Before attending college, I thought that there was no need to take classes about something that I already knew and was good at. I thought that there was no way that I could get any better and if there was then I could teach myself. This was foolish thinking and I’m so thankful that I had at least part of a brain in my head that pushed me to go to BYU anyway. So here is my warning to photographers regardless of age: GET EDUCATED. There is always something more to learn, new ways to grow, and more people to push your creative thinking. Although I am being educated in a classroom setting, that is not the only way to grow in knowledge. There are many different options, some include youtube videos, online classes, workshops, and mentoring.
This is what got me to where I am today. I spent countless nights researching videos that related to the questions I needed answered and when I found them I would study them like I had a final exam on it. I thirsted after knowledge as a young photographer, I wanted to know more and I wanted to know it fast. The most efficient way that I found for me to get that education was through those youtube videos.
I personally have never taken a photography class online, but I have heard great things about them! There are many different websites that you can pay to sign up for that will grant you access to video classes that teach just about everything from details of a camera to lighting to editing. It is a great option if you are a stay at home mom or if you work full time and only have free time at night.
I have followed photographer Sue Bryce for as long as I can remember. She is one of the main reasons why I love the art of photography. She has created an amazing business out of her photography and has allowed her to set up workshops around the world to teach fellow photographers about the art of styling and posing. I can promise you that as soon as there is a workshop close enough to where I live, I will be there! Though these workshops may be on the pricier side of things, the amount of information that it gives in a short amount of time is outstanding.
I have had different mentors throughout my life with photography. Some of them I didn’t even see as mentors until after working with them for a while. To find a mentor, you don't have to leave a weird facebook message to some photographer you don't know and ask them to be your mentor. My first mentor was my high school photography teacher. I learned more from her outside of class then I did inside just by being around her and shooting with her. Just find someone who is beyond your skill level in photography and hang around them while they do what they love. You will learn more from that then you will by shooting on your own.
All of these options are great when it comes to learning about the art that we love. It never hurts to be more educated about something you want to pursue. Don’t be foolish and think you know everything (I learned from experience), get out there and learn something new every day regardless of how you do it!