In a world dominated by visuals, cellphone cameras, and hobby photographers, it can be tough to break into the photography industry. A bit of good trade advice, especially from a major industry player, is always welcomed. Nigel Barker, a renowned fashion photographer best recognized for his work with America’s Next Top Model, gives his top tips for success in the business:
Practice Makes Perfect
Learn how to use your camera and equipment; know it inside and out. Understanding the principles of photography as well as the mechanical functions of your camera is key in making your internal visions manifest in photographic form. As Barker states,
“It’s got to be second nature.”
Trust Your Instincts
You have to know what you like and to strive for it. Although getting input from others is certainly valuable, you need to be able to trust yourself. Barker explained you have to have the “intrinsic” knowledge to know you’ve got the moment and that perfect shot.
“You’re the only person that you have to impress…If I don’t like [the shot], then I don’t want to use it. You have got to be your own editor.”
Have a Vision
Figure out what it is that you are trying to achieve. Develop a style that is true to you and will take you where you want to go in photography. For better or for worse, photography is now ultra-accessible; you’ve got to specialize and be good at what you do to come out on top.
“[Clients] kind of want to see that you can do one, or maybe two things at any one time so they know what they are going to get.”
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