HOW DID YOU LEARN PHOTOGRAPHY?
I am a self taught photographer. I first picked up a camera back in April 2012. Back then, I had recently started a new job and had been put on the wrong tax code, so after correcting it, I was sent a nice refund. I decided to buy a DSLR from a local shop, put it in manual mode, hopped onto the bus to my local botanical gardens, and started taking photos of flowers and trees.
WHAT YEAR WAS YOUR THEN PHOTO TAKEN IN?
My then photo was taken in June 2014. I was out shooting nature with a friend when I decided to take some photos of her. I'd never shot portraits before so I didn't know how to position or direct subjects, or even how to use natural light in a flattering way, but I instantly fell in love with the experience and the fresh challenges is posed.
WHAT DID YOU DO TO BETTER YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS?
I watched a lot of video tutorials and trolled Instagram and Facebook for images. I would then analyzed them to discover what worked well, the lighting, composition, colors, etc. I also found sites like Flickr really useful because I could see the EXIF data which helped me understand how an image had been captured technically. I then applied all that knowledge to the way I shot and edited my next shoot.
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO A NEW PHOTOGRAPHER TO HELP THEM EXCEL IN THEIR CRAFT?
My best advice would be to seek out as much specific feedback as you can from people you respect and whose work you admire. Apply that feedback to your next shoot and then ask for more feedback. It's easy for us to get offended by criticism, seeing it as a bad thing, but if you think of it as an opportunity to develop, you will propel yourself forward at a much greater rate.