When I first made the decision to turn my hobby into a business, I hit the pavement hard. When my mind is made up about something, I get obsessed and tackle it with full force. This journey has been no different. I love the never-ending challenges! And there is soooooo much to learn. It can definitely seem overwhelming at first, so that's why I put together this list of ways I got started learning the ins and outs of photography. Between the technical side of working a camera to produce beautiful images, to the layers involved with running a sustainable business.. it's a never ending learning curve.
First off.. if you aren’t on YouTube with every single question you have, you’re doing it wrong! You have an incredible tool at your fingertips and the best part is,. it’s free. There are so many polished photography channels out there, and once you find an artist or business owner you resonate with, subscribe to their channel. But, don't stop there! Find their podcast, blog, email list.. anything they offer. Most big-time photography channels send out weekly or monthly educational emails and even those can be helpful and enlightening…and also FREE. If you really love them, they'll most likely have an online course available to purchase if you're ever feeling called to do so. But seriously.. do not underestimate the power of YouTube academy!
The next major learning platform I used and LOVED were Facebook groups. I understand the general consensus seems to be that Instagram and TikTok are the way to go but Facebook has been an incredible learning tool for me. I joined hundreds of groups and stalked so many educators. I scrolled and scrolled reading and screenshooting tips and tricks from questions of other learning photographers. I learned a ton of editing skills by posting my own edits and asking for criticism in groups where I resonate with their work. I’d also follow along with other photographer’s photos and how they edited their’s. The community availability is so vast on Facebook and I personally haven’t found that on instagram (yet). Tik tok is also great, but again I feel limited and don’t retain as much when aimlessly scrolling through videos rather than actively take part in group chatter. That’s just me though! Find what works for you and RUN with it.
The next FREE resource that I loved.. podcasts. They're available on android and apple devices so if you haven't experimented with the beautiful world of podcasts you're sure in for a treat! When I made the decision to turn my hobby into a business I followed up my YouTube wormhole with podcasts. I probably downloaded a dozen within the first day and spent every spare second with AirPods in my ear, listening and learning. The best part about podcasts Is you can listen to them in the car, in the shower, at work (depending on your profession- I was a CNA full time before photographer), doing laundry, cooking the family dinner... You name it, I was pushing myself to soak up as much as I can. Having a variety of podcasts by different business owners and photographers allows you to learn different approaches to photography or even business so you can mold your own, in your own way.
Now the next resource is something I came across years ago when I was looking for ways to learn reiki! I've since used this tool a TON. Udemy.com offers a ton of photography masterclasses. I think I chose the one with the highest ratings and was not disappointed. There's also an app and which makes learning on the go a breeze. The app is free to download and classes range anywhere from $5 to $200. The one I bought was $19.99 and worth every penny. They also offer classes on flash and studio lighting.. you name it, there's probably a class for it. I totally recommend checking out this resource!
So the last one that's 100% worth mentioning is Skillshare. I absolutely loved this site. It's a subscription learning service with thousands of videos from TONS of artists about different skills.. including photography. I did the free trial and stayed subscribed for a few months. As I'm typing this it has me missing it so much that I might have to go check it out again as soon as I'm done this blog. You can follow along with editing videos, videos on lighting, on-camera flash, off-camera flash, specific niche photography.. whatever you're interested in regarding photography there's probably a very polished video out there on Skillshare. Again, check out the free trial and go from there!
Thanks for following along and be sure to follow me for more lame blogs if you're working on growing a business or learning about photography.
Much love and light to you.