As a new photography student, you’re probably dying to get out there and start taking amazing, professional photos. But, there’s a long road ahead of you and you’ve still got a lot to learn. That’s why you should slow down and make the most out of your education.
The truth is, you should use this opportunity to learn, practice, and gain experiences. Now is your best shot to improve your skills and get some great advice from your teachers and mentors. Naturally, you need to work on your style as well and find the right balance to keep up with all your tasks.
We’ve decided to share our list with 8 best tips for new photography students. Here’s what you need to know.
Photography is a form of art. And, art is not something you can define or put in a box. You have to explore it until you find your style.
This is why photography students should experiment with styles and types of photography as much as possible.
Try out styles of photography such as:
- still life
See what you enjoy doing the most or what your best at. Find your style and work on defining it in the years to come.
2. Save up For Quality Equipment
We understand you can’t wait to improve your gear and equipment collection and start working with some improved technical support. But, buying cheaper gear isn’t going to save you any money in the long run.
This is because low-quality equipment will:
- take poor pictures
- fall apart
Instead of rushing, wait up and save your money for a couple of more months. Then, ask your professors or fellow professional photographers what equipment you should get.
Invest in high-quality equipment and you’ll see it was worth the wait.
3. Create a Schedule
The organization is key to any success. And, if you’re just getting started, chances are you’ll find it hard to keep up with everything you’ve got going on.
Create a schedule and write down your daily and weekly obligations:
- your classes
- study time
- practical work time
- online courses you want to take
- physical activity
Make sure to keep everything nice and organized to ensure you know exactly what you’re doing.
4. Adopt a Routine
If you want to work as a professional photographer, you need to create a routine that will serve you every time you’re on a new set.
Routines are good because they help us do all the necessary preparation and have a perfect photo shoot.
So, plan and execute a routine that will serve you for years:
- explore the setting
- define the light
- check your equipment
- adjust the settings on your camera
- do a couple of test shots
It’s always best to do these steps in the same order. Your preparation stage is crucial for the success of your photos, so make sure to develop a routine that will help you take all the necessary steps.
5. Build a Portfolio
Your portfolio might be the most important segment of your potential success as a young photographer. You should be looking for gigs and charging for your services, even though your stills a student.
But, before that, you’ll need to attract new clients.
This is why you need to have a ready portfolio in case a potential customer decides to contact you. Your portfolio should contain:
- your best, updated work
- separate sections with a theme/style/genre
- a wide variety of angles, lighting styles, aspect ratios, etc.
It would be best if you could have an entire website to showcase your work, so make this a future goal for yourself. Then, you’ll be able to upload your portfolio there.
6. Don’t Delete Anything
You’re young and inexperienced. Chances are you won’t be thrilled with some of your earliest work.
But, you must save every single shot that you make. You shouldn’t delete anything.
This is because your earliest work will help you:
- learn from your mistakes
- define your pain points
- keep track of your progress
- spot your improvements
You’ll be able to see how much you’ve grown over time. This will be a huge motivation for you.
7. Take Advice Seriously
This is a time of learning and practicing for you. That means you need to soak up and learn as much as you can.
And, while you may feel like you’ve got it all figured out, you’ve actually got so much more to learn.
So, appreciate and take very seriously:
- every piece of career advice
- any feedback
- any tips you get
Your professors, mentors, or experienced colleagues will honor you by sharing some of their knowledge with you. Take it seriously and apply it on your next shoot.
8. Seek Networking Opportunities
To be a professional, you have to find a way to showcase your work and spend time with other professionals. This means that you should always look for new networking opportunities.
Here’s what you need to consider:
- visiting workshops and training
- going to photography exhibitions
- attending events
- getting in touch with other photographers
You should see as many studios, exhibitions, and events as possible. Meet new people, explore different niches, share your ideas, and listen to what they have to say.
You’ll be learning from one another, and new doors will be opening for you with each new networking opportunity.
Every beginning is bumpy and challenging. But, all you need to do is be determined to succeed and develop a strategy that will help you achieve all your goals as a young photographer.
Use the tips we’ve shared above and choose the ones you feel resonate with you the most. Apply them to your experience as a photography student and you’ll be improving your skills every day.
Marie Barnes is a writer and editor at Subjecto, a website where you can find free flashcards. She specializes in marketing, technology, and small business development. When she has any spare time, she enjoys reading, decorating, and stargazing.