From getting started to staying inspired: photography for everyone

Photography
Oct 14, 2020 by Monica Linzmeier
13 MIN

Here at Meero, photography is our bread and butter. From organizing shoots around the world to developing the latest photo editing algorithms to communicating with our global network of partner photographers, we live, breathe, and eat photography. We’re always reading about the latest trends, learning about the newest techniques, and investing in improving the industry. 

To this end, we conducted the largest study to date about the professions of photography and videography. What did this study show us? That photographers are generally optimistic about their future, and as such, they are always looking to improve. Over the past few years, we’ve worked on a handful of content about these exact issues, and we've tried to compile it for you here.  Here’s what we’ll be covering, feel free to click to jump down to the relevant section based on your own level and interests.

 

Starting out: where to turn to learn about photography

Read advice from experts

Video Tutorials

Participate in workshops and pair up with others

Formal education and apprenticeships

 

Leveling up, honing your craft

Practicing with intention

Exploring different techniques

 

Finding inspiration

Change the scenery

Keep up with current events

 

Sharing your content...

...With family, friends, and clients

...With the public

 

Starting out: where to turn to learn about photography 

 When starting out in photography, there are a lot of things to learn and a lot of ways to learn them: formal education, tutorials on Youtube, blog articles, camera manuals. So we’ve compiled some resources and suggestions of our own. Here are a few of our favorite ways to learn.

Read advice from experts 

Why navigate the ocean all alone when there are plenty of adventurers who have come before and started mapping it out? We’ve tried to make it simple and we asked a panel of Meero experts about what advice they would give photographers that were just starting out, what type of camera to buy, and their favorite accessories, and they didn’t disappoint!  Be sure to click on the links to see what they said! 

Video Tutorials 

Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever to learn new techniques. With thousands of tutorials out there on YouTube, you’ll never run out of material to learn from. We here at Meero were eager to share our info with the world as well, and that’s why we created Meero Studio, where we share master classes produced in cooperation with the NOOR Foundation. These video tutorials cover topics in-depth and are led by the masters. 

 Here’s a quick recap of what you’ll find on myMeero: 

 

 

Participate in workshops and pair up with others

Locally organized workshops tend to have a specific focus, but can be a great way to tackle a given technique and network with other photographers. Workshops will vary depending on where you live and many, like the one Meero organized in New York about natural light photography, are run by professional photographers who share their wisdom with younger, less experienced photographers. 

You can meet a lot of like-minded people at workshops, and then partner up with them to work on your own skill in your own time. Having a buddy to take turns posing for portrait photography is particularly useful because, in order to take good portraits, it’s important to understand the discomfort that can come from being photographed. To learn more about improving your portraits, check out this guide

Formal education and apprenticeships

Finally, it’s hard to go wrong getting a formal education. 

Meero photo editing team leader Joao Bolan went that route. As he reveals in this interview he was able to learn from the masters directly. As for apprenticeships and learning through work, Meero partner photographer, Vincent N Van was able to get experience working directly with his idol as he recounts in this interview from last year. 

There are many different types of schools out there, so be sure to do the research about what you are looking for. 

Leveling up, honing your craft   

At the end of the day, there are a million ways to improve your skill, the only wrong way is to do nothing. Here are a few suggestions to make sure you make the most of your practice. 

Practicing with intention 

Practicing is practicing, and we’re always going to advocate for getting out and trying things out, but to advance as quickly as possible, there are exercises that will help focus on the technical side of things. 

For example, to really master Shutter speed, choose to practice techniques that require a very fast shutter speed, like sports, and then do the opposite and slow it down. 

Getting out your tripod and practicing long exposure photography is an excellent way to truly understand the concept. Even better, get out and shoot photos of the stars. You can learn how with this step by step guide.

Many of these techniques are going to require a solid understanding of shooting in manual mode and the three components that lend to a correctly exposed photo. Covering manual mode is a dense topic, and we can’t go into too much depth here, so be sure to check out the ultimate guide to shooting in manual here.  

Practicing at home 

People that think only good locations make for good photographs are wrong. A good photographer can take a good photo anywhere, and so one way to practice with intention is to restrict yourself to practicing at home. It will encourage you to think critically about your surroundings and push you to find beauty in your day to day life.   

Our ambassadors know it too, and they’ve laid out a list of photo techniques to try in your very own home. Josefina Vaca Fernandez, a Meero ambassador in Argentina suggests using the props you have in your home to try out new styles.  

“The good things are in the details... you may be stuck at home but you can improvise with the lights and the accessories you have at home.”

For even more ideas, check out this quick video about 8 DIY photo filter hacks to try at home.

 

 

Exploring different techniques

Many well-known photographers are known for their work in one specific field because they have built their brand around their unique photographic perspective. Slowly but surely, through practicing one particular niche, they become the experts in their field.  But very few photographers find their calling on the first try. You’d be hard up to try to find a portrait photographer who had never practiced landscapes, or a wedding photographer who never tried culinary photography. 

Here are a few techniques we recommend trying out, as you can practice them in your very own home.

Food Photography 

Food photography is a great way to be creative and artsy, especially if you are practicing at home because you get to cook, style, and stage the food, as well as taking photos after. It’s a combination of getting the settings right and staging the food properly. We’ve written a short guide about how to master shoot food and beverage photography here.  

If you start shooting food for restaurants, sometimes there’s the added bonus that food photographers occasionally get to take the food home with them as well as Martina Jones explains in this interview about how she minimizes food waste during food and beverage shoots

Finally, it’s a great way to build exposure, as there are competitions for food photography every year. 

Real estate photography

Real estate photography is another great outlet for photography, as there are strict rules and codes while maintaining a certain level of creativity. (Plus, it will come in handy whenever you need to move house and find new roommates, renters, or buyers.) 

We’ve outlined the most important steps to take to master real estate photography, and you can find them all in the ultimate guide on how to take Real Estate photos.

And if you’re curious about what it's like to shoot Real Estate with Meero, check out this interview with real estate photographer Todd Feeney

If neither of these styles really appeal to you, a good place to start is to try combining photography with a second passion. Do you love mountain sports like Grégory Vigier? Are you motivated by concerts like Sigried Duberos?  

Combining two passions can lead to unique images, and is a sure-fire way to remain inspired.  

Finding inspiration

At a certain point, working and manipulating a camera will become like breathing, and you’ll be able to take the photo that you’ve imagined in your mind before ever clicking the shutter release button. Even then, especially then, it’s important to find fresh inspiration in order to stay relevant. Everyone pulls inspiration from different sources, here are a few of our favorites for those days when the spark seems dimmer than usual.  

Change the scenery 

One way to find inspiration? Get out and explore! It may be cliché, but traveling has a way of opening our eyes and widening our perspective of the world. Take a cue from photojournalist Sarah Arnould, who travels the world and lets the images she encounters shape her portfolio.

If you have some time on your hands, why not look a little further down the road and try to plan a trip to an area that maybe caught your eye, and try to add your own stamp to the local postcard collection. For anyone planning a trip to France in the coming years, why not check out this list of the 10 most beautiful (and original) places to photograph in France

Keep up with current events

Let inspiration come from your day to day life. By keeping up with current events, you can try to capture your own experiences and recount a story through photo essays. A great example of a recent photo story that actually got picked up by the BBC is one by Meero Ambassador Adam Isfendiyar. At the beginning of the confinement in England, he went around and got portraits of local families from the window of their homes. 

He was able to share his perspective of the confinement, and share the stories of so many others, just by looking for a new angle on current events. 

Sharing your content... 

Great works need to be shared! Whether that means getting your work in front of a public or simply sharing with a private client or friends, it’s an essential part of being a photographer. 

...With the public 

Many photographers have to find a balance between creating images for themselves and taking commissions in order to feed themselves. The goal ultimately is that the photos you like taking for yourself become your bread and butter, and hopefully, you’ll get paid to produce more. Keep an eye out for grants, scholarships, and other types of foundations that promote photographic work, either for their artistic drive or for the role they play in humanitarian work. 

We here at Meero believe in the power of images to create change in the world, and for that reason, we were an early supporter of FOTODEMIC, an online publication that supports photographers around the world. Through a series of microgrants, we’ve been able to award photographers with a platform to share their work with the world. To learn more about the Foundation, be sure to check it out here.  
 

...With family, friends, and clients

When sharing work between friends, family, or clients, there are a few options out there. Back when I started shooting a few years back, I would scratch them all onto a DVD and mail it through the post office. Luckily, things have gotten a little more streamlined in recent years. Nowadays, many people will use a shared link, but there’s an even better way.  With myMeero: the all-in-one platform designed with photographers in mind, photographers can share visual files through a dynamic shared site, which allows viewers to download, add, comment, like, or share images. The platform can be used with or without a free account and is one of the most aesthetically appealing ways to share projects out there. Be sure to try it out here!  

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