Within my first year of moving to Canada I was able to establish myself as a photographer ready for business. I had a decent following on Instagram and Tumblr, a growing client base, and all the support I could get from family and friends.
As the weather got colder and the school work got heated, I found myself making excuses as to why I cannot shoot. For weeks i didn’t pick up my camera. I could feel the pressure. People thought I had quit, others though I was just lazy. My boyfriend, at the time tried his best to motivate me but there wasn’t any improvement. I kept on making excuses. At times, I’d lie to myself and say I’m practicing my Photoshop skills. But how can I really practice Photoshop without having any new material to work with.
- They say that imitation is the best form of flattery. Find a photographer who you admire and
copyimitate their work in your own way 😉
- Make a mood board. Join Pintrest or Tumblr, and gather together a couple of pictures that have similar colors, themes, aesthetic, styling, or lighting, then watch the ideas flow.
For the full photoset of REACH got to my website
- Ask friends and family. Even if you think they aren’t as creative as you are. they’re bound to have ideas that you can tap into.
- Look at your previous pictures. By doing this, you’ll notice a pattern, you’d know what works best for you!
- Attend a photowalk. A photowalk is when a bunch of photographers and a couple of models meet up at a location and shoot. The advantage here is you’re already provided with models, and a location. All you have to do is shoot!
A picture I took at the 6tour photowalk
- On Tumblr, I inputed #toronto & #mississauga into the search engine to see all the accounts that reside within the Toronto area. I found a couple of people that I wanted to shoot with and sent them each a similar message. I sent 11 messages and only 3 responded. I eventually shot 2 of them.
- Instagram is similar to that of Tumblr, use the location services to search for people within your area that you would like to shoot. Don’t be scared to send them a message. Even if they read your message and don’t reply, don’t fret. They will come looking for you later on. Trust me. On September 15th 2014, I messaged this makeup artist (she’s quite popular on Youtube) if she wanted to do a collab. 2 years later and many amazing shoots later she replies, “Hey hun, how many models will I be working with?” It was funny then because she didn’t fit my vision anymore. I had moved on to bigger things.
- Post a tweet on Twitter requesting for models to help build your portfolio. Everyone loves free pictures so you’re in luck!
- Explore your surroundings, find spots that fit or even juxtapose your vision.
- Ask around. People know things.
- Studio space. If you have the extra cash to spend, why not shoot in a studio? For those who live in Toronto, there are many affordable studios.
She titled it, ReBirth
- Plan: check the weather reports. It may not be 100% accurate but it gives you an idea. Always have a back up just in case
- Practice shooting in different seasons, weather conditions, and temperatures to expand your skills.
- I queue my posts. Before the school year starts I shoot as much as I can then scheduled the posts on Tumblr per week or every other day. That way, it seems like I’m shooting constantly and going to classes as well. It’s a win- win! After all, we are trying to be consistent and relevant.
- I call it the Handbag Trick. Just as a woman doesn’t go anywhere without a handbag/purse, so should you with your camera. You’re going to get groceries? Take your camera and shoot flowers or produce. You’re on your way to class? Take your camera along and shoot some candids. You’re bored in your room? Shoot objects within your reach. This would help you practise your editing skills as well as allow you narrow down the niche you’d love to pursue.
- Ask around. You should be friends with a couple of photographers who would be willing to lend you their equipment. Just make sure you return it immediately you’re done and in good condition!
- Rent equipment. There are many places you can rent photography equipment per day or per hour’
- Invest. Buy the equipment you need. You’re going to use it many times over and in no time, you’d the money back.
The more excuses you give as to why you can’t shoot, the harder it will be for you to shoot! So get out there and shoot!