Join Jim Heid for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting specific about what you want to photograph, part of Getting Started in Photography.
- As you learn more about photography, you'll probably be drawn towards specific types of shooting. Oftentimes they'll match the things you're interested in when you aren't holding a camera. If you love the outdoors, you'll probably get into landscape or wildlife photography. If you travel a lot, you'll want to learn about travel photography. If you like the energy and diversity of the city, street photography might be your thing. If you have kids, you'll wanna learn how to take photos of them that are more than just snapshots. Your learning paths might also reflect your business needs. Maybe you'll want to learn about product photography to be able to sell your services, or the products you make.
Maybe you'll want to learn about portrait photography, so you can take better company head shots. Or architectural and real estate photography, or wedding and event photography. Now, I'm not gonna list every genre of photography here, my point is this: each flavor of photography often has it's own learning needs. As you explore new areas, you'll build on those foundations we've looked at so far, but as you get deeper into specific types of photography, the learning paths often go their separate ways. If you're interested in portraiture, you'll wanna learn how different lighting and poses can set different moods and make your subjects look their best.
If you'll be doing photography for print or online publications, you might have to consider design aspects, like whether a photo needs extra space for text. If you'll be doing travel and landscape photography, you'll want insights on how to capture the unique personality of a place. You'll also be interested in how to pack, what kind of gear to take on the road, the best ways to carry it, and how to manage and backup the shots you take while you're away from home. In so many forms of photography, story plays a huge role. A photo can be so much more powerful if it tells a story of some kind, or gets the viewer curious about what's happening.
And if one photo can tell a story, a group of photos can tell a complete narrative. A photo story, or photo essay, is a collection of images tied together by a narrative thread. The story of an interesting place, or person, or group. The story of an event, anything from a wedding to a war. Within the essay, different types of photos tell the story in different ways and all together, they can be as powerful as the written word. The skills you'll learn for one type of photography will usually help you on others.
Learning how to work with lighting in portraiture will help you work with lighting in product photography. Learning how to keep your eyes open for interesting candid photos while doing street photography will help you capture candid moments at a wedding reception. So as you find yourself starting to specialize, be sure to visit other genres of photography now and then, too. Getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to stretch your creativity and that'll make you a more well-rounded photographer.
- Essential gear, including cameras, lenses, accessories, and smartphones
- Shooting skills
- Using software to manage and edit your images
- Sharing and printing photos