When I first started doing photography, I had no idea what I was doing.
It’s the truth.
I quickly tried to gather as much information from as many photographers as I could, but I would later find out you have to be careful about who you talk to. Not only do some photographers only see you as competition and are not interested in helping you, some photographers think they know what they’re talking about, when they actually don’t know as much as they think.
I’ve encountered both, but this post is all about the later and how information I was told hurt my business.
When I first started out a photographer told me “ALWAYS shoot in manual!” Manual settings? Manual focus? I took this to mean both. That if I wanted to be a “Professional Photographer”, I needed to be shooting with my camera in 100% manual mode.
Shooting with my lens in manual focus caused me to miss SO many cute photographs of quick-moving subjects (families with children, little ones, infants). I was so concerned with focusing my lens just right that I would miss shots. Not only would I miss shots, but I would walk away from a session with so many pictures out of focus.
It was so frustrating to me, I felt like I wasn’t growing as a photographer because I kept having out of focus pictures. This was not true…I was growing, but false advice was holding me back. I even felt bad those few times during the my first months as a photographer when I would feel like I needed to switch my lens to automatic.
It wasn’t until I met Jody Gray that she lifted the burden of shooting with my LENS in manual focus. During a conversation not even related to lens focus, we got onto the topic and my world was rocked. Jody let me know that the information I had been told was not true.
It is NOT necessary to have your lens set to manual focus to be a professional photographer!
If anyone knows photography its Jody Gray, so I’m taking her word for it and passing it on to you guys!
Because of the advice I was given by another photographer, I felt inadequate when I would shoot with my lens on automatic. THIS IS SO NOT TRUE! Switching my lens to automatic not only lifted the huge weight of trying to focus a moving subject quickly, but it also allowed me to get crystal clear images of those subjects.
No more stress over feeling less than professional and a whole lot more pictures in focus!
I leave you with two pieces of advice–
- Keep your lens set to automatic focus (except on those detail shots), and
- Be careful who you get your advice from!
Thank you to Makinze Muinzer for contributing this article.