I've thought a long time about this post. Whether or not I wanted to share some of my earlier images. And then I thought that I need to do this. I wanted to see how much I have grown and I also want to show those that are just starting, that we all start somewhere. The point is to keep going and keep shooting!
I started taking photos 7 years ago. That's when I was paid for my first session. My business name was KH Imaging. I don't even know where I came up with it, and it was awful.
Yup. I did that. I softened my photo and over edited it. I even gave them a disk of all the photos WITH MY WATERMARK ON THEM. Oh boy. I had no idea what I was going. I had no one to ask. I just thought, "hey, I like taking photos, I am going to be a photographer." Oh yes, I did.
I even thought that I could quit my job after awhile and make it full time. I was no naive.
It took me a LONG time to find my style. I just thought I could buy a fancy camera and I'd be a photographer. There's so much more to it.
For some reason my photos didn't look like those other photographers that got paid big money. My lighting was off, my depth of field was no where to be seen, and my editing...uff duh.
I didn't have my own style, or "brand" at all. I had no idea what that meant. I thought since I had photoshop, that I could do anything. Oh and I did.
Yes, I am ragging on myself. This is how I got better. I picked a part my photos. I learned to be critical of my work. To not let people see the worse images. I made mistakes....a lot of them, but I learned from them all and I grew. I grew so much.
Am I the best? Oh heavens no. Far from it. I still have a lot to learn. Lights? I have no clue how to use them. I am lucky if I get my external flash to do what I want it to do. Frankly, they scare me. I love natural light. So there is something for me to learn. I am no good at indoor shots. I cringe if I have to shoot indoors, but I will do it, and I will try my best. I will learn in the process.
I tried every trick in the book. I did the current editing fads, I used too many props, I wanted my photos to look like those I idolized, but had no idea how to do it.
Then, I reached out to other photographers. I read posts, I shared photos of my own and asked for opinions. I wanted to learn. I started to change my look, using my own creativity instead of looking to others. Bottom line, I asked for help and I got help.
That's what brings me to the point of my post. For those photographers just starting out, I raise my glass to you. It is not an easy job, not at all. Sure, it's fun, you are doing what you love, but you have to be willing to grow. Never think you are the best you can be, NEVER. Just keep shooting and LEARNING everything you can from those you admire. Attend workshops, conferences, ask for help.
This is why when up and comers ask me questions, I will help. I love helping. I want these newbies to know it is possible to make this work, but you have to be willing to WORK. I am brutally honest and will say what I mean, so don't ask if you don't want to hear the truth.
If you don't ask me, ask someone. Always be willing to have your work critiqued. If your clients are happy that's great, but in order to grow and become better, you must ask your peers for honesty. It can be hard to hear sometimes, but trust me, the next time you are out shooting, you won't make the same mistake again.
So here's to you, new photographers! Those of you who are rocking a very hard industry. Be true to yourself, find your own look, and shoot, shoot shoot!! Critique your own work, see where you could do better, we can always do better.
And lastly, this post isn't to make fun of myself. I am not saying that all new photographers are bad. This was simply to show that I didn't always know what I was doing and I am working my way, slowly but surely, learning as I go.
We are all in this game together, let's be there for each other.
I love this crazy life and wouldn't change it for anything! Learning is the best part of this job (that and the awesome clients I get to hang out with). Stay tuned, I have some big announcements for 2017 coming this fall!!
***Thank you so much to all of those people that gave me a shot in the beginning and those that continue to hire me. I wouldn't be here without your support and I am so appreciative of each and every one of you.***