What To Do & What NOT To Do If You’re a Photographer

By: Ray Dozier, APSU Communication Student

OK, so I consider myself an amateur photographer. I got my first ‘real’ camera (a Rebel T3i, love it) in the winter of 2012. I was in my high school Criminal Justice class, and we had to take pictures of staged crime scenes with cameras provided. I fell in love, and since then I’ve taken classes in both high school and at the college level. There are a few tips I have for those who want to attempt photography.

Tell a story: don’t just take the picture everyone else is getting. Get a different angle than what others are doing. Get on the ground, go to the side. Paint a specific light.

Remain ethical: someone crying or showing emotion can be an excellent way to convey a story. With that being said, you can also highly offend someone if they don’t know you’re taking the picture, or if they don’t understand why you took it. If there is a mass tragedy, or anything along those lines, get permission.

-State the facts about why you want to capture the moment and keep in mind the feelings of those affected. Using a picture out of context is not right. If you took a picture from one event and used it saying it was for another, that’s unethical and really it’s shoddy work if you don’t cite and specify that it was from a different time.

-Staging photos feels fake and most of the time you can tell it’s staged!

Lighting: I beg of you, PLEASE stop taking pictures in the sun. Your pictures are too ‘hot” (saturation of light.) Attempt pictures early in the morning, or when the sun is setting. An example is the last seconds of Taylor Swift’s music video ‘Love Story” when she is cuddling the ‘Romeo” that came to save her. The sunlight was at an optimal level. Within this, though, you’ve got to keep in mind that you will lose the sun quickly. Make your time count! Watch the news for the weather, and download apps. They have apps for this!!

Being a photographer is so much fun, but at the same time everyone thinks they can do it now just by buying a decent camera. Like with any other job or hobby, practice your techniques! Make your art stand out from others attempting the same. Doing this in a unique way can set you apart from the rest, and you’ll be better off because of it.



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