Taking pictures is something I’ve wanted to get better at ever since I bought my Nikon D40 two and a half years ago before I left for China and Tibet in 2008. I dabbled a bit in online photography guides and asking friends for pointers, but it wasn’t until a friend suggested (“in the spirit of your project!”) that I take a class that I finally took a more formal step in the right direction.
I signed up for Chicago Photography Academy‘s Beginner Digital class. What a great experience. The instructor was a funny, knowledgeable Irishman named William Benson who had a lot of great advice and was very encouraging to the group who was very new in their practice.
Many of the photography lessons seemed to translate to life, too. I’ve outlined a few below:
1. “There’s no color out there, only experience.” I liked his emphasis on experience and that everyone perceives things differently. I think that’s important to remember.
2. Taking great pictures and being a photographer are very different things.
3. When you get your first job, exude confidence even if you have to fake it – it’ll make a world of difference.
4. Be positive. William made a great point, “holding in your head everything that could possibly go wrong has got to be the definition of insanity”. So true. Be positive. It really does help.
5. Simplicity. If it’s not important, don’t put it in the picture. I think this was the most important metaphor from class. Eliminate things that don’t matter. Don’t spend energy on things that aren’t relevant to you. Simplify wherever possible so you can focus.
In addition to the things above, I learned a lot of things about my camera and it’s settings as well as composition and how to take better pictures. I’m excited to start practicing all of it in the next few weeks and months.
Happy Sunday. Have an amazing week.