What sets professional photographers apart?
Published 8:43 am Wednesday, September 2, 2015
By BOB VAN LOAN / Guest Columnist
There has been a lot of talk about what the difference is between amateur and professional photographers.
Many so-called “amateur” photographers create some outstanding photographs.
However, when you change the ability to create amazing photographs, and the ability to earn income and the ability to deliver under pressure to necessity– then you start to get to the core of what is the valueof a professional photographer.
Based on my years of experience as a professional photographer, I offer the following advice to everyone who is starting out in the field or looking to up their game:
-Digital cameras have come a long way and can really help you capture everyday memories – in focus and properly exposed! Use your camera often so you are comfortable with its settings.
-Buy extra batteries and keep them charged. Digital cameras use a lot of battery power. There is nothing worse than getting your subject in place only to find your camera battery is dead!
-Use multiple memory cards – don’t put your entire vacation on one card. Cards have been known to fail, and you don’t want to risk losing all of your photos.
-Shoot Fine JPG or RAW to get the highest quality image.
-Get out of Automatic mode – take time to learn how to control your depth of field by setting your aperture. The shutter speed controls motion as well as ambient light. These two settings along with your ISO dictate how the final image will look.
-Back-up, back-up, back-up. Computers crash; hard drives die; memory cards lose their memory. Back up your precious memories to a cloud service as well as to an external hard drive in addition to your computer’s hard drive.
-Make prints! Prints will last when everything else fails. There is a new printer by Polaroid™ that prints from your cell phone!
-Read your camera’s manual. Find YouTube videos that explain your camera’s settings.
-Format your memory cards after you have loaded your images on your computer and have done your back-up.
Gretchen Birdwell, owner of Gretchen B Photography, is a certified professional photographer who has operated her studio in Helena for eight years.
She specializes in “classic with a fun twist” milestone photography where your photographs will be proudly displayed in your home and passed down for generations.
You can find her at 833 Creekside Court, Helena, AL 35080 and at Gretchenbphotography.com/.