Say cheese: Picking up photography again in the digital age can be a bit intimidating. But remembering the basics will serve anyone well in the long run.
Say cheese: Picking up photography again in the digital age can be a bit intimidating. But remembering the basics will serve anyone well in the long run. drbimages/iStockphoto
Last Christmas, I bit the bullet and invested in a nice, new camera. For the most part, it's a fairly easy-to-use starter D-SLR camera. It's been at least eight years since I've toted a professional camera around with the slightest bit of confidence. But so far, it's all been like riding a bike — configuring manual focus, aperture, and ISO for each shot has been pretty simple.
I don't plan on giving up my day job anytime soon. But it would be nice to maintain this regained passion for the medium (Long story short: back in high school, my experience in a black and white photography class wasn't always the most positive...and my teacher discouraged me from taking on a color photo session).
Lately, I've seen quite a few unique and inventive projects, from documenting impatient kids in line at Disney World, to stacks of old books to make crafty structures. And I kept wondering, "Well, how do I compete with those, or even come up with projects that will garner attention?"
Photojojo, a new site selling quirky add-ons for nearly any camera, has been a gift. The writers for the site even offer a slew of tips and projects to keep and new camera man or woman busy for days. There's a step-by-step guide on how to turn digital photos into artistic sunprints, for crying out loud!
I also follow their Tumblr, which highlights their products and tutorials, as well as other fascinating photo-related tidbits worth posting. Last week, I ran across this post, which gave me some hope for the future. I tip my hat to John C. Jay, the Wieden+Kennedy's Executive Creative Director, who wrote these "10 Lessons For Young Designers":
- Be authentic. The most powerful asset you have is your individuality, what makes you unique. It's time to stop listening to others on what you should do.
- Work harder than anyone else and you will always benefit from the effort.
- Get off the computer and connect with real people and culture. Life is visceral.
- Constantly improve your craft. Make things with your hands. Innovation in thinking is not enough.
- Travel as much as you can. It is a humbling and inspiring experience to learn just how much you don't know.
- Being original is still king, especially in this tech-driven, group-grope world.
- Try not to work for stupid people or you'll soon become one of them.
- Instinct and intuition are all-powerful. Learn to trust them.
- The Golden Rule actually works. Do good.
- If all else fails, No. 2 is the greatest competitive advantage of any career.
So, photographers and designers out there of all ages, shapes, and sizes — got any tips to add to the list?