After watching The Essence of Photography with John Upton, from the Calumet Imagemaker Series, I gathered the following tips:

1. Build your own visual vocabulary by studying contemporary and older photography. Use what you learn from the photographs you study to create your own style.

2. If just starting out in photography, begin with a basic point-and-shoot. You can begin with automatic settings, and work up to using some of the features offered to improve your images. Base your decision to buy more sophisticated equipment on your needs and the cost.

3. When you set out to make a photograph, think about what you will photograph and why. Consider what the photograph will convey.

4. As a basic challenge, photograph someone you care about. To push yourself further, try to make a photograph that shows the person’s character and something about the person within.

5. Upton says when you head out to make photographs always have your camera set and be ready, you never know when a perfect photographic opportunity will present itself.

For more tips and photographic inspiration from photographers who lead the way in the industry, check out the DVD.
—Melissa Macatee
Contributing Blogger