How to Become a Photographer: The Natural Way


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So you want to become a photographer, huh?

Then just forget it, you’ll never be one!

And even if you will – you won’t be a good one anyway

this guy was hoping the camera will help him pickup girls...

this guy was hoping the camera will help him pickup girls…

What’s the catch? I’ll tell you. But first I want to share a little story from my own life.

The “Wannabe” Syndrome

For the past 10 years or so I’ve had quite a trendy hobby – DJ-ing. This is the kind of hobby when lots of people get to know you and many of them will reach out and talk to you.

Throughout the years there where two most popular questions I’ve been asked over and over again:

  • How did you become a DJ?
  • How can I become a DJ?

Basically both questions had the same purpose. The person wanted to learn “how to become a DJ”.

yep, this is me :) do I look cool? :)

But the fun thing about this was that I didn’t have the answer!

I tried to recall that moment when I decided that “I want to become a DJ” and I couldn’t. But I did remember how much I loved electronic music and all these hours spent online searching for some fresh tunes.

Then it just happened… you know… naturally.

My friends knew I had a cool collection of music and they invited me to play at a private party. Then again, and again… And eventually I found myself playing each weekend at the biggest night club in our town.

I figured it was my love to electronic music that turned me into a DJ. Not some fake passion to become a “sorta well known person” named DJ.

So whenever I was asked one of the two questions above I immediately asked the person back: “Can you name some of your favorite music producers?“.

Rarely someone could give me an answer that would satisfy me, meaning the person didn’t really want to spin any specific track in the club, he just wanted to be a DJ and stand at the decks and have hundreds of people applause him.

Some of these people were persistent enough to land a few gigs here and there, but soon enough vanished into oblivion.

So What Do You Really Want?

I think the message behind my story is quite clear:
It’s not about who you want to become, It’s about what you’re passionate about!“.

Let’s get back to the photography.

Why have you decided to become a photographer? Because “being a photographer is cool“? Because “it’s a fun and easy way to make money“? Because “you’ll consider yourself a creative person and gain respect from your friends“? Maybe “photographers get all the hottest girls“?

just imagine how many likes you could get on facebook with a self portrait like that…

In case your motivation is any of the above or something closely related – you better let it go right now. That’s an awfully wrong motivation.

But of course you’re not like that. This is about someone else, not you…

Then why the hell are you reading a post titled “How to Become a Photographer“?

Why don’t you go read something like “the basics of taking a great picture” instead?

If you ask about my motivation – I just want to take a picture like this someday:

I’d call it “capturing one of these moments worth living”…

From Zero to…

I have to confess I know nothing about digital photography at this point. But I’m willing to learn and grow up to the moment I’ll shoot a picture that will make people forget they need to breathe.

Luckily I have my friend George Bailey who is willing to help me with those first steps.

I’ll be sharing all my progress here at Photodoto in hope that it will help some other noobs around the world to get better at shooting images.

So if you like my writing style and want to get updates, just subscribe to our blog’s RSS HERE or download the Landscape Photography Guide (which is promoted all over our website), as this will automatically subscribe you to our email updates (we only send the most interesting posts btw.. no fluff).

What’s YOUR Story?

I’m really interested to hear your story! How did it happen that you are a photographer today? What motivated you in the first place? What is your motivation now?

Share your story in comments, so that noobs could get a sense of how the “real” photographers are born!

See you in comments! :)

Tim Soulo

I'm the guy who handles all the management & marketing of this very blog. My photography skills are quite amateur and that's why I love working with Photodoto - every week I learn lots of cool stuff here. Just like you, guys :)
  • http://twitter.com/saswell Sarah Hipwell

    What a fantastic image to the start of your blog post…I cracked up laughing when I saw it! Priceless.

    • http://bloggerjet.com/ Tim Soulo

      I think I need to post it to Pinterest then :)

  • Dj Bluff

    Nice picture man. Keep it going I really enjoyed reading.

    • http://bloggerjet.com/ Tim Soulo

      thanks, mate :) more to come soon :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/whiteadi Adrian Albu

    I had nothing in common with photography until I got a camera as an exchange with my xbox ;)

    And then I said since I have this new and cool camera would be a pitty to not learning how to use it and the

    years passed and I changed the interests and was reading one or two books about photo per month and so on…

    • http://bloggerjet.com/ Tim Soulo

      hah :) unfortunately most of the people today buy expensive cameras just to use Auto mode :)

  • John Berd

    This post is right to the point! So many people asked me same question, just admiring the fact that you’re always surrounded with beautiful people and are welcomed everywhere, forgetting that most of the time you see photoshop))
    It’s very important to love what to do and have an eye for photography (taste, knowledge of composition etc)
    I know so many people that have learned all technical things about photography and can for hours discuss aperture and stuff, but same time their pictures don’t bring any emotions, they are not filled with life and energy, they are dead and empty. There you answered the question – those people are not passionate!
    If you ask me why I decided to become a photographer, I answer that I just wanted to show pictures I have in my head with people, and to share beauty I see in a person.
    Hope to see a lot of breath-taking pictures form you soon Tim!!! Bon courage!

    • http://bloggerjet.com/ Tim Soulo

      I think my passion might be in “travel photography” :) but at the same time I’m ok with shooting beautiful girls :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/stevenjmcconnell Steven McConnell

    Love it! Purpose is everything. Looking cool, not so much.

    • http://bloggerjet.com/ Tim Soulo

      Thanks, Steven :)

  • Andrea

    Hey Tim!

    Why do you think you are great at DJ-ing? Only because you were invited to private parties (I guess mostly organized by your fellows) and because you were playing at the biggest night club in your town (not in megalopolis). OFFTopic: by the way, what is the population of your town?

    What have your reached as a DJ what makes you that cool, as you say?

    A year ago I decided to learn how to make cute shots. I was mainly driven by the unwillingness to pay huge money for professional images. I bought a prof camera, I was attending photo courses and reading lots of books. Yeah, now I’m good at photography, but I’m not boasting of this as you are.

    I continue improving my knowledge by attending masterclasses, etc. My new passion is makeup and style. And that’s happening naturally! But I remember the day I said to myself: I wanna be cool at taking shots and working as a makeup artist!

    • http://bloggerjet.com/ Tim Soulo

      Hey Andrea, thanks for the comment.. but I wasn’t trying to boast :)

      Instead of answering your questions directly, let’s put it this way… I was a “cool enough DJ” to make some people want to be a DJ like myself.. which resulted in their interest in “how to become a DJ” topic.

      But the point of the story is all about the importance of “what you want to do” over the “who you want to be”. I think you’ll agree with me that if you hate singing – you’ll never be a great singer.

      It’s just my style of writing, which makes you think I was bragging :) But my primary goal was to make you read the post from beginning and to the end – which you did, from what I can tell :)

      So anyways, I’m really glad you’re here and really great you’re participating in the conversation and I do respect your opinion.

      Hope you’ll stick around, as my fellow writers like George Bailey and Steven McConnell have some really great photography experience to share :) And as for myself, I’ll do my best to keep writing controversial stuff :)

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