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5 Things I Learned As A Photography Student

I purchased my camera in April this year, hoping it would elevate my blog aesthetic. I was right but it also got me thinking, I had no freaking idea how to operate my camera outside of it's presets. By May I had decided to go back to school, not just for photography, but to perfect all aspects associated with blogging so that I could produce better quality content.

Though I've only been in school for one semester, I've learned so much from my instructor and I want to share with you what I've learned so far. Photography isn't just point and click. You need time to be able to learn your settings and how to achieve the look you're going for. Whether you're interested in going into photography for fun or for profit, here are a few tips to help you along the way.

It's NOT a Cake Walk

The one thing I learned once I started my photography course is it's not as easy as I thought it would be. High-key, I thought I was going to be taking a boat load of pictures and getting an easy A. WRONG! We received our first assignment on the first day of class and it was worth 300 points! YOWZERS!!!! If you're a first time photographer, like myself, going into a college course on photography, HUMBLE YOURSELF! I knew nothing about taking pictures and it took a while for me to adjust. Which brings me to my next point...

It's Not Just Point and Click

When I received my camera in the mail, I took it straight out of the box and started shooting. I didn't care to read the manual because I wasn't interested in learning the other settings. I just wanted a blurred background and to look high definition. That didn't happen, like AT ALL! I was frustrated. Fast forward a few months, that first assignment I spoke of, was to read your manual and to get to know your camera. We had a quiz on how to change your settings, aperture and shutter speed. The second half of the assignment was to operate the camera in manual mode with no auto focus. Now, I don't like operating if my camera is not in manual mode and manual focus. My pictures come out more crisp that way.

Operating in Manual Mode is Hard AF

As stated above, it took me a while to adjust to manual mode. I couldn't grasp the idea of changing the settings myself. That, to me, was the hardest thing about operating in manual mode. Knowing what f stop you have to adjust for a certain type of lighting. Figuring out what shutter speed compliments what f stop. It was frustrating AF! It's still just as frustrating because I'm still a beginner but it's also just a wee bit easier because I have constant practice.

It's Not Your Lens, It's Your Settings

The one thing my instructor preaches is to know your settings. If you know your settings, no matter your experience, you can achieve professional looking pictures. There have been countless assignments this semester where myself, or my classmates, have turned in pictures that look like that came straight out of a magazine. My classmates truly give me inspiration week to week.

All Lighting Matters

Lighting is something we worked with the least this semester, but lighting is just as important as everything else we've talked about. Lighting can influence the shape of your subject. It can determine the mood or alter the meaning of your photo. Paying attention to your lighting, whether it be natural or studio can be the difference between a good photo and a great photo.

These are just a few lessons that I've learned this semester. I know I've been a little stingy with my photography the last few months, but I promise I'm going to get back to it. It's been so hard to shoot for myself, when I'm shooting for school. I'll be posting some of my assignments on the blog soon, that way you can see what I've learned over the entire semester. Until next time...


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Phoenix Beauty 101 started as my name in my faux business plan when I was in cosmetology school. I needed a name to finish my project to graduate. It stuck! Fast forward and its been my social media persona since 2011...

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