Q: What would you tell a young person, passionate about horses and photography, that wants to follow in your footsteps?
A: There are so many resources out there, take advantage of them! Get involved with Photoshop groups, find a photographer willing to assist you, to teach you. Be a phenomenal assistant to a photographer you admire. I will still assist other photographers because you can always learn something. There are lots of training programs that are accessible online like the Kelby Training, one of my favorites. Work with other photographers and when you become a photographer, do the same thing for other photographers who are coming up the same way you did. Give back and help other people.
A: Not everyone is cut out to be an attorney, doctor or teacher. We’re all designed to be unique and I think it’s important to ENCOURAGE people to pursue their dreams and passions. It can be hard to make money as a photographer but I’ve found that one thing leads to another and it’s a journey, it’s the path you’re on. Even if you have a full-time job doing something else, the passion you have for shooting photographs can be incredibly fulfilling, even if you’re doing it as a hobby.
The things you’re passionate about take practice and hard-work and there are always new things to learn. Not everyone is going to like your work and that’s ok…just be TRUE to your WORK. We shouldn’t all shoot things the same way. Learn the rules and then break them. Shoot the hard things. I shoot things all the time and think, “This is either not going to turn out well, or it’s going to be great!” Take chances. Go out there and do it. Maybe you won’t make a living at it and maybe you’ll have to be working at another job while you pursue it but that’s ok, just continue pursuing your passion.
Q: In today’s world, it seems everyone has a digital camera. What you do as a professional photographer is very involved and very different than what most amateur and hobbyist people with digital cameras do. How do you explain the differences?
A: It does seem that more and more people have nice digital cameras and editing software but in today’s world, it takes a lot to get a really good, high-res image. It seems like the internet has made it easy to accept, “good enough is good enough”.
Q: What would you say to someone with a point and shoot camera, they can’t afford anything else.
A: I started with a point and shoot and it was a great place to start! Learn composition and learn about light. There are some terrific point-and-shoot camera’s out there and even iphones have amazing resolutions when it comes to photographs! They may not blow up into billboards but…do you really need them to be? Take pictures and enjoy yourself! Get some experience. Don’t go out and buy an expensive camera if you’re not sure that you want to be a photographer. Use what you have and just start shooting….take it one step at a time.
Q: What would you say to parents who have a child who want to be a photographer?
A: Encourage it! Photography is something GOOD for children to do and there are so many things that aren’t. It will give them a focus. My daughter used to take pictures of hot dogs and I’d say “A hot dog, REALLY?!” but she loved doing it and so I encouraged it! It’s like finger-painting when they’re in Kindergarten…. let them do it and have fun and let them learn as they go! We all need something that’s fulfilling and something we can focus on so encourage them and be interested in what they’re doing.
Q: What would you say to parents & kids about finding resources in their area:
A: I recommend Kelby One Training classes and I know a lot of the Community Centers offer photographer classes as well. Check with your Jr and Sr High Schools to see if they offer photography classes. Also, High School Yearbooks Staffs are always looking for photographers and that is another great place to start! And if there isn’t a photography club around you, START ONE! Be creative, ask other photographers in your area to be involved, to help!
Copyright Photos courtesy of Laura McClure / Laura McClure Photography
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