Lessons for the New Year, guest blogged by Autumn Wilson

With the new year quickly approaching, I wanted to end the year on Just-In-Time with a special guest post from Autumn Wilson. Autumn has fittingly decided to write about the things she learned in 2010; I hope these lessons will help you in 2011. Enjoy & Happy New Year!

Learning photography on your own can be very trying. I am by no means even close to where I want to be, but I am a lot closer now than I was a year ago when I first began photography.

With 2011 quickly approaching I wanted to share with you all what I’ve learned over my year of trials and errors. When I look back at the pictures I was taking a year ago… and the pictures I’ve taken recently I see an entirely different person.


These pictures were both taken in January. The first one is a self-portrait and the 2nd picture is the first time I ever had a shoot with a complete stranger who wanted to ‘model’ for me.


The first image is of Rikki, the first agency signed model I had ever worked with. This was taken in July.
The 2nd & 3rd images were of another agency represented model taken in September, and it was the first time I had ever worked with a Hair & MUA.

It is evident how much I’ve grown, and that I am proud of.

Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

1. You are going to get very discouraged with yourself. Probably a lot. But, there are those moments, those rare pictures, few and far between that make you keep going on. I think it is also the never ending disappointment you feel with yourself and your pictures. The thinking that you could have done better and wishing you had. You just keep striving for that perfection and honestly I hope it never comes, because I think that if it did I would stop trying because being an artist, a creator, a dreamer, is about never being satisfied with what is real today.

2. You have to always reflect and remember what it is that made you love photography to begin with because it is very easy to lose sight of yourself and find yourself trying to be someone you’re not.

3. Practice. Practice everything. You can practice balance so you can get as tack sharp photos as you possibly can.
You can go out and put yourself in different lighting conditions so when you’re in that situation you’ll be much more ready for it than if you hadn’t.
You can take self-portraits if you have to do so it at least gets you shooting.

4. Learn. Always try to learn more because knowledge can only make you better.

5. Save money when you can. Unfortunately photography gear is expensive and sometimes we think of concepts that require money in order to make them happen. Money will probably always be a little bit of an obstacle, and if it’s not you’re very lucky.
The key to money is to not let it be an excuse for what you can or cannot achieve. It’s just a tiny obstacle that takes a little time and effort.

6. Network. All of the photographers that I know about are because they have a large network base and I’ve found them online. You don’t have to be Annie Liebovitz to be well known. You just have to interact with people and in time your network base will grow. Maybe not as fast as you like, but as long as you are putting effort into that Network (and they do take work) it will grow in time.

7. Be inspired. It is so important as a creative person to have a constant flow of creativity in your life. It doesn’t matter what it is. It can be looking at other photographer’s work. It can be watching a movie. It can be reading, traveling, walking outside. It could be all of them.

8. Make mistakes. You will never learn if you are too afraid to. The best way to learn is through your own experiences. You can study and watch other people as much as you’d like but when it comes to doing it yourself, you will have to learn on your own. It can only make you grow.

As much as I’ve learned over the course of the year, I know I will have another list this long or longer next year when I am remembering everything I have learned throughout 2011.

It can only get better from here. 🙂
xx – Autumn

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6 responses to “Lessons for the New Year, guest blogged by Autumn Wilson

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