Jeff Fried
Content Maker

How to Become a Photographer Without a Degree

Learn By Doing

The value of learning by doing is that it provides hands-on experience and the opportunity to make mistakes. The learner has the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and make adjustments in their work accordingly.

Learning by doing is a more effective way of learning than reading about it or watching someone else do it. Learning by doing allows for a lot more creativity and freedom than just following instructions.

The value of learning by doing is not just in the knowledge gained, but also in the skills and abilities developed. These skills and abilities can be applied to other areas of life.
a minimalistic composition of three colors along with three white objects each a different shape

Get Out There and Make Mistakes

As Steve Jobs said, "You need to get out there and make mistakes. You need to be making mistakes because you are going to learn from them." 

It is only once you make mistakes that you will learn how to do something better.

It is not like we are robots, and instead, we are human beings with free will. We should try new things and be creative in order to find out what works best for us.

Additionally, this will help us grow as a person because in the process of overcoming our fears we have become stronger individuals- not just people who are trying to survive from day-to-day.

Shoot, Edit, Critique, Repeat

As a photographer, you need to shoot, edit, critique, and then repeat. This is the path to improvement. Shoot what you love. When editing, remove images until you have only the strongest remaining. It used to be that you'd shoot a roll of film. Most 35mm film shot about 36 frames to a roll. When someone first got their hands on a camera and started shooting, you'd be lucky to get one truly good frame out of a roll. Look at each image honestly and ask yourself, "what is this image actually about?" Try to look at each image through the eyes of a stranger who has not preexisting relationship to the shot. Why should they care? Would they keep looking at the photo? For how long? Critique your images and move towards something bigger.

Learn by Studying Other Art & Artist

To grow as an artist, one should study other art and artists. Artists should study their techniques and styles to improve their own work.

Studying other art and artists is important for many reasons. It helps the artist grow in many ways, such as becoming better at what they do, improving their skills, and learning new things that they can apply to their own work. By studying other art and artists, the artist can learn from them and become a better version of themselves.

Study Art History

Art History is not just a subject of study. It is a way of seeing the world and understanding art in relation to it. It is a way of thinking about art in relation to other arts and disciplines, like architecture, or philosophy.

It's also a way to grow as an artist - to become better, to improve, and to learn how other artists have solved problems in the past.

Art history is a valuable resource for artists. Studying it will help them to grow and become better. It will also improve their skills and help them learn to see and think like the masters who came before them.

Study What's Going on Today

Artists need to be aware of what is going on in the world around them. They need to know about the current issues and how they can add to the conversation.

Artists should not just rely on their own experiences and thoughts, but should learn from others. They should also keep up with what is happening in the world today.

As an artist, it is important to not only know the history of art and how it has evolved over centuries, but also be able to understand what is going on in the world today. Artists should be able to learn from what other artists are doing and use that knowledge as a way to grow their own artistic voice.

In order for artists to find inspiration, they need to be aware of what is going on in the world around them. They should also be able to see and think about things differently. By learning from others, they can become better at their craft and improve their skills as an artist.

Master the Technical Side of the Camera

The artist needs to learn the technical side of the camera in order to produce a well-balanced and composed photograph.

The aperture is another important factor for photographers. It lets you control how much light comes into your lens by adjusting how wide open it is. The wider it is, the more light will come in; but if you want to have a shallow depth of field, you’ll need a smaller aperture size so that only a small portion of what's in front of you will be in focus.

Every artist needs to know the basics of photography. It is not enough to just take a picture and hope for the best. There is a lot of technical information that needs to be taken into consideration in order to create a good quality photo.

Understand Aperture

Aperture is a camera setting that refers to the size of the opening in the lens that lets light into the camera. The aperture controls how much light gets into the camera, as well as how much depth of field there will be in your image. Aperture size is measured in f-stops, and it can be adjusted on your camera by turning the aperture ring on the lens barrel or by selecting an appropriate setting on your camera's menu system.

You will often hear aperture referred to as the f-stop. Depth of field affects how much of your image appears sharp or soft.

Your camera's aperture is one of the three factors that determines exposure, with shutter speed and ISO being the other two. Aperture is related to shutter speed and ISO because when you change one, you may need to adjust one or both of the others in order to maintain a proper exposure.

The aperture setting on a camera affects how much light enters the lens and subsequently, how much gets to the sensor. If you're using a small aperture (large opening), then more light will enter and reach your sensor than if you were using a large aperture (small opening).

Different sizes of aperture are measured in f-stops (hence why aperture is often called f-stop), which indicate how many times larger one opening is compared to another.

Aperture will affect both composition and color in a photo.

Understand Shutter Speed

The shutter speed is one of the most important factors in photography. It determines how long your camera will expose light to your sensor. The longer the shutter speed, the more light that will come into your lens and be recorded by your sensor.

In other words, shutter speed determines how long the shutter stays open when you take a photo.

Understand ISO

ISO refers to an international standard for measuring sensitivity of film and digital cameras.

The photographer has many variables that they can manipulate in order to change exposure, such as ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Each variable affects how much light is captured by the sensor or film, which affects overall image brightness and quality.

There are two main ways that photographers manipulate these variables: manually or automatically via a feature called automatic exposure (AE). AE lets photographers adjust one variable at a time while still retaining control over all other variables (ISO, aperture, shutter speed).

A photographer needs to be able to manipulate ISO and understand how it relates to shutter and aperture. The ISO is the sensitivity of the digital sensor in a camera, which determines how much light is needed for a picture to turn out well.

To get great shots, photographers need to be able to manipulate these three things together.

Continuous Light vs Strobe Light

Continuous light is the continuous emission of light by a light source, while strobe light is a periodic and rapid discharge of energy in the form of a flash.

A strobe light is a type of artificial light that can be turned on and off very fast. It is often used in photography to freeze motion, such as in a sports photo or an animal portrait.

When you are photographing objects with continuous light, you can use it to illuminate your subject as well as to create shadows and depth.

Continuous light sources are used where a constant level of brightness is required, such as in product shoots or portraits. The sun is a continuous light — so are interior lights in you home or on the street. Photography requires a lot of light. This is where understanding exposures and the difference between shutter, aperture, and ISO start to really matter.

Understand How to Use Mixed Light Sources

Understanding how to mix light sources like strobe light and continuous light is an advance phase of a photographer's growth.

Mixing light sources together can create dramatic effects.

As a photographer, it is important that you understand how to properly and effectively use these two different types of lights in order to get the desired effect.

Develop Your Vision

A photographer's vision is the most important thing that they need to develop. It is what sets them apart from other photographers and it is what will make them stand out in the industry.

The best way to develop your vision as a photographer is to take time for yourself and explore your surroundings. You can do this by taking pictures of anything that you find interesting, whether it be people, places, or things. The more you practice this, the better you will get at developing your own unique style and vision as a photographer. 
the golden gate bridge

Learn How to See in Your Own Way

A photographer is someone who captures moments in time. But to be a good photographer, you need to know how to see in your own way. You need to be able to see the world in a way that others don't and capture it through your lens. 

Photography is an art form that requires technical skills, but it also needs creativity and imagination. A photographer needs to have the ability to see things differently than others do, and then capture those moments with their camera.

Make it Meaningful

The best way to make your photography meaningful to others is to make it meaningful to yourself.

This is because the best way to get a good photo is by being in the moment and capturing what you see. If you are not in the moment, then you will not be able to capture what you see. And if you are not capturing what you see, then your photos will not be as meaningful as they could have been.

Clean vs Chaos & Everything Between

Composition is the way in which the photographer arranges the subject matter within the frame. The composition of a photograph can be simple or complex, and can involve many different elements. The subject matter can help you think about what creative choices you want to make relating to composition.

Develop Your Vioce

The first step is to find your style. It is important to know what you want to photograph and what you are good at. You need to be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses as a photographer.

The second step is to find your voice. This will help you create a unique style that will make your photographs stand out from the crowd. You need to be able to tell a story through your photographs, not just take pictures of things that are pretty or interesting.

The third step is finding inspiration in other photographers work and the world around you. This will help you develop a style that is uniquely yours, while still being influenced by others who have come before you.

Make Me Care

Emotion is the most important part of any story. It is what makes us care about what you are telling us. We need to feel a connection to your story in order for it to be successful.

The best way to do this is by using the power of empathy. When we empathize with someone, we can understand their feelings and relate to them on a personal level. This will make the audience more likely to care about your story and listen attentively.

What You Say vs How You Say It

Tone is the attitude that you are conveying in your photography. It is the feeling that you want to give off to your viewers. Voice is the personality of your photography, it's how you want to come across to those looking. Affect is the emotional response that you want your audence to have after viewing what you created.

When telling a story, it's important to consider what you're saying relative to how you are saying it. Tone, voice and affect all play a role in this process and should be considered when telling a story or sharing a photograph.
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