Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tales of a Noob Photographer

The 1st time I used a Mark II - I felt like a big girl photographer :)

So, I've been working part time at Montag for a couple of months now...part time = one day a week for 3-4 hours.   It's not a lot and I would love it to be more, but I try to take in as much as I can while I'm there.   Everyone there has been super nice and helpful. As of now, they aren't annoyed with all my questions (I think), but I feel I need to start carrying around a pen and pad to remember everything (the down side of one day a week). 

So here are a fews things I've been schooled on

1.  Do not edit your images on a PC - invest in a MAC.  What do I have?  Yes, a PC.  A PC is all I've ever known!  There was a whole list of reasons they told me on why Mac is better, but mainly it's because Mac's are geared for editing and the color quality is much more accurate...also something about how they can't get infected.  So, my next big purchase will be an iMac. 

2.  Lightroom is A-mazing.  Ok, I really didn't think so at first...mainly because I had been working exclusively with Photoshop.  I am getting the hang of Lighroom now and I see what everyone is talking about.  As far as color correcting, it's so much easier, but I would say the best thing about LR is you can import all your images instead of one at a time with PS.  Then if you have major editing to do, you can import the image into Photoshop.   


3.  Invest in a Graphics Tablet. For example, the Wacom Intuos 5.  It does make editing much easier and precise.  With a mouse, it is hard to make clean edits, but with the fine point pen you have better control, which makes for a cleaner editing. 

4.  Invest in some Eneloop batteries for your external flash.  They last longer, but order them on Amazon!  So much cheaper.  Actually, with any purchase, I check on Amazon first.  8 times out of 10 it's cheaper.  Free shipping, can't beat it :)

5. Always have a backup camera with you at shoots!  I know this might sound like a given, but uh, camera equipment is EXPENSIVE.  That is why you can always rent from

So, there are my top 5 for now.  Next time, I'll share whatever else I've retained :)

It's been fun helping out at Montag and getting to know everyone.  Even though it's just for one day, I do feel I'm learning a little here and there.  I'm nowhere near where the other photographers are, but I'll get there someday :)  I work with Shonda - I've actually known her for years and she's the lucky one I ask question after question to...well Jeremy too.  I've been warned though, if I ask Jeremy the same question more than 3 times he tends to think you're stupid.  Yaaaaay, can't wait for that awkward moment :)  Anyways, back to Shonda....she said, "I think anyone that cuts hair should work at a Super Cuts for a little while...just for the repetition.  It's the same for photographers.  If you have the opportunity to work for a studio, you should.  The repetition is good for you.  The posing, lighting,'ll feel more natural."  Smart gal huh?  :)  When I watch them at a wedding, I'm always amazed how smooth it runs from beginning to end, but it's because they do wedding after wedding every weekend.  Maybe I'll come into a large sum of money and I can just devote my life to photography...maybe?  no? 

For all the noobs out there, I hope this helps!!


Nadine said...

I think everyone started as a noob. I don't think anyone was a natural. I think it comes with the zest and passion for photography. I started out only last year. :) I call myself a professional photograper because I photograph food and them alone.

Nadine Schenn
professional photographer

Michelle Helena Cabrera said...

Nadine Schenn is right, everyone started as a noob. It only takes practice and passion for photography for you to excel. Find the subject that you love the most. That's how it worked for me. I self-studied the basics and just practice, practice and practiced. I'm admittedly not a professional yet, but I'm aspiring to be a wedding photographer in Perth.

Vanessa May said...

First two commenters already made a point. I also started as a total noob in photography, but I never gave up trying to be good at it. I didn't wanna be stereotyped as the "noob with an expensive camera," so I also practised a lot! And my first official photoshoot was with my niece in her communion dress. I received a lot of constructive criticism, took it positively, and still continued with photography.

Carmen Geary said...

The statement from Doug Bartlow that was shown in the picture is really true. Most of the people who wanted to be called "photographer" tends to have or buy expensive and sophisticated cameras just to show or to flaunt they have one even tough they do not know how take good pictures. Same thing goes to those people who buys sophisticated and expensive dresses or clothing but the clothes they bought doesn't look good to them.

Joan Lehmann said...

Your blog's really interesting. Each and every one of us photographers has a story to share - mostly about the criticism we've received before we officially became photographers. Now in the digital age, we can hardly distinguish real photographers from wannabes. It's our own uniqueness that separates us from them. These stories are what inspires me to finish my photography book. I would love to compile them and motivate the aspiring photographers to continue doing what they love to do: take pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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