I got started in photography when I was 17 in high school.
I was first and foremost an artist.
since i could hold a pencil I never stopped drawing, I would draw portraits of people, people people people, every day all day just drawing and painting people.
then my junior year of high school I decided to take a photography class just for the heck of it. thought it would be an easy A. little did i know it would change my life.
I think already being an artist and understanding light and depth of field and all that stuff helped a lot because I was instantly pretty good at photography. but I wasn't sold on it yet, I just did my assignments and turned them in and went back to drawing.
As I was just doing the bare minimum, my photography teacher was secretly submitting my photos into high school contests behind my back haha. He always asked me to enter and I never cared. So one day he got up and announced that I had won some national high school photography competition that I never even knew I entered! haha..
so after that is when I started trying. I started taking senior pictures of the seniors in my school for fun, I would shoot every single day, my friends, my family, every single day. because once im set on something I have to do it every day till Im the best or I literally cannot live. So im not kidding when I say I shot all day. every day thats all I thought about, I taught myself photoshop, I taught myself how to shoot on film and digital etc. I was all in. I lived and breathed it.
fast forward 10 years later and here I am shooting weddings and fashion all over the world!
My number one tip for beginners is that you have to be all in, you have to have a passion and drive for it like I did. because you will never progress by just doing the bare minimum. you need to be shooting EVERY SINGLE DAY, looking always around you when you are out and about and the light and shadows and people, watch 900 you tube tutorials and photoshop, trial and error, learn learn learn. Because I have met so many photographers I cant even count, that say they wanna be a fashion photographer, or wedding photographer etc or they wanna be a master at photoshop retouching but they dont put in the work, they just get frustrated that they dont have a big following or that their pics dont look a certain way yet, and then they quit 2 years later.
To that I say, this has been a 10 year journey for me. not a day has gone by that I havent shot, or thought about photography, every time I go to a shoot, or sit down to edit Im learning new things and trying new things, pushing the boundaries. That is the only reason im still getting better and still have a passion for it!
Jessica Janae Photography