Q:Hi Aleena! I saw your photography and it's really amazing! Do you have tips for young photographers? I just moved up to DSLR but I don't know what to learn first. Could you enlighten me?
Eeeeeeeeeek I’m so happy for you. First thing I ever bought with my own money was my DSLR and it’s still the best $380 I’ve spent.
There’s a million and one articles on ‘how to be a better photographer’ and ‘easy photo ideas’ etc etc and I’m sure you’ve been through those (I hope) so I’m just gonna talk about things that no one ever told me
How to start out as a photographer (things no one tells you)
1. First order of business, download RescueTime NOW. We think we spend a lot of time on ‘learning photography’ but really it’s 90% looking at pretty pictures, 7% actually reading a how-to article, and 3% applying it.
Use Rescuetime to pace yourself. Watch how you spend your time. And if you’re not picking up your camera every single day for at least an hour, you’re not going to get anywhere.
2. WHAT THE HELL you didn’t download Rescuetime did you GET BACK UP THERE and download it asap. I CANNOT believe you tried to pull that one on me. THIS IS WHY WE’RE NOT FRIENDS. jk, ily!
3. Get the hell on creativelive.com. I can’t believe no one ever told me about this. FREE ONLINE PHOTOGRAPHY CLASSES FROM ALL YOUR FAVORITE FREAKING PHOTOGRAPHERS!!! Check their calendar and note when the live classes are for ANYTHING photography related. (And photoshop related). I’m gonna say this again…it’s FREEEEEEEEEE like if you’re desi or arab or broke then you realize that should be enough to reel you in ok.
(I took three by Sue Bryce, Scott Robert, and Susan Stripling in the last month alone!!!)
Always always always invest more time and money on your education as opposed to gear. In 2013 I took three paid photo classes. I bought zero lenses.
4. Don’t be a knowledge junkie. It is so so so easy to read a bunch about a new technique, and then pick up your camera and fall into default form. (like what THE HELL you did not just go into default mode) PUSH. YOUR. FREAKIN. SELF. Also, shoot in manual. It will force you to learn faster.
5. Recreate a photograph. I can’t believe no one else told me this either. With the power of the interwebs you can find the exif data of ANY photo. Take a simple photo you like, and just recreate it to the best of your ability. I mean like every detail. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t show the photo and claim it your own. But you’re gonna learn so much its crazy. Like insane. In fact, let this be one of the first things you do (AFTER YOU DOWNLOAD RESCUETIME YA GOON)
6. Get the hell off the internet. Idk why we don’t talk more about this. EVERY ONE spends way more time than they admit to people. You should NOT NOT NOT be spending more than two hours a day on social media (AND EVEN THAT’S A LOT). (omg imagine if facebook started showing who viewed your profile) (or if your profile had a timer that showed how long you spent on facebook that day) (we could change the world lol)
I’m a hundred percent confident that the time you spend lollygagging (haha)(I wrote this whole post to use that word ok judge me) on the internet is directly proportional to your success.
7. Stop doing the same damn thing. I showed my work to a wedding photographer I really like here in ATL and he’s like dude, why do you take the same pictures of the same dang thing. I’m so grateful he told me this, because his suggestion was two things really. 1) take different photos of the same subject, and 2) take the same photo of a different subject.
The first one helps you with composition, lighting, trying new things with the same thing. Don’t reinvent your own wheel. Create something new from something ‘old’ news.
The second helps with nailing your technique for a certain ‘type’ of photo. Usually photographers are known for a certain type of photo that they do really well, and execute flawlessly every time.
8. Produce a VOLUME of work. It blows my mind that people don’t pick up their camera every day.
If doctors and lawyers and engineers put in eighty hours of work and study a week, you can do at least fifteen.
9. Stop making excuses for yourself. Shooting with a new model, new location, new lights, new gear won’t make you better. The weather is not an excuse, an uncooperative model is not an excuse, your gear is not an excuse. Your shyness is not an excuse to not show your work.
Also let’s be real no one takes anyone who makes excuses seriously anyway. Don’t be ‘that guy’
10. ALSO: don’t believe the facebook ‘likes’
they are A LIE!!
of course your friends like what you post
THEY ARE YOUR FRIENDS THAT IS THEIR LITERAL ONLY JOB
sorry that got a little long.
Q:If you were to say one thing to answer the question "What is hijab?" what would you respond?
Hijab is a concept. It’s sort of a lifestyle that revolves around modesty, dignity, honor, and respect. In the physical realm it is clothing, your aura, the air you carry around you and in the abstract sense its a guideline for your thoughts, mindset, perspective, and drive to be better.
Hard to say though. It feels like I’m reducing the vastness of the term (the etymology! the history! the connotations! the context!) to a poorly constructed post on tumblr.
Q:Design inspiration websites please? I don't want to kill my creativity though.
Directly design related:
the style files
retail design blog
But actually getting inspired is harder
I’m most excited when I have a new project to work on and sort of get burnt out when I’ve been working with the same client on the same project for more that a month.
So instead I make up mini assignments and set a one hour timer. Two things are key here: produce a volume of work in a short amount of time. Volume is important because it forces you to think of a lot of stuff and the time limit is important because it means you can’t get emotionally invested, or worry about perfection.
Stuff I’ve done in the past:
60 logos to brand yourself
12 t-shirt designs incorporating a heart
20 concept restaurants
16 app icons to brand your dad
Re-arrange your bedroom or bathroom or closet
40 color combinations based on your mom
35 designs for a new line of hijabs (lol)
3 ideas for a new tourist attraction plus spacial sketches
7 products you wish existed
yadda yadda you get the idea
sorry this got sorta long heh
I’m stressed and annoyed but I think I’m annoyed because of how stressed out I am and consequently I have a hard time accomplishing ANYTHING because all I can think is,
is this good enough?
is it unique?
is it sellable?
does someone want it?
am I good enough, unique enough?
Dear God, grant me a burst of energy and inspiration so I can get my final project together and let it be awesome. please. i need this.
I don’t even know why I need it
sometimes I don’t know why I’m doing this
sometimes I wonder if it’ll make a difference
I know it can, I just don’t know if I’ll be the one to do it.
I know the only difference between thinking about making an impact and actually making one is knowing and believing that I can do it.
but no one ever talks about how hard it is to actually believe in yourself.
So cute! We often forget those people who play important parts in our everyday lives, without any acknowledgement from us.
this made me smile a little