"Lydia, you are so talented!" "I wish I could take photos like you!" "I wish I was creative like you!"
WANNA KNOW A SECRET? YOU CAN.
Almost five years ago, I was in a tattoo shop, watching my husband get some new ink by one of our favorite artists, Jason. He's terrific at his craft. As I was watching him draw up my husband's new tattoo, I lamented that I wished I were creative, but that I didn't have a creative bone in my body. And it's true. At that time, I was NOT creative.
You know what he told me? He told me creativity is learned. He seemed almost insulted that I thought he woke up with this immense amount of talent, like he was just born with it. I argued with him. I didn't get it. I couldn't wrap my head around it.
I had gotten my first DSLR that week. I was overwhelmed by all the controls. I didn't even know HOW to buy a good lens. What on EARTH was an aperture?! So, I practiced. I googled. I practiced. I youtubed. I practiced. I checked out books from the library. I practiced. I hired a mentor. I practiced.
And that's when I realized, I was using the concept of being born with talent as a cop-out.
What Jason was telling me was meant to be ENCOURAGING. He was telling me that if I wanted to be creative, I COULD. It took me four years to understand.
So, I want to encourage you, too. If you want to be creative, PRACTICE. Exercise! Try new things... fail at them. Try them again. FAIL AGAIN. Youtube the technique. Try again. And eventually, you're going to get it.
If your daughter comes to you and says "Mom, I want to be the best soccer player in town!" What do you tell her? Do you tell her that you're sorry, but that she wasn't born with soccer skills? OF COURSE NOT. You tell her that she's going to have to work hard. And practice. And learn from people who are better than her and have already mastered the skills she wants to master.
So, it's the same for you, friend. If you've been wanting to get good at photography. Spend less time WISHING and more time WORKING at it. I promise, it'll pay off.
Here are three of my favorite online resources for beginner photographers:
1. Clickin Moms - http://clickinmoms.com
Clickin Moms is a paid photography forum, but you'll get lots of valuable information. Their blog is free and is loaded with great tips and tricks as well. By far, the most valuable resource, is their store. You can buy photography classes from advanced photographers, whose style inspires you. You'll find lots of great information from beginner to advanced.
2. Click it Up a Notch - http://clickitupanotch.com
This website is where I started. Courtney writes in a way that's easy to understand and not overwhelming. She breaks it down into manageable chunks. Her article about shooting in manual is where I always send friends who just bought their first DSLR. You'll definitely want to check her out and subscribe to her email list.
3. Creative Live - http://creativelive.com
If you learn by hearing/watching/seeing, Creative Live will be PERFECT for you. You can view their schedule of live classes, which are free, or purchase classes which interest you. Their classes cover the basics of shooting, lighting, editing, posing, etc. Anything you could want to learn, you can find on Creative Live.
I still visit these resources regularly. I still practice. I still google. I still mess up. I still have mentors.
If you're local to Oahu (or soon, Springfield, IL!) and would like some hands-on learning, where you can ask questions and see EXACTLY how I shoot, be sure to click on the LEARN tab and set up a group or one-on-one beginner photographer class!
I would love to help you exercise your creativity and learn to take photos of your family that you're proud to hang on your walls!