A freezing morning in Virginia.. only a friend and fellow photographer would be crazy enough to come out and photograph the sunrise- That's me in the photo trying to stay warm!

Not so long ago I was asked “why do you help other aspiring photographers? why create more competition for your self?”

Why would I NOT help an aspiring photographer?

If someone loves photography as much as I do and wants to get better at it, why would I not take the time and help them?

When I first started out I had photographers laugh at me and tell me everything was wrong about the photographs I took, they refused to tell me how to improve-this is not helpful to someone who loves photography, actually its disheartening and can make you want to put the camera down and not take pictures any more.

A couple of the photographer’s I met were amazing, they would look at my photographs, tell me where I needed to improve as well offering advice for the next time I tried to take a similar shot. The friendship and help from these photographers was amazing and invaluable. It was these photographers that helped me out and took me on excursions when my husband deployed for a year, they looked after me more than the people he worked with. (who would have thought the photography community could be a better family than the military!)

On a trip with the American Photographers in Germany I was caught taking this shot of a waterfall

I have helped photography enthusiasts in the past, spent lots and lots of time helping them one on one helping them learn the basics of their camera, how to make the most of their camera by using full manual controls and showing them how to get the best shots in the worst conditions, (dark rooms no flash allowed etc) it is a great feeling when that enthusiast decided they want to take their hobby to the next level, and open a business.

It doesnt even bother me that they start by charging less than me, because we all have to start somewhere, and it is much better to be charging than giving away free services, to be able to earn a few $$ when your still in the process of building a portfolio is great! of course at some point in time you realize (like I did) that charging $60 for a session and giving over 100 images is not cost effective, SEE HERE. but that’s part of the growing process.

I have had a couple of people who I have helped who seemed like they appreciated my free advice, kept asking question after question, which resulted in me spending a lot of time with them, only for them to then open their business, continue to photograph everyone on auto mode and edit their photographs heavily to make corrections, that makes me sad because I know they are capable of doing better, but who am I to judge? If they enjoy it, that’s perfect!

I am always happy to answer questions about equipment, achieve a particular look or critique a photo via email, (depending on how busy I am-please don’t be offended if I do not get around to emailing you back) That’s the kind of help I received from my photographer friends and it was really great to have.

If you would like to learn the basics,  having one on one dedicated time with me to learn more about your photography, send me an email.



One Comment

  1. Valarie Risley

    Awesome article. I don’t want to be a pro, I just want to learn the basics and enjoy it for the hobby. I’ve always loved photography but haven’t had much time to learn too much about it.

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