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January 17, 2013
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Photography?

:iconyobro11912:
Photography is something that has always interested me, and now that I'm older I need tips on how I could get started on an art career. The photos I take are terrible looking, so I delete them. Could it be my camera? It's a really cheap camera not really meant for photography but it's all I have, I don't have a job yet so I can't buy my own camera.

I think I have trouble with lighting, inspiration, location, and positioning.. So pretty much everything I struggle with.

What are some tips for a starting photographer?
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:icongeorgewjohnson:
georgewjohnson Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes equipment plays a major part but it's no barrier to practising photographic composition. Heck you can practice photography without a camera, you just don't get to keep the results! LOL! Most of the time equipment simply limits quality and creative options.

How long have you been doing it? It can take months or years to see the images you want but the journey can be very rewarding as you build up a skillset that can only be gained by practice. No one can teach you how to take great photos, all the best teacher can show you is the technical aspects that contribute to good images, the use of the camera, composition and dealing with the light, be it natural or artificial. The magic spark that turns an OK image into something stunning is all down to you and how much experience and practice you put in.

Stop throwing away images, pick some of the better ones and start getting them appraised on forums and ask for honest critiques. You said you're having trouble identifying where the problems are, well another set of eyes will help. At first it's going to horrendous and brutal, people will tear your images to pieces, not in a nasty way but in a brutally honest way and most do it so that you see what is required to lift your images above the norm. It's not nice when someone tears something apart and it's the best you can manage but if you take it on the chin and understand it's being done for your benefit, it can be extremely useful to have a very good photographer , with a wide skillset, deconstruct your pictures and give you some good pointers. If you put in the practice and keep coming back for more advice, you will eventually start to see improvement and you will know when you've hit the spot.
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:iconlaciemelhart:
LacieMelhart Jan 17, 2013  Professional Photographer
Everyone starts somewhere - no one started out in photography with Vogue, Time and NatGeo cover worthy shots. You can learn lighting, but inspiration well - that's gonna be up to you to figure out and it may grow on you after time. You're gonna have to get out there and experiment an a lot of the people on this forum are very willing to help you and you'll get a lot of experience insight.

Really good photos have been taken with point and shoots - and some really awful photos have been taken with DSLR's. Just because you have over $5,000 worth of equipment in a small bag doesn't make a difference if you don't know how to use it. Start with a point and shoot, get some good basics under your belt and your SLR/DSLR won't seem like such an overwhelming task.
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:iconsvenler:
Svenler Jan 17, 2013  Professional Photographer
Becoming a successful photographer is about 80% business skills and 20% photography skills.

That said, if your pictures are plain awful, forget about it. And no, it's not your camera - it's up to you as a photographer to know the limitations of your equipment and work around them. Better equipment will simply have more options and different limitations.
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:iconhedwards:
To add to what FallisPhoto said, never delete any images you take, no matter how horrible they are. If you're shooting in RAW, it is permissible to delete the RAW and keep a JPEG version. But, you should never delete any files you create. Look at them and be honest about what you did wrong. Also be honest about what you're doing right. It's easy to chew yourself out because the image is only 98% of what you wanted instead of 100%. Photography is the realm of OCPD and you can easily find yourself showing nothing.

I personally advocate for using a cheap P&S to learn composition and how to work around limitations until you've shot at least 4 or 5 thousands frames. Which can be as short a time period as a single summer.
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:iconfallisphoto:

What Svenler said, plus you'll need an initial investment that can range from $10,000 to "the sky's the limit," depending on what kind of photography you are going to do and who you are going to be doing it for. You'll need a business license, equipment (including office machines), advertizing, maybe some bulk mailings, and you will have to know something about business management, accounting, advertizing, marketing, and so on. Having at least some basic photographic skills will also help quite a lot.

Now about your camera... unless it is truely awful, it isn't the camera -- and it would have to be pretty bad; there are professional photographers that have used things like little pink 110 Barbie Fun Cameras, Holgas, Dianas, box cameras and so on. If you are using one of those 1.2mp digital cameras they used to sell out of bins at Walmart, it might be the camera, but if not, it's you.

About your photographic skills... You will never get anywhere just shooting and deleting. Post some of your stuff and ask for advice. If we can see it, we can see what you are doing wrong and there are people here who can tell you what you need to do differently.

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