11 Tips To Start Taking Your Own Biz Photos.

Taking great photos seems like a mysterious voodoo to many bloggers and business owners. Because of fear, time constraints, or risk involved, we resort to the convenience of stock photo sites, which are great, but can cost a lot. The beautiful thing about the internet age in which we live is we can learn to do anything in front of the world, like learning to take great photos. Our so-called mistakes are the evidence that we are growing our businesses and brands.

As a blogger, I started out relying on stocks and photos from friends. I was afraid of an imperfect image. But growing a business or a blog is like being a kid: exploring, trying, falling, getting up, and doing it again. I’ve realized as I grow my site, taking my own photos is something I want to learn to do well for myself. This is not only possible, it’s economical, challenging, creativity-boosting, and deeply satisfying.

Here are 11 fantastic ways to get started taking your own photos:

  1. Simplify Your Goals. What do I want to accomplish with my photos? Design and develop my brand? Tell a story? Compliment graphics? Write them down.

  2. Set up a Pinterest Board. Photos, colors, styles, and textures that really speak to your brand.

  3. Study In Short Skill-Building Spurts. Read up on apertures, F-stops, and the rule of thirds, but do it over a weekend or an afternoon. You can easily drown yourself in all of the awesome info. Buy Photography for Dummies (how celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart got started.) Check out tips on sites like Pretty Presets or Light Stalking.

  4. Scout The Tools. Canon or Nikon? DSLR or iPhone? And then there’s the lenses. Ask a photographer friend to share what they know about their tools and give their ego a healthy boost. A great lens set for newbies starting out and using their phones is this one we found on Amazon for less than $10!

  5. Socialize. Everything’s more fun with a friend. Shadow someone. Join a Facebook photography group. Talk about it. Take a class. Grab a friend for a photography field trip to the zoo or the mountains.

  6. Schedule Time With The Sport. Just like when you dribbled the soccer ball or plunked out the same piano piece every afternoon, spend 10-30 minutes every day playing with your new toy. Most photographers are self-taught. Do it to learn it.

  7. Select An Assignment. Trees. White space. Barns. Feet. Kids. Pick something and photograph it as many different ways as you can think of. This will not only have you looking for different ways to see barns, for example, but it will build up a great portfolio & give you a reason to stop the car & explore.

  8. Spend Time With Several Styles. I’m a National Geographic-ish girl, which is often called high contrast. I also love Black & white, muted, and landscape. This is a mixture of processing and subject matter. Don’t be afraid to try a style on for size.

  9. Scribble What You're Learning In A Journal. Share your mistakes and successes in your Instagram or Tumblr captions. Documenting what you’re learning will keep you motivated to keep at it and cement what you know in your brain.

  10. Show Your Work. “Once a day, after you’ve done your day’s work, go back to your documentation and find one little piece of your process that you can share.” ― Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered Sharing your work helps you stretch your skill, gain outside opinion, and participate in creativity with other creators.

  11. Go slow. Photography is a journey that takes time, like any creative art. Discover the gifts it wants to teach you about your business and yourself as you both grow into the beautiful life you are sharing with the world.

I’ll leave you with this great quote from Neil Gaiman:

Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

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Christina Hubbard is a writer, blogger, and poet. She is the author of 5 Ways To Love Like You Mean It. She has contributed to Mops International and guest blogs on several sites. Helping creatives find freedom and courage in their work gives her a serious thrill. She loves snapping photos of her adventurous family, making amazing messes, and finding space to run free on the suburban prairie of Kansas. She blogs at Creative & Free. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.