When I started writing this article I had not started my own Studio yet, but even if not published until now, the content still holds true as ever I think.
Some new happy shooters start by taking a formal learning approach several times a week with a teacher, which no doubt is a great way to get started. Getting the basics, a structured approach and slowly progressing from there.
But if you are like me, among the many others looking to get into photography while maintaining a full-time job, you start by watching youtube videos until our eyes bleed and there is nothing left of your much needed lunch breaks. At some point you will also know that watching youtube videos can get you a lot of that structured knowledge needed for photography as there are so many great educators on youtube these days. Check out Matt Grangers youtube channel for some great starter advice.
However, none of that means anything if you don't take the next step on your own and actually go and shoot inside, outside, anywhere! So like photographer and educator Matt Granger would say: Get Your Gear Out! (GYGO)
It is no good for me to watch someone fiddle with their PhaseOne medium format camera if I am learning about the exposure triangle. (Memo to self: sell soul, buy PhaseOne camera)
What I am really saying is I am a hands-on, learning-by-doing kinda guy. So once you have that basic starter knowledge to get out of "auto" or "P" - mode on your camera it is easy enough to go out and start experimenting and having fun. Also getting to know your camera rather than the educators camera is much more important. And these days all entry level DSLR and even some point and shoot camera have all the basic controls you need to start learning and improving. And if you live in a country with a high % of precipitation. (a.k.a it is raining again, so I cant be bothered going out and shoot) just shoot at home. There are plenty of learning to be had while staying dry. Also you could build your own photography studio if you have a spare room or get your significant other's "okay" and use the living room for the day. (he or she may even put up the patience to model for you)
Get a pro model!
Okay lets face it, there are some major advantages to getting an experienced model over the wife who's patience is running thin when asked to turn her head for the 3rd time or swipe that loose hair covering her eyes for the 2nd time. (unless of course your wife is a model, and she is used to this?)
- They know how to hit a pose
- They have better patience, as they know that I good photo is usually not made in one shot.
- To me at least, it is also easier to ask for a pose or give directions to someone not my girlfriend. (maybe thats just me though?)
I can also highly recommend attending a course of one of the traveling photographers when they come you way.
Matt granger also does real hand-on classes all around the world where you bring your camera and actually take pictures, rather than listening to a presenter. ;)
Also at the new Studio Arufu, I will soon be making a small beginners course available for studio photography, and getting started with that, so stay tuned.