BTSxJM Issue_001: How to up your photography game?
Before we do anything, I want to thank each and every one of you who has subscribed. This is the very first issue and hopefully the start of a long relationship together.
Normal email subscriptions from businesses are all about marketing and are trying to sell you something. I will be honest, this is no different. Except, as the name suggest this is about providing you with a behind the scenes look into my life and business, I’ll be providing you with exclusive content, deals and updates - you won’t find them anywhere else. You’ll be the first to know about any updates or changes. You will also be directly helping me with the development of my page as I will be asking for feedback on certain aspects. You will also have exclusive access to this blog, nobody else in the world has access to it
As I said in one of my recent Facebook posts I want to add a more personal feel to Jack Mohr photography and I believe this is the best way to do so.
How to up your photography game?
1. Shoot shoot shoot
When I started nothing helped me improve my skill more than actually practicing and investing time. You can do as much reading and theory as much as you want, but it’s another thing to put that into practice. With that said, don’t be discouraged if you’re images aren’t what you see on Instagram or social media in general. Most if not all the images you see online (including mine) have been edited, I can guarantee they don’t look like they did when they come out of camera.
2. Edit, but don’t over edit
To continue on from my mini tangent, you need to start editing images. I use Adobe Lightroom and a bit of Photoshop for certain things. But an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription is very expensive for a ”hobbiest” or someone just starting out. I recommend using free apps like VSCO or Snapseed. I actually used to use VSCO a bit for mobile photography, back when they were smaller I made it onto their discovery page and also got a couple images curated into their award selections. I see many over-processed (over edited) images on Instagram everyday. Don’t just up the saturation and think you’re done, go look at some YouTube tutorials on basics of editing (with whatever app you use). If you’re going to edit images I strongly recommend shooting in RAW (google search how to shoot in raw for your particular camera), by shooting in raw you have A LOT more information to use and change. When shooting in .JPG you’re basically applying a layer (like a filter) over the top. Whereas when editing in raw you’re actually changing pixels and then exporting a jpg.
3. Good camera = good photos Right? Nope.
Without getting overly technical and give everyone a headache. You don’t need a good camera to take good photos. There are obviously certain benefits but I wouldn’t recommend dropping anything over $1K on a camera as a beginner as you’re not even sure if you like photography. I started with a Pentax K-R, then a K-5 and it wasn’t until 2017 that I got a professional level DSLR (Canon 5D). With that said, I’ve taken half decent photos on iPhones, obviously not for commercial jobs but for a quick snap to remember a moment or for my Instagram story then I’d use an iPhone. I still edit these photos. By the way. As a Canon user I will obviously recommend getting a Canon, but if Nikon’s interface and useability make sense to you, then buy a Nikon. Before buying I recommend trying one out, go into your local camera store and try it out or rent one, or if a friend has one ask to borrow theirs.
Here are a couple recommendations (obviously dependant on budget and this list is in no particular order) I recommend going to your local camera/electronic's store website for a better price guide.
I know most of these are either around $1K or well above, but I don’t believe in recommending something I wouldn’t shoot with myself. In fact I’m looking at adding a Sony A7 III to my kit next year.
4. Find inspiration
Start following Instagrammeers that you like, look up photography related YouTubers. For guides I recommend subscribing to Digital Photography School, their guides are easy to follow and aren’t crazy technical.
I would recommend looking up Peter McKinnon who’s a Canadian Film maker/photographer. He does really in-depth videos and a lot of tips and tricks for both photography and videography. I also use a site called Inspiration Grid, which helps me develop concepts. Once I have got a concept I use an service called Trello to write down my ideas, and do a bit of a storyboard.
If you don’t know how to do something, research it. Google it, head onto digital photography school and find a guide. Or you can do a short course. I’m potentially going to be running workshops and photo walks around Canberra, let me know if you’re interested.
Also you’re welcome to message me on social media or drop me an email and I’ll hopefully be able to help you.
I hope you found this first exclusive blog post helpful. I will be releasing one per month or at least providing some sort of exclusive content each newsletter.