While I think it is possible to teach yourself how to use a camera and take good pictures, I am a very strong advocate for formal photography training. Before everyone gets upset about spouts off the talents of their favorite camera-toting neighbor, let me give you my reason: There’s a world of difference between taking a picture and making a photograph.
I know, I know that makes me sound like this guy.
But really, a picture is an image while a photograph is a piece of art. Yes, this art be learned through a life-time of study, practice and work but then you’re at the end of your career and you’ve just started making photographs. Skip the wasted time. Find someone who has dedicated their life to the art and learn from them.
Proof I’m right? Professional photographers still exist today despite the fact everyone owns at least one type of camera. Why hire a professional photographer to take your child’s graduating senior portraits if you have a camera that works just fine? Because they were taught the techniques of the trade. Those talents are second nature and they can capture beautiful anniversary pictures for all occasions in unique and interesting ways.
A formal education does not necessarily have to be in a classroom setting, though I will argue that’s probably the best. In that spirit, we will be spotlighting a couple photography schools in Utah. Check back for those posts and take the time to learn how to really make pictures. (But please don’t be like Mr. Douchebag Photographer up there.)
Until then, let the professional photographs take care of your photography needs.