Hobbyist to Pro:
How I became a pro photographer even with limited resources.
I have been a hobbyist photographer for most of my life and have always enjoyed capturing the moments that are happening around me. My original training was as a Medical Technologist and I enjoyed my work, but then I had the opportunity to stay home with my son after he was born and I loved it. As a result, most of my photos have been taken on family trips and vacations. In this article, I’d like to share with you some tips I’ve learned on my journey from being a hobbyist to a pro photographer even with limited resources. This leads me to step one of becoming a pro photographer:
Pro Tip: Start taking photographs right where you are.
As a stay at home mom, photography became important to me because it was my creative outlet. I didn’t just want to document the family, I wanted to create art. However, since I was an at home mom, I couldn’t take special photography trips to see other places with stunning landscapes. Resources were limited and I had a baby at home. I had to take photos where I was. If we were on vacation, that was great! I’d get as many interesting shots as I could. However, if we were at home, I’d try to take photographs around the house of things like butterflies and garden flowers.
Pro Tip: Look for the unusual or unexpected in plain sight.
The way I take pictures when on trips with my family was forever changed when I came upon Kevin McQuade’s photo scavenger hunt. It was available at the hotel where we were staying in Charleston, SC and it seemed like a fun way to spend the afternoon. Kevin’s goal with this was to get people off the beaten path and help them to see the beauty of his city not related to the tourist areas.
Kevin gave specific directions for a walking tour of the residential section of Historic Charleston. The unique way he looked at things was inspirational to me. He didn’t have me photographing area attractions or popular sites instead he showed me the beauty in the alleys, the architecture, and even a cemetery.
For example, for the image I included here, he gave directions to walk to a specific church, then go to a specific step at a specific entrance, and then aim a specific direction. I know I would not have found this particular composition had he not given me directions. I loved the outcome. We didn’t have enough time for me to take all of the shots on the list, but I was ecstatic over the ones I did get.
Pro Tip: Look for Beauty in the ordinary.
How did Kevin’s scavenger hunt change my life? I started looking at my surroundings differently for the rest of that trip and all subsequent trips. I started looking for the beauty in the common places we went. No longer was I aimed at getting only the popular or famous shots, but I looked to find interesting ones as well. I have been collecting these photos for years now and really want to share them with others who might appreciate them as much as I do.
By the way, if you’re ever going to be in Charleston, SC, Kevin now has his own business guiding people who visit to find the hidden places not found in guidebooks. You can find Kevin at secretcharleston.com.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about part of my journey from being a hobbyist to a pro photographer even with limited resources. If you’d like to see more of my pictures from our Charleston trip, you can click here: Charleston Photo Gallery. As always, if you see anything you would like to own, I am happy to print up to an 11 x 17, just send me a message through the website.
Thanks for reading!