It took me a bit, but investing in myself and my gear has really paid off in the last few years. Here are 5 things that have helped me step up my photography.
Shoot with 2 Cameras.
At a branding that I'm covering, I'm always shooting with two cameras. You're not going to miss much, and the way you're set up with lenses really will benefit your work. I have a custom leather dual camera strap from Western Skies Handmade that makes carrying 2 cameras stylish and comfortable.
2. Invest in Good Lenses
I personally chose to invest in lenses rather than top of the line camera bodies. A good place to start would be Canon 70-200 2.8, Canon 24-70 2.8, and for being a total creative junkie Canon 16-35 2.8. These are what I personally carry in my camera bag. It took me years to find deals and have the funds to curate my lenses, but I am so glad that I did. Thank you Wyoming Camera Outfitters.
When shooting a branding, I have 2 camera bodies set up with my 70-200 and a wide angle lens. I used to constantly change lenses throughout the day and I would miss so much or wish I had on the other lens. A second camera body has really been useful.
3. Hire a Photography/Business Coach
Last Fall, my creative juices were lacking. I knew I had the skill to become a "photographer", but I didn't know how to turn a passion into a paying job. Hiring Chris and his wife Joe has creatively stretched me and they have showed me how to properly grow my business. If you're not in the market for one on one business coaching check out their podcast, Small Business Roundup.
4. Find YOUR Style
Finding your own style can be hard in a world full of photographers. It's great to find inspiration from those around you. Learn lighting, it's your best friend. Quit using premade presets that wash out your images. The places and people we get to photograph are unique and so much better without the post processing overly bright whites, and untrue tones. If you're having trouble creating your own presets check out Mastin Labs. They're a great base to start with and you can adjust them to your liking in Lightroom.
5. Keep Shooting
The only way to get better is to keep shooting. I was told to never niche down and that a photographer is a photographer. So I've opened up shop to whatever needs photographed, I've quit turning clients away that want to use my skill. And by doing so, photographing people, creating content for other businesses has only put money in my bank account, fueled my passion for photography, and opened up doors that I kept on shutting.
These are things that have drastically helped me over the years, and I bet they'll help you too!