About six months ago I bought my first actual real camera. I researched it and asked all my friends what they would recommend. I weighed all my options and then I finally bought my first real camera. Before that, I had pretty much shot just on my iPhone, which takes great photos, but it’s doesn’t have the same weight as a real camera.
It took me a while to make the purchase because I was pretty nervous about people judging me. You see for four years I have owned a decently successful social media agency that has created some great photos and videos. But I didn’t take any of them, my team did. Sure, I was the creative director who found all the locations, designed the concepts, cast all the models and styled all the looks. But I didn’t take photos. Just a few behind the scenes stuff with my phone. Not the real photos. I even organized Insta Meetups and was constantly surrounded by photographers of all levels. But I still didn't feel like I belonged, because I was just the weird guy with the cell phone.
So, I let my anxiety get the best of me and kept missing opportunities to just get out there and start shooting. I spent so much time with super talented people and I never felt that I was good enough to even try. I mean I didn’t even know what ISO was. But one day I just told myself, screw it. I took a university night course and for ten weeks I learned the basics. Right from the first photo ever developed to cropped sensors and yes ISO. It was super empowering to start understanding the language I had heard around me for so many years.
I slowly started to take photos, but I didn’t post many of them since I was still feeling pretty shy about it. Then I found that feeling that I heard people talk about. That feeling of being lost in your viewfinder with total and complete focus. Every ounce of your attention being poured into creating a perfect image. I found that the years of practice I had with my iPhone helped me develop a sense of composition, attention to detail and ability to light a subject. Once I added the full creative control of understanding my manual settings it was like a whole new game.
The added bonus of getting behind my camera was that suddenly everyone wanted to hang out and create with me. So the moral of the story is that no matter where you are in your journey just start. Literally work with what you have, like your mobile device and don't worry if someone is a camera snob about it. There are a million variables to creating visual stories and each of us has something to say if we want to. If photography is something that resonates with you stop overthinking it. I have found so much joy behind my camera, my real actual camera, and I hope anyone who feels intimidated can rise above to connect with their passion. Just go shoot.
Written by @tylerbabiy
Cover photo by @xsightphotocinema