dont rush into business, find someone knowledgable to critique your work occasionally and point out how you can improve.
7. Seven is my favorite number for some reason. So, shoot seven things or people, seven different ways every seven days.
8. Don't fall prey to gearitis, lusting for every new thing that comes out. Grow out of your camera and buy good glass, don't settle for cheap glass just because it's cheap. Save and buy.
9. Do the egg photoshoot to get a better grasp of how light falls. One egg on a table, photograph it from all angles and observe the light.
10. Don't get offended when people don't like what you think is great...you'll grow from what they say if you listen and learn to differentiate from what's technical-vs-personal preference.
11. Learn your camera. Read the book. Do your homework before asking questions.
12. Never be afraid to ask questions!
13. Do not buy those cheap lighting starter kits, save your pennies and invest in a lighting line that can grow with you.
14. Find a good mentor and learn, learn, learn before doing any paid gigs.
15. Learn the effects of ISO, Aperture, and shutter speed and when to change what. Once you know how to use it, go to aperture priority
16. Learn about photography, not photoshop. A polished turd is still a turd.
17. Seek advice and help from those who know what they are talking about and want to help. Sometimes its hard to find help because of egos.
18. Don't take stock in shallow superficial praises. Instead ask why and what can be improved.
19. Learn to give good critiques. It will help you learn what to look for in your own work.
20. Critique your own work. Don't be easy on yourself.
21. Love your work! You have to love what you do in order to stay creative. If you don't love your work, how can you expect others to love it?
22. Never delete a photo from the camera. You may accidentally delete good stuff.
23. Trust your LCD.
24. Don't trust your LCD!
25. Know that light is the key to photography!
26. Pay close attention to what's in the background when photographing your subject. The background can make or break a photo.
27. Try to disect an image from another photographer. Examine how they got their finished product.
28. Join a photography forum or group.
29. Task yourself with a personal project.
30. Go on a photo walk, even if you are the only one going.
31. Take pictures of your kids! Take as many as you can. You will be glad you did.
32. Shot in RAW format at all times.
33. Convert RAW files to DNG on import.
34. Use Lightroom or some type of Catalog PIEware to organize and maximize your workflow.
35. Practice! Shoot as much as you possibly can.
36. YouTube is a very good resource to learn from.
37. Shoot, shoot, shoot, and then shoot some more....
38. If you are shooting models, get good models, even if you have to pay them.
39. Make friends with photographers.
40. Don't have "equipment envy" of others. Instead, learn your equipment like the back of your hand. The more you use it, the better.
41. Learn the relationship between f-stop and shutter, versus distance. You'll make better images if you know how these components work together.
42. Play with light as much as you can. Put a teddy bear next to the window, shoot it, move it a foot away... Shoot it again... Move it again... Shoot it again... Learn how light works.
43. Keep your "mind" wide open and never loose the ability to imagine... it's all in the eye of the beholder.
44. Stay positive!
45. Practice composition everyday.
46. Pay attention to what's in the background before pressing the shutter release button.
47. Learn to see!
48. Always be ready to shoot!
49. UV Filters are not necessary.
50. Use prime lenses.
51. Shoot with a purpose.
52. Learn the "Rule of Thirds".
53. Shoot to please yourself and no one else.
54. Always share your photos. Use Social Media to get your images seen.
55. Get to know your subject.
56. If you don't already have one, get a Facebook!
57. If you don't already have one, get a Google+!
58. If you don't already have one, get on Twitter!
59. Checkout 500px!
60. "You don't take a photograph, you make it." ~Ansel Adams