Welcome to the first of many Then & Now posts. We will be featuring photographers that have excelled in their craft and show you what their images looked like when they first started, compared to today.
We all start someplace and sometimes need a little motivation to see the light at the end of the road.
We hope this series will motivate you, help you grow and give you a little insight on how others got to where they are today!
How did you learn photography?
Throughout my journey as a photographer my two main ways of learning have been YouTube and trial and error. Other than that, I did get some mentoring from a local wedding photographer in June of 2013, and in July of that year I went on a trip to Europe. During that trip, I forced myself to only shoot in manual and that is how I learned and become comfortable with it.
What year was the before photo taken in?
October of 2012.
What did you do to better your photography skills?
After taking photos of my sister (who is pictured), I moved on to my friends, then mutual friends with model features, and eventually aspiring models and professional models who have a look that fits my style. Going through this long process, I not only took steps up with who I was photographing, but also every other aspect of my photography. I invested in Lightroom and Photoshop, spent (and still do spend) endless hours browsing though Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook for inspiration. I was able to notice what I liked, and did not like, about both my photos and other peoples photos. Once I noticed something I did or didn't like, I tried to figure out why, and how to either fix it, or make it even better. I am constantly growing, learning, and developing my personal style. There will never be a point in which I reach perfection, because I will always want to grow more and try new things.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a new photographer to help them excel in their craft?
Find ways to stand out. Don't go to popular locations just because everyone else does, pursue your own personal style. It may be discouraging and difficult at first, but believe me, in the end you'll be much more satisfied with your work when you're doing something that is personal and close to you, rather than just what is popular. One thing that I feel helps make me excel is to think ahead about every aspect of the photo. I like to have not just a beautiful subject, but also an equally beautiful background. In a way, I feel like this is symbolic of my subjects being beautiful both in and out. And another point to that is I don't want my work to just be pretty pictures. I want it to have meaning. The meaning may be different for me than what it is for you, but that's okay. We can all take away something else. I think that making sure your work has meaning is important for any sort of photographers, whether it be lifestyle, portrait, wedding, music, landscape, or anything else. If it doesn't mean anything to you, why are you doing it?