“I’m not a professional photographer – just a mom with a camera that loves capturing moments with my 3 year old. While I’ve been into photography for years, I’ve been a pretty lousy photographer for most of them.
By just picking up my camera and actually learning how to use it, day by day I’m getting better and making images my daughter will one day be proud of. While I still make mistakes and have my fair share of failures, my 365 project is my way of working though those failures and growing.”
Kristina’s Photography Tip:
I’m a hobbyist photographer and committed to a 365 project earlier this year. While there are times I hate it – I can truly say it is the single best thing to help me grow as a photographer. There is no better way to improve your photography skills than by picking up your camera and just shooting everyday.
Because I have a full time job, a spouse and dinner to make, I try give myself 20 minutes of shoot time a day. It’s not a lot of time, but I generally shoot with a plan in place and a vision of what kind of image (and how I want to edit it) in my head. I preplan what I can but still try to capture organic, storytelling moments – but just in an expedited way.
Shooting daily with a 365 has the obvious benefit of documenting our daily lives and telling our story – but beyond that, it is a great way for me to really visualize my progress and inspires me to keep going.
In only 145 days, my 365 has made me finally able to see the light and know how to use it. I know where the light is best in my yard/home/neighborhood at any given time and I can plan my shoot accordingly based on our schedule and based on the mood of the photo I want to create.
Shooting in manual is a breeze since I literally pick up my camera every day. I’ve learned to intuitively know what my settings should be before I check the meter, and taught myself how to use Kelvin. I streamlined and refined my editing workflow and keep it clean (but I’m still a sucker for matte processing… I can’t help it!).
The most important thing however, is that I can finally see my voice – my “visual style” forming all on its own. It’s really amazing to see!
Just to give you an idea of how far I’ve come, I’m sharing day my day 1 image (it’s not even in focus!) and some of my last few days. Proof positive shooting daily works!
Kristina used a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 70-200 2.8 lens to capture these images.
Kristina Dominianni is a Middle Island, New York photographer.
Click here to see more tips on Camera Settings.
Kristina is right, in that shooting regularly is really the only way you’ll get to using your camera intuitively. But keep in mind there are guides out there to help jump-start you on the path.
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