A Message to Beginner Photographers
My backstory and advice for beginners
Starting out as a car photographer just emerging onto your local car scene can be a bit daunting, so in the following article, I hope to share my backstory as well as give some advice to all those who are just beginning or are relatively inexperienced.
I am 17 years old and am currently in the final year of high school. In the lower years we all completed a class in photography. I found this quite interesting and decided to pursue it in later years. I started with floral photography, and started an Instagram for it in October of 2016 (which I decided would be better to close down) with a simple Coolpix point-and-snap. Fast forward to August of this year, I started getting into cars and thought about photography but found it extremely daunting. Fast forward to present day when I now have over 120 followers on my car photography Instagram account (@photog_media_). I know that there are lots of people who start out just like me so I thought I would share some things that helped me along.
Go to Events
All rights go to Classic Cars and Coffee Perth. (This photo is not my own)
My first set of photos was from a celebration of 60 Years of the Mini in Perth. I chanced upon this and just took photos for the hell of it, which eventually led to this account and everything else. Free events are a great place for you to enter the car scene as they allow you to freely wander around cars without costs or pressures. By nature, I myself am a very nervous and worrisome person, but by just wandering around and looking through my lens I was able to freely enjoy myself without the pressures of other people.
People may also just come up and talk to you because your are a photographer. At a local meet I attended in early December, the owner of one of the cars came up to me whilst I was taking photos of it and we had a conversation. It is a great way to build up relations with your community and grow your network
Talk to People
Talking to people increases your exposure in the world. I started by just going around to car photographer instagrams and leaving likes and messages of appreciation as well as ones from my area. Many photographers offer kind feedback and words of encouragement and you can get into deep conversations with people and meet similar enthusiasts
You should definitely use social media. Social media, similarly to talking to people increases your exposure. The two best places that I reccomend Instagram due to it's great format and large userbase and Drivetribe because of its nature. Here on Drivetribe is a safe place to show your work. There are many great mods here who see your work and share it with the world. My second post, from Classic Cars and Coffee Perth was shared by a mod, and look at the exposure that it gleaned.
studio.drivetribe.com/ | The three numbers are views, likes and comments in that order from the left.
Lots of Pictures
Taking lots of pictures will help you discover what kind of shots that work for you, and will also increase your chances of finding that golden shot that works.
You are also able to send collections of photos to event organisers, and who knows where it will lead. For the joke of it, i sent a collection of photos to the organisers of a cars and coffee event I attended in October and I was rewarded with a feature on their instagram account.
Classic Cars and Coffee | Instagram @classiccarsandcoffee
Your equipment does not matter. Well of course, from a technical point of view a $55,000 DSLR kit will perform better than an Iphone 4, but this is irrelevant. The most important thing in a photograph is the message that you are trying to convey and the emotion behind it. Many photographers are successful after starting with phone snaps and spotting. Don't invest into a multi-million dollar kit if you are just starting out as you need to feel if you are properly invested in this field before doing so.
Don't be afraid
This is really the gist of everything. Taking a leap of faith is what will truly get you into cars and car photographers so don't be afraid to take that leap. Just remember that all great car photographers have started in this way
You should always use those communities around you, wether it be your local event attendees or members of tribes such as this one. They provide a solid backbone and can prove to be the springing point for your passion and movement through "the car scene"
Lots of photographers including me are willing to help you along and provide valuable tips and assistance. The car community as a whole is very inclusive and kind. Feel free to shoot me a message here or on Instagram if you have any questions, or ask the Photography Community Chat!
Improvement of Photography Skills
Below I have linked to a post by Chris Turek which effectively describes many different ways in which you are able to improve your skills.