I wanted to share the topics in Episode 45 of “The Grid” that photographers Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski delved into as I found them helpful so I thought other aspiring photographers would too.

Scott has a “tell it like it is attitude” (So do I ! haha) and to be honest it’s often an opinion I agree with and feel has great substance. The show can be streamed for free any time you want from the KelbyTV website at http://kelbytv.com/which also has a bunch of other cool photography programs like D-Town and Photoshop User TV (I am in no means advertising for them).

 

Below I have summarised what the guys said in an objective manner (so don’t shoot the messenger haha)

 

10 things every serious photographer should know

  • #1- Study photographers that are currently producing work now that you want to emulate. It’s important to study the classics and use them for inspiration but to be competitive today you really need to look at photographers of today. Eventually when you get to the point where you’re happy you will be able to put your own spin on it.
  • #2- Stop over thinking things! People want a recipe for creativity x2-4p x 3y+4 etc. and become wrapped up in the math of photography. Try to stop worrying about all the technical aspects of photography, for example if your Light setup is too bright on your test shot, turn them down! Or move them! Don’t get lost in the theory of it all.
  • #3- There used to be different patterns for lighting women versus men, butterfly, loupe and Rembrandt method lightning for example. These methods are really old school now and lightning today is moving in a free form style with things like lens flare and blowing out areas which are fresh, new and exciting. You need to know the “old school” methods but also be able to look around you at what is happening NOW! Go look at people who are buzzing and exciting people and photographers.
  • #4- When selecting a lens, think about what you are going to use it for and how much you are actually going to use it. If you have a friend who has the lens, borrow it, try it out to find out what you will be happy with and if it is right for you. There are also Lens rental companies that can loan it to you for a few days or a week so you can find out if it’s really what you want.
  • #5- To be competitive today you have to get good at Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom OR you find somebody to be that second part of the equation who is good at it.
  • #6- Once you go PRO you need to shift from being a photography focused person to a business focused person, basically you need to switch gears.
  • #7- People wanting to better their photography need to understand what online forums are about. They are wonderful for specific stuff, for example, learning how to use a function on your new camera. Online forums are really really bad for your image feedback or anything to do with photography. E.g. posting an image and saying “what do you think”, as you are going to get critiqued and feedback from people who are way under qualified. You need critiques but you need it from honest people who are qualified to do it.
  • #8- Importance of editing your work. Try to edit your own work!
  • #9- Stop going online and posting work that you are experimenting with and still working on. When you share a photo be careful what you share because if you don’t share something you are proud of you are still going to be judged on it.
  • #10- If you want any kind of great photography, you are going to have to do whatever is necessary to get those kinds of photographs. E.g. Landscape- if you live in a boring area travel to some where fabulous photos are made. You have to be willing to shoot it at dawn, willing to travel back there on multiple occasions, and most importantly practice! Photography is hard work and you need to put in the time, but it is also a fun and enjoyable experience.

 

Whilst these points are confrontational, I believe that if a photographer gets stuck being taught lessons that have been around for 40 years there’s no freshness in that. Its hard work photography and there are so many things you have to attack and getting bogged down in out of date techniques is unlikely to get you ahead in this day and age. People walk around with their smartphones and tablets blasting through information a million miles an hour and the stuff that stands out usually has an edge because it utilizes something new. I am not saying don’t learn the classics or darkroom techniques but spended a limited amount of time on them and move on. Instead learn something new and modern! … . Even better ‘create’ something new !!! It’s the new stuff that stands out and becomes viral, and will get people to notice you. Good luck guys and gals!

Luke Z

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