On Saturday, I attended a photography workshop with local photographers Kim van Vuuren from Kim van Vuuren Photography and Amy Teixeira from Sovrin Photography. The workshop took place at Conquer Cafe and Tea Lounge in Port Elizabeth, where myself and two other budding photographers learnt a great deal thanks to Kim and Amy.
Because this workshop changed the way I think about photography, I wanted to share Kim and Amy’s amazing advice with you guys.
1. You don’t need to have the best or most expensive equipment to be a photographer
What Kim and Amy taught us is that you don’t need to invest in expensive equipment to take good photos. Kim showed us her top of the range camera and her more affordable camera and pointed out that the latter takes better photos than the expensive one. It’s all about technique and getting to know the camera you’re shooting with.
2. Take photos that bring you joy
Photography is a form of storytelling, so let you photos tell a story that brings you joy. If you’re taking photos that, when you look at them, don’t make you excited, reevaluate what you’re doing and take a moment to figure out why your photos don’t put on a smile on your face and what you can do to change that.
3. You can use everyday items as props for your photographs
You don’t need to visit your local camera store and blow your budget on reflector discs or go out and buy materials to use for backdrops – you can get away with using everyday items you’ll find at home. At the workshop, we used some of Kim’s tea towels as props, a piece of thick cardboard covered in self adhesive paper as a backdrop, and a black floor tile for our flatlay photos. If you can’t find some of these things around the house, Kim and Amy suggest looking at places like PEP and the Crazy Store for cheap cardboard and self adhesive paper, and you can find off cut tiles at most tile shops.
4. Experiment with the settings on your camera and learn how your camera works
I think I learnt more about my camera on Saturday than I have in the two years I’ve owned the camera! The biggest lesson I learnt was that if you want to become a better photographer, you need to take the time to experiment with your camera settings and be willing to sit down, Google your questions, and take loads of photos.
5. Photography is storytelling
As I mentioned earlier, photography is storytelling. So the question is: What is the story you are trying to tell? I believe that this is something that takes time and practice, and I’m still trying to figure out the story I’m telling my online audience when I share my photos. For me, it’s a journey, and one I’m excited to share with my online community.
Here are a few of the photos I took last week Saturday. While I still have so much to learn, I can’t wait to take what I learnt at the workshop and improve my photography skills.
Kim and Amy are hoping to host another photography workshop in the near future! If you’d like to attend the next workshop, keep an eye on my Facebook page and my Instagram feed – I’ll be sharing more info as soon as the next event is announced!