TRD Photography

TRD Photography - Blog

TRD Photography is the creative outlet of photographer, RIcky Davis. He's been published internationally in various tattoo and alternative publications. He lives in the Chattanooga, TN area and works with models, tattooed and non-tattooed, as well as bands. He specializes in alternative work, but he also shoots fashion, art, and various other stuff as well.

So you want to be a photographer - Part 2 - The Basics

Oregon Coast - 2015 - TRD Photography

Oregon Coast - 2015 - TRD Photography

So you want to be a Photography...Part 2 - The Basics

Over the years I've had numerous people ask me about photography, and there are a lot of misconceptions floating around, or just weird ideas about it that I kinda want to tackle first. And just like I mentioned in my last post, these are my opinions. Not everyone has the same journey and there's not one right way to do this.

Get Rich Quick....

If you're looking to get into photography to get rich, or because you think it's easy money....don't. It's not. Let's face it, you've looked at our rates and you're like "damn! I could do that." So you run out and buy a camera, and decide you're a photographer....These days everyone out there that has a camera is trying to make that easy money. You buy a camera, get Lightroom, and buy a bunch of presets. And then comes actually getting people to book you and pay you for a session. That's a lot harder when there's tons of people out there with the same idea. Even photographers that have years of experience struggle at times. For a lot of us, photography is a secondary gig. It's not a field that many people ever get to the point of where they are "rich" off their photography alone. There are months you can be swamped in work, and months it's hard to even get a booking. You'll get inquiries about your rates, and people will be rude about what you charge, and you'll get hounded to shoot for free. It takes years of work and marketing, and cultivating relationships. If you're starting out and you want to really do photography, do it because you have a passion for it and see where it goes from there.

Do it for the Chicks....

I can't tell you how many dudes have messaged me over the years saying "you're so lucky to get to shoot hot chicks for money" or "can I come hang out at one of your shoots?" I don't even respond. If you're wanting to get into this to see hot girls....just do everyone a favor and don't. If that's your sole motivation, you're not going to get far. You'll just be one of those creepy dudes and sooner or later, it will become evident and people won't want to work with you. Plus you may ruin someone's life and what they are able to do later in life or you may even ruin your life. You put the wrong images out on the internet, and you or they regret it later, there's no taking them down.... So again, you pursue photography because you have a passion for it, and you have something to say...

Put Yourself in their Place...

One thing that I still see a lot of is photos getting released, that can be really embarrassing for the subject. I've done it. Sometimes I still accidentally do it. No one out there is completely 100% comfortable with their body. When you start photography, it takes practice to improve, especially if you don't have graphic design experience. Sometimes that photo that you think is super cool, sometimes is just not flattering for your subject. My personal policy, if someone asks, I'll take it down (and sometimes I really don't want to because some people are just way too hard on themselves) but for me, the most important thing is the person. There's no photo worth making someone feel really crappy about themselves. 

Don't Give Up...

When you start off, chances are, you're going to suck. I sucked. I sucked really bad. I looked at photographs from locals and  I thought to myself, "well, I'm at least that good." But there were dudes that I saw and I honestly thought to myself, I'd never ever be able to be on that type of level, so why try. When you begin, and you suck, you keep pushing, you keep learning, and you'll continue to grow. In my experience, growing came with practice. I went through stages where airbrushing made people look like plastic, but I didn't stop there. People may say some horrible things to you about your work. If it's your passion, don't listen and keep pushing.

Don't Listen to Haters or Buttkissers...

When I started, I got comments and feedback that was incredible. It made me feel like I was awesome! It made me feel like why work so hard when people already loved my work...Then someone I knew started shooting and their work was pretty rough. They got comments like "beautiful" and "I love this!" and the same people that commented, texted me saying "OMG, did you see how awful that is? They want to shoot me, how can I get out of it?" That opened my eyes. The people that blow smoke up your butt, you let it go. On the flip side, you'll have people say horrible things about your work AND about you. This is an industry that can eat you alive. You have to be your own worst critic.

Get a Camera....

If you legitimately want to be a photographer, get a camera. I've had several people approach me about apprenticeships and wanting me to look over the shoots they've done of people on their iPhone's. Our phone cameras are awesome, and incredibly helpful, but if you want to legitimately take up photography, by all means, get a camera. If you can't afford one yet, save up for it and in the meantime study photographs. Study the lighting in the images. Try to figure out what they did to achieve the styles you like.

That's it for now.... I hope that maybe some of it was helpful to you. It's some things that I wish I had known more about starting out. I hope that it helps you as well.