As digital cameras have gotten better and much more affordable over the years, photography has become an easy way for anyone to get out of the house and be creative. There’s no better time to scratch that artsy itch than now. So here are a few tips to help you get motivated to jump in with the rest of us and become a photographer! Yes, you can use your iPhone. 


This is a pretty technical tip, but it’s one that separates the men from the boys. The women from the gals. Learn to see things from a different perspective. This is actually just a great life tip in general. Just like your counselor tells you to try and see things from your jerk neighbor’s perspective, try taking photos in a way that most people might not see the subject. You know why drone photography is so huge right now? It’s because most people don’t get to see things from that perspective. You know that super weird guy that is always taking pictures while laying on the ground or shooting things while hanging from the monkey bars? Yeah, he’s definitely getting some good shots, I promise.


Seriously, take tons of photos. Take pictures of landscapes, people, objects, pets, fingers, grass, your grandma, your brother – Take. Tons. Of. Photos. This is how you get good. This is how you figure out your style. When I first started taking photos, I hated taking what I thought was boring landscape pictures.  Now I love it. It’s because I took a ton of landscape photos on trips and figured out how to put my spin on it. I still don’t love them as much as I love shooting a live band; but, I can seriously take a picture of anything now and have fun with it. 


Why Raw?  To put it simply, a raw file holds a huge amount of data and information when you take a photo. You have  more control over your darks and lights. I’ve had photos that looked almost black and have been able to pull a usable image out of it because it was shot in Raw. A jpeg on the other hand, takes all that data and smashes it together into a tiny, compressed file. Great for after you edit a photo and deliver to a client. It’s like ordering a large pizza with all your favorite toppings but then getting one single bagel bite instead. 

Ok, I’ll admit it. When I first started taking photos I had no idea what Raw meant. Let me get a little more honest here. I took pictures for years without shooting in Raw. Now, in my defense I am a videographer. I took photos rarely, but when I did I stuck to jpegs. At the time I worked for a church and we needed fast turn arounds and jpegs worked for me. But, when I look back now as a more seasoned photographer, I totally regret not having raw files of all the cool things I took pictures of when I was first starting out. It hurts to think about how much more I could have done with some of those pictures with all that untapped data. Barf.


This is a tough one, but a rewarding one. Listen to your instincts. You know how many awesome pictures I have probably missed in my life? Couldn’t tell you. I might be driving by something and think, oh man, that would be a great photo. But, I would keep driving or walking and I then spend all afternoon regretting the shots I missed. So many of my favorite photos have been shots that I wasn’t expecting. My parents live out in the country and one time I pulled off the side of the road and took a picture of a horse that was right up next to the fence. One of my favorites. People probably thought I was an idiot, but who cares. Bonus tip, take your camera everywhere.