Getting Started in Photography – Howell Photography – Photography tips

Recently, as is usual just after the New Year we have had a few Photography enquiries drop into our inbox. I know for some, this may be a New Years resolution, for others possibly their first steps in pursuing a new career. Here are a handful of the questions and answers.

Q. What lenses do you use ?

A. We have a good variety of lenses and carry a full kit on a Wedding Day. As we shoot together we always make sure we carry enough kit so that we can both shoot in any given situation at the same time without fighting over lenses. Doug and I both have our favourites and luckily they are not the same.

My two top two lenses are the Canon 35mm f1.4L and the Canon 85mm f1.2L. Doug prefers the Canon 50mm f1.2L and the Canon 70 – 200 f2.8L IS II. We also carry a Canon 100ml f2.8L IS macro lens and a Canon 70 – 200 f4L  IS. We carry 2 flashes, 3 Canon camera bodies, 1DX, 5D MK 2 and 3. We also have a variety of reflectors etc.

Another question we are often asked is

Q. Can you give any advice when starting out in photography ?

A. The best advice I was given was to only photograph what you truly love. There are many subjects to choose from, weddings, landscapes, people, commercial, fashion, wildlife, architecture, sports, gardens, to name but a few. You will only truly engage and be at your best with the subject that holds your attention. Obviously this will be the one you love the most. We dabble a little in some of the above but our main priority is weddings and portraiture because this is what we love to do. This is what holds our attention and engages us the most. Think about what you really like to shoot and more often than not this will be the area you excel at. Look through magazines and see which images you are drawn to.

Q. Can you critique our work ?

A. The answer to that question is no. I wouldn’t want to crush anyone who is trying. At the same time don’t always listen to family and friends. They will always be kinder than a paying client and are probably the last people who would want to upset you. Courses are a good way to obtain constructive and honest critique whilst learning new skills. I attended a short one day course which got me started in children’s photography. I then went on to do a full years course where I discovered my love for wedding photography.

Q. Can anyone learn photography ?

A. Yes, most people can learn how to use a camera just like most people can use a computer or drive a car. If you are good at art or design you are more likely to be a more creative photographer. I was always pinching my Dads camera as a child and as a teenager he lost it for weeks on end. I didn’t appreciate at the time just how encouraging this was. He never complained. He is a water colour artist and tried to show me how to paint but I only wanted to photograph scenes. I did well at school in art, design and English literature. All subjects where you need to be imaginative. This still continues today. In the words of Ansel Adams ” You don’t take a photograph, you make it

The below shots were taken in our early days as photographers. We still like to create dreamy or lively fun shots. My heart has always leaned towards country style images even back then.

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