We hear the same things when starting out our photography journey, and here are 5 myths about photography that needs to be addressed.
Myth 1: You need to know about technology
This was one the biggest for me. I thought I had to know about technicality and was anxious whenever a fellow photographer would approach me asking what lens was I shooting with. For me, it was always about the storytelling, and technology only came with analogue photography. Digital photography was something I had a hard time learning. Yes, eventually you will need to know the basics of aperture, shutter speed and ISO but if you’re just drawn to the visual side of it, shooting with your phone is perfectly fine in the beginning.
Myth 2: You need to have the best equipment
Frankly, it’s not necessary in the beginning. You can buy an old camera from a thrift shop or even buy a disposable one. However, need to have better photography equipment only when considering the quality of the photograph. And in the beginning, I found other things more important, like just having fun with it and learning more about composition and lighting and directing people.
Myth 3:If you study art photography, you can’t do commercial photography
There is a certain shame to it when considering the field; If you’ve studied art photography, commercial photography would make you a sellout. Yes, it is wise to have a specific style and focus on a theme, but in no way should it make you question whether you can make a living out of commercial photography. A very little amount of photographers live only out of art photography alone. You would, of course, edit what you show to your audience and in this way, you narrow your focus. In summary, not putting everything on your website like weddings, exhibition series, and food photography.
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Myth 4: Studying art photography will ensure employment after graduation
Most likely not. Initially, I thought this to be true for some time, which led me to only wait to get into an academy before I started to truly look into the whole mechanism of being a photographer. For instance, if you can hustle with your photography, applying to open calls, and sending out your portfolio to magazines / other relevant platforms, you will build a career out of it. First, decide which is the main direction to take – you want to make art photography or move over to commercial photography? After deciding, it’s easier for you to see the right platforms to work with. Not everyone is for everyone.
Myth 5: You’ll need to have art history knowledge and consume art all the time
Not exactly. Firstly, being interested in art in any form will be your guide in finding inspiration. Secondly, you should be understanding the reasons you are making yours, but it shouldn’t be the main reason. Indeed, it felt for a long time that I couldn’t make art because I was too much of a practical personality. This disconnection had me avoiding the artistic field to the point where I felt overwhelmed trying to understand what I was doing. However, one book that I found helpful was Charlotte Cottons The Photograph As Contemporary Art.
It gives insight into the methodologies and photography artists of our time.
Myths about photography
In the end, the thoughts we believe become our reality. They’re only myths if you decide so. Some will likely let others limiting comments affect their journey in starting something new, and I hope this opened up the ones myths about photography that are not true.
Did any of these sound familiar to you? Let me know in the comments below.