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My best advice for new photographers getting into the game

I remember looking around the web for the best advice for new photographers. There are literally thousands of tips for the best camera gear, lighting equipment, techniques, etc. It can be hard to wrap your head around everything and it can make you want to quit before you even get started.

Here is the best advice for new photographers that I can think of for when you are just getting started.

1. Everyone has a camera, but your creativity will help you stand out

Cameras are now cheaper than 5-10 years ago, and technology has become more advanced in smaller packages. Millions of people are carrying smartphones with advanced cameras built into them. Everybody has a camera, but not everyone is a photographer. Your ability to frame a subject and get creative with post-production will always help you stand apart from the rest.

Don’t worry about the next photographer with a bigger and more expensive camera. Principles of photography are the same for everyone. It’s how you practice these principles that will make you more of a professional.

2. You don’t always have to buy the newest and most expensive gear

Speaking of bigger and better cameras. It seems like every few months, there is a new bigger and more expensive camera on the market. Yes, it is nice to have, but upgrading constantly can be an expensive habit. I shot with the same Sony a7 camera for 2 years before I upgraded. I even upgraded to an older version and not the newest. The best advice I was given when I started was to invest in good lenses. Camera bodies will be changing all the time, but good glass will always be a great investment.

Many people never outgrew their original camera, but always feel the need to upgrade. If your budget allows it, that’s great. If you’re like me and started with a limited budget, learn new photography skills, and not new cameras.

3. Keep shooting, and don’t give up

There were so many times I wanted to quit shooting. I felt like there were so many other people out there younger, and more creative than I was. I constantly searched social media for tips on how to shoot and learning what my favorite photographers were using. This really made me question my work and why I was shooting. After 2 years of shooting, the best thing I did was not quitting. I kept shooting, studying and kept getting better.

4. The key to becoming a professional is to start presenting yourself like one

Shooting great photos is a sure-fire way to become a professional, but it is not the only way. How you communicate with potential clients plays a big part in how you are perceived. Your brand also plays a huge role in how people see your business.

Take the time and make sure you are presenting yourself in the best light possible. (no pun intended) Another idea is to polish those business cards, and start a simple website or social media portfolio to showcase your best work. This will go a long way in helping you become a pro or start doing TFP portrait sessions.

Just keep making progress

Like any creative, you will find yourself learning with all new projects. Don’t get discouraged at the popularity of people online, as much of this is fake and very trivial. Learn new skills beyond the camera as you keep moving and learning. Best wishes and happy shooting!


Jason Dallas Portraits Model Test ShootsJason The Creative – Dallas Portrait Photographer

Photography just decided to grow on me and I never looked back. I am a portrait photographer growing and specializing in model test shoots. Every one starts somewhere and this is my story.

What’s in my camera bag

My Portrait Photography Gear for Model Test Shoots

Sony a7riii Mirrorless Camera
High Resolution Studio Camera
Sony a7iii Mirrorless Camera
Great Photo & Video Camera
Sony 85mm f1.4 GMaster
Best Portrait Lens
Sony 35mm F1.8
Great wide lens for lifestyle shoots
Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8
First lens I purchased – Amazing and light
Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GMaster
Best all-in-one Portrait Zoom Lens
Sony 24-105 f4.0 G Lens
Best all around walk-around lens

Secondary Portrait Photography Camera and Lens

Sony a6400 Mirrorless Camera (crop-sensor)
Small & amazing quality
Sony 16-55mm f2.8 G Lens
Super sharp and versatile

Sony Mirrorless Bodies You Should See

Sony a7rii
High Quality Studio Camera
Sony a7ii
Great General Purpose Camera
Sony a7sii
High Quality Video Camera
Sony a6600
Photo and Video Camera
Sony a6500
Crop Sensor Video Camera
Sony a6300
Amazing Budget Starter Camera

Full-Frame Lenses You Should Check Out

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Lens
Great budget option zoom lens
Sony 70-200 F2.8 Lens
Amazing Quality Zoom Lens
Sony 16-35mm f2.8 Lens
Superb wide-angle Lens
Sony 85mm F1.8 Lens
Great Budget Portrait Lens
Sony 24mm F1.4 Lens
Sharp Wide Prime Lens

Crop-Sensor Lenses You Just Might Need

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Lens
Great budget option zoom lens
Sony 18-105 F4.0 Lens
Awesome Video Lens
Sigma 16mm F1.4
Great YouTube Lens
Sigma 30mm F1.4
Sharp & Light Weight Lens
Sigma 56mm F1.4
Go-To Portrait Lens

My Current Off Camera Studio Flash Lighting / Location Kits

Profoto Air Remote TTL-S
Remote Trigger
Profoto B2 250 AirTTL Location Kit
Portable light strobes
Profoto OCF 2×3 Softbox
Portable soft light modifier
Profoto OCF Softbox 2ft Octa
Small direct soft box
Profoto 41in Deep Medium Umbrella
Main studio modifier
Profoto OCF Speedring
Modifier connector

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