Next weeks, photographers will share their favorite images from 2020. I may or may not participate. However, what I did want to do was look at my first paid session from 2010. Man, I was so excited that someone wanted to pay me! I hadn’t had my DSLR for very long, but I just knew that I was knowledgeable enough to receive compensation for my work. The confidence level was on high. I look back on those images now, and all I can do is shake my head. Sometimes, I think that maybe I should offer a refund to this client.
When I look at the top images, I see everything that I did wrong. From posing, lighting, and the lens that I used, there was so much room for improvement. However, here’s the kicker. Because I was confident and provided direction, the client listened to me. They followed my direction, and let me lead them. This self-assuredness made the client feel comfortable taking my direction.
The common denominator with this second set of images, taken in 2018, was my confidence. I knew the vison for the session. I understood the connection that I needed to capture in the frame. My comfort with the exposure triangle was solid, and I knew the best lens for the session. I also knew that I wanted to session to occur an hour before the Golden Hour to have the best light for my subjects.
So, what happened in that eight-year timeframe? I learned. I practiced. I attended conferences, and I read. I learned to shoot on the Manual Mode, and had a better grasp of the exposure triangle. I found my favorite lens. Most of all, I learned my camera. Knowing the abilities and limitations of your camera is a big part of photography.
We all start somewhere. No one starts out in photography knowing it all, and shooting a perfect session. There are a lot of buttons and modes on these cameras, and knowing how they operate is critical in producing a quality image.
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