Thursday, September 5, 2013

Photography As A Hobby

I'm joining in on the Blogtember fun with Story of My Life today! The prompt is to pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.  I love getting advice... but I'm usually more of a "go with the flow" and you'll figure it out eventually kind of girl, but there are a few things I wish I would have known about photography before I took it up as serious hobby.

Mostly, all the stuff I would need to get started & how much it would all cost!

I'm not here to dish out tips on aperture or ISO... I'm talking all the BASIC stuff you should think about before investing your time & money!

Choose good gear. 
Good doesn't necessarily mean "expensive."  It means you should figure out what kind of photography you want to do and research the best camera & gear to suit your needs & budget.  When I was asked to photograph my cousin's wedding, I knew I would have to upgrade from my powershot (which I LOVE) to a DSLR.  I've always had Canons & found them to be user friendly & reliable.  I went over my budget and deciding on the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (I purchased a kit similar to this one) over the Canon T3i.  The T3i had more megapixels... but was also a few hundred dollars more.  I did my research & decided I would go with the T3 and invest in a good prime lens: Canon EF  mm f1.8
Purchase an editing program.
Picmonkey is great for beginners, but if you want something a bit more professional, look into Photoshop or Lightroom.  Again, Lightroom was MUCH cheaper than Photoshop... so that's what I went with, and I still use it.  You can learn to create your own presets, or purchase them! My favorite presets are from Michelle Bondy Photography - I use them all the time!

These were all edited using Michell Bondy presets (my favorite b&w one is called "It's Not Chicago") with Lightroom 4, using my Canon T3 & my 50mm lens:

Keep your gear safe.
Again, you don't have to spend a TON of money, but if you're serious about this hobby & will be bringing your camera & accessories everywhere you go, it's a good idea to have a camera bag that suits your specific needs!  Think of how much gear you have... including "purse stuff" like wallets, cell phone, laptop, etc.
I have 2 camera bags! One from Cheeky Lime & another from Jo Totes.  Keep your eyes peeled for promotions and you can get GREAT bags at a fantastic price!

Snap away!
The best part about digital photography is that you can take as many photos as you want!  Take lots of pictures and experiment with different lighting & subjects... don't be afraid of "manual" mode!  Chelsea offers great tips for beginners shooting in manual that you should definitely check out!

Always format your memory card!!
This is important for 2 reasons:  It reduces the risk of corruption AND the formatting process matches your memory card with your camera's specific operating system! Especially important if you're using the same card in different cameras (I like to have a specific card for each camera, though).
Don't forget to make sure you've backed up all your photos BEFORE formatting!  To format, simply find the format command in your camera's menu (check in your manual if you are unsure where to find it).  All your photos will be erased from your card, and you'll be ready to start again!
That's it for today!  I know our smartphones have awesome cameras & apps, but there's nothing like holding a real camera in your hand!

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  1. I love your tips! I have the same camera and lens and I love them both.

  2. This came at the perfect time! I just got my new Canon in the mail yesterday!
    Thank you so much for these awesome tips.

  3. Great advice! Thanks for the tips.

    :-) Tabitha

  4. Thanks so much for the tips! I'm learning so much about photography from watching all of you pros. :)

  5. You are so sweet for including me in this post! It's an honor that you liked my tips ;) You're the best girl!

  6. last xmas the boyf gave me a Canon Rebel T4i and i LOVE it, amazing results but i'm still just in the learning stages. photography is def a hobby and i so admire incredible results like yours! thanks for the tips Lena, they're super helpful.

    dude though, Canon has my heart and soul locked up but have you seen the latest thing Sony's come out with for's kind of taking my breath away with possibilities! cheers (of the non-alch variety ;) ♥

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