I have never liked the idea of rules in photography. You can’t have rules in creative fields. The “rule of thirds” does anybody even stick to that? I know I don’t consider it when I shoot. Therefore my rules are my tips and tricks of the trade!
1. Be Sociable
By this I mean blog, tweet, Instagram. Build up a following, but also be sociable out there in the field. The more you talk to other photographers, the more you will learn but also see things you may never have considered before. You can always learn more.
2. If people ask to assist you – do not be rude,
especially if they are young. It is flattering that they deem you worthy enough to want to learn from. They may well be the future of photography one day and you need to keep that love and passion alive within them. I’ve had my fair shares of rude photographers unwilling to have me assist to gain experience, which is why, even if I can’t afford an assistant, I am willing to pass on advice or answer any questions they may have.
3. You need an understanding of light and your camera
This is a pretty obvious one in fairness. Photography is all about understanding light and using light. But to really get the best results you need an understanding of your camera, how it works and performs and what to change if the light changes (if you use natural light, this is a must). Even understanding how to get light to work for you is a bit of a must, you may just need to bounce some with a reflector under someone’s chin. Experiment and play with light to learn. When using a studio this is quicker and easier to do (I think so anyway).
4. Be professional but approachable
In other words, be professional but stay friendly and warm and have a smile when you are working! No matter what kind of photography job you are on, you need to have a smile so you don’t look bored. You don’t want your client thinking you really don’t want to be there. You also want to be professional so that they consider you for more work, and more jobs. Yes, your images may be good, but how you interact with the client is also very important. The same rule applies for social media. You want to be professional within your field, but you also need to inject a bit of personality within your tweets or Facebook posts so people don’t see you as some kind of robot running the social media side.
5. Have Fun!
Photography is a competitive field and industry now with recent technologies, so don’t forget to have fun whilst you are shooting. Take a camera with you everywhere, constantly shoot, have fun and enhance your skills! I used to always carry a DSLR with me, now I carry a CSC or my mobile phone with editing apps. Think about undertaking little personal projects to keep the fun alive. Photography starts as a hobby for most people, so keep it as a hobby and never stop enjoying it.