‘Photography is from the heart, it’s not about the technical stuff’
My name is Paige and I am currently on work experience at Ph2o Photography Studio. I have always had a passion for photography but had little experience and knowledge about it. Until I came here, I didn’t know that the flash on the camera can set the lights in the studio off, if set up correctly, or how to create the most effective and interesting portraits. I have learnt about the quality of photos, how certain settings on photoshop can affect the quality of them, and how to create edits that families will be proud to display in their homes, and that was all in the first four days of being here.
On Friday, I took some photos of a dog that was brought into the studio in a similar style to these shots:
I thought I would tell you about photography from my perspective, a beginner’s perspective. One of the photographers here, Mat, told me that ‘photography is from the heart, it’s not about the technical stuff’. I used to think that an effective photograph was due to the high-tech equipment used for it, but it’s about how much passion you put into it. A photograph isn’t going to turn out how you want it if you don’t take pride in what you are trying to achieve. It’s more than just holding a camera up and pressing the shutter button; There’s a lot that goes into taking an impressive photo.
If you are just starting out in photography, firstly, think about what type of photography you are interested in, whether it’s portraits or landscapes, people or animals etc. There’s no use taking photos of a subject you’re not interested in, you won’t feel passionate about it which will affect the quality of the outcome. If you’re not sure, experiment with different subjects to find what you are most happy with, most comfortable with, and most interested in taking photos of. These photos do not then need to go to waste, especially if you like the outcome, they can be added to a portfolio for future prospective employers or customers.
Secondly, think about your editing style. Do you enjoy heavy editing to make photos more refined or keeping the editing more natural? Do you like there to be a lot happening in one edit or for it to be simple? Again, if you’re not sure, experiment with creating a range of edits. This will help you decide what editing style makes you proud of what you have created, as well as help you to teach yourself some skills in Photoshop, which can be a vital part of creating beautiful photographs.
Above are two examples of photos that I took of vintage magazines and experimented with editing the crop, levels and colour balance of them. I learnt whilst taking these how to get the best perspective. To create this angle, I put the magazines on a wooden box and took the shot by shooting from a birds-eye view. I stood close to the box and positioned the camera directly above them.
Finally, think about if there’s anything you want to communicate through your photos. Do you want to show off a family or pet? Are you trying to create awareness or a change through your photographs? All these components can alter the composition of photos (the elements of it, for example pattern, texture, framing etc). Think about what you want to say before taking photos. Don’t fall into the trap of snap now, think later. Your message will not be as clear as it could be if it was planned.
Although I have spoken about planning your shots, don’t be afraid to experiment with the different settings on your camera. You could discover a setting that makes your shots stand out and makes them better than others. Just remember, especially with digital photography, to save your photos in a safe place where you’ll remember them before experimenting with the camera settings. You don’t want your photographs to be lost or deleted.
This is a shot I took of magazines whilst experimenting with using the camera and lighting in the studio:
After my experience at Ph2o Photography Studio, I know that this is what I want to do as a career. My passion for photography has become even clearer to me and I have learnt a lot more skills that can improve my photographs. I know photography, as with any creative career, can be difficult to make into a full-time career, but with determination and passion there’s no limits to what can be achieved.