Portrait photography, Sports photography, Street photography, Scenery photography, Wildlife Photography, Nature Photography, Commercial Photography: Which one is for you?
Now that you are learning about photography, you probably are learning also that there is one type of photography that maybe you would like to do more of, one that you are becoming more interested in, and one that maybe you could specialize in. That seems to be the case with most photographers. Along the way, you will find that you become really good at one particular type of photography more than others. Now, that doesn’t mean that you could make money at that. But, maybe you could. That depends on how much you want to learn about the tricks of the professionals to get that good at it.
I recently went to a town in the State of Utah, where there are a lot of museums. There I found a lot of art exhibits, and that included professional photo museums as well. That is the ones I went in to the most. I wanted to see if I was taking as good of photos as these professionals were taking. Well, I was shocked to find that these professionals were exhibiting some photos that were ten times better than what I was taking, or so I thought. And I think I am a pretty good photographer. They could get away with selling a 30 X 40 inch Photo mounted, without a frame, for $10,000 US dollars. But, then when I looked at it, I could see that it was worth it. It was a masterpiece. I then remember one of my favorite photographers: Art Wolfe. See his website: https://artwolfe.com/
To be able to do the kind of work he does, full time would only be a dream. But, I also know that he takes the pictures, and he has professional computer people that print his photos that make his photos look incredible. And that part takes money as well to create the work he does. He takes the image the way he sees it, waits for the perfect shot, and gets it, and has the computer people create his photo the way he created it in his mind.
But, there are amazing photographers in all fields. And I think we can all specialize in something and become good in it, simply by practicing in the one area that we love. And that is what I am hoping to help us all with in this blog today. Find the one field of photography that you love to do, and practice at it, and get real good at it, and then you will become a great photographer. IN THAT FIELD OF PHOTOGRAPHY.
LANDSCAPE OR SCENIC PHOTOGRAPHY:
Tips on Scenic photography to do it well will involve:
- being willing to have the perfect day sometimes
- having the perfect light of day (should you wait for the golden hour? When are the shadows the best? Is it the sunset you are after? )
- Be willing to do it at the right time of the year.
- Be willing to get up at 4 in the morning to drive to get there at sunrise.
- Do you have the right lenses and filters to do it right (wide angle lenses, polarizing filters, neutral density filters, etc)
- be willing to invest in a good tripod. Not the one that came with your kit for $14.95 but a good one that won’t blow over.
Tips on Portrait photography to do it well:
- Portrait photography will take some real skill in knowing posing techniques. Do not start taking photos professionally without taking some kind of class or training in posing techniques. You will lose customers faster than you will gain them.
- Equipment for doing portraits professionally will involve being able to have a good flash system as well as a good charging system for your flash. No one will want to wait for your flash to charge. Learn about how to use your flash outdoors, even in sunny weather to fill in the shadows.
- Learn the proper techniques of lenses and which ones to use.
- Learn people skills. You have to develop skills to work with the people you are taking pictures of. You have to make them comfortable. This is a people skills job, as well as good photography.
- Always prepare to have backup of your batteries, and memory cards.
- Learn to practice on family before taking professional photos of friends and other customers.
- Learn how filters and soft focus lenses work
- It’s not a bad idea to work with another portrait photographer before doing it yourself first. Be a help to them while working with them rather than be in their way.
- If you get a studio, learn about the umbrellas, and lighting ratios and how that all works.
Recently we just finished the Olympics, and that is a major sporting event. The amount of sports photography going on there was amazing. Did you notice all the photographers? They were there in the thousands, and you will soon see books and magazines coming out soon showing all the great photography of the Olympics.
Tips on Sports Photography:
- Sports photographers use some real heavy duty cameras that use fast motor drives in their cameras. So, they may take thousands of photos a day. So you would need to be prepared to have a larger than normal camera with a fast motor drive, plus memory cards that hold a lot.
- Plus, as mentioned above, you would want back-up memory cards if you do this seriously. And batteries all the time. You would never want to be cut short on doing this right.
- Because you usually cannot get close to the subject, you would always have to plan on big lenses to zoom in on your subject. As you can see, to get that picture of that skier, the photographer was not close to the subject.
- You will need to learn how to protect your camera gear from cold or hot, depending on the type of sports photography you do.
- Also, if you are along the sideline, be prepared for impact on you and your equipment.
- Take some lessons on how to use your camera with high speed shutter use. And possible get with another sports photographer and ask questions, and learn from another pro.
Tips on taking Wildlife Photography:
- I will be honest with you, taking good wildlife photos is not as easy as it seems. Most people think that you just take pictures of the wildlife that you see around you. But, good wildlife photos have to be framed just right, wait for the right shot, and the right background, and not a lot of area around the animal (notice above).
- I want you to link on the Robs Wildlife and see his collection of wildlife Photos. And then see how they are taken: http://www.robswildlife.com/
- Good wildlife photographers have big lenses similar to good sports photographers. They don’t want to get close to most of these animals. Besides, most of these animals will run if you get close. It is a must to have big lenses to do good wildlife photos. I have a great photo of Rob equipped to go do wildlife photography:
Street Photography is something that has happened within the last, say, 5 to 8 years in the photography world, I think. At least gained in popularity. I love a good street photographer. They capture the story of the town you live in. They say a photo should tell a story, and some photos can tell a thousand words. Street photography is that. When you look at good street photos, you see the story of people’s lives, and you can just wonder what is going on.
Tips on how to take great street photos:
- Interesting that most good street photographers, choose to have their photos done in black and white. It is not a requirement, but most of the better street photographers just happen to display their photos in black and white. Learn how to make good black and white photos. Learn the basics of good contrast, and good grey tones so that your black and whites look worthy of display. (See: The Art of Black And White: https://123photogo.com/2017/11/29/the-art-of-black-white/ )
- Because you will be taking photos of people a lot of time, you need to be prepared that most of your photos should not see faces (see above). However, if you do see faces, you may need to get a “model release form” of some kind, if you ever display that photo or plan to sell that photo. Some people do not want their photo or face to be seen. So, you may need to ask for permission to use their face, and if so, have a permission slip, commonly called a model release form, to have them sign that so you are legally covered.
- Equipment-wise, you don’t need a lot. I find that most street photographers try to find a way to be inconspicuous with their equipment so that they can take these type of photos. Camera and normal lens, maybe a camera with a wide angle. But, I will tell you that most street photographers will take the time to wander around their city or area and just look at the many “normal” things that make their city unique.
- The reason “street Photographers” are unique and I think they could be better photographers than most, is because they have learned to see things from the ordinary that most people miss. That is what I find amazing when I look at their photos. It is like: “I see that every day, but, I did not realize that could be a work of art”. They have learned to see things from the ordinary things around them, and see the beauty around them. I would advise everyone to practice carrying their camera with them everywhere and try being a ‘street photographer” and see how it improves your own photography.
******* Just a note: This coming Thursday, for the “Photos of the Week” We will be highlighting a special “Street Photographer” who has won many awards for her work in Street Photography. Be prepared to see some amazing work, winning Street Photography from Elisabeth Engels, from France. I am excited for you to see these amazing photos. This Thursday, March 1st, 2018.
Commercial photography can be fun. I think it takes practice, and if you want to get into this type of photography, you would almost need to spend time practicing it in your own studio with special lighting, and then send your photos to companies and see if they like it. Or get a hold of an advertising agency to tell them you specialize in doing commercial photography. There are some schools that teach commercial photography, and that can certainly help. The pay is amazing, but, you do have to have a lot of specialized equipment and software and special training on computer enhancement as well. If this is something that interests you, seek to find people who are doing this and ask how they got involved and see what you can do to get involved in this specialty type of photography. It can certainly be rewarding.
I HOPE THIS HAS HELPED YOU IN DIRECTING YOU TO YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL IN PHOTOGRAPHY. I HAVE FOUND THAT I DO LIKE A CERTAIN TYPE OF PHOTOGRAPHY A LOT. BUT, I HAVE ALSO FOUND THAT I DABBLED IN ALL TYPES OF PHOTOGRAPHY SO THAT I MAY BE, AT LEAST PROFICIENT IN ALL TYPES OF PHOTOGRAPHY ENOUGH TO ANSWER QUESTIONS.