When it comes to being a photographer, our overall mission is to create consistently incredible imagery. But to become a successful photographer, there are four key skills you must acquire.
Many successful photographers you may come across in the industry aren’t necessarily the best artists, but they have fantastic technical skills. Or you may find some that are incredibly successful because they’ve mastered the soft skills of client relationships and communication, but are not necessarily as technical or artistic.
If you want to become a successful photographer, it’s important to have all four key skills, with a balance between the four.
1. Technical Skills
As stated above, hard skills are easy to teach and learn. A five-month course at Advanced Institute of Multimedia covers the many aspects of the technical side. On the technical side, there is camera, composition, and exposure control. Then there’s mastery of lighting and light modification. You’ll need post production skills, which our professional certificate covers as wel. And then there’s posing, which is one part hard skill, one part soft skill, both of which is taught in the photography class at Advanced Institute of Multimedia. Posing and directing is also covered.
2. Artistic Skills
The artistic side covers artistic camera, composition, and exposure control which is, again, discussed in all of the courses listed above. Technical and artistic are two very different hard skills. Think about some of the photographers that you know, or even yourself. Would you classify yourself as a technical photographer or as an artistic photographer? There are so many incredible photographers who are absolutely amazing artistically; they can create images that are breathtaking, yet they don’t really know much about the technical components of what they’re doing.
On the flip side, do you know photographers that are incredibly technical? They know their lighting ratios, everything there is to know about aperture, maximum dynamic range, about optimal shutter speeds, etcetera, yet there’s always seems to be something missing from their photographs? These are technical photographers. Generally, most of us are going to have a balance between these two during our 5-month photography class.
3. Communication Skills
Communication is key to building a relationships. Being able to communicate with people and discuss their interests, backgrounds, and anything other than photography is an extremely important soft skill. It involves smiling, being genuine, and being interested in what others have to say. You’d be surprised how much this could do for you. It’s the ability to use positive and reinforcing words as well as provide positive solutions to your client’s sometimes random requests.
When it comes to posing, as we mentioned above, there’s a technical side but much of posing comes down to communication and how you guide and direct your clients. You can have the know-how of what makes a good pose, but you need to have the ability to communicate and guide your clients through it.
4. Understanding SKILLS
Being able to ask targeted questions is part of communication, but a major component for the soft skill of understanding. While communication is about your words, how you speak to them and how you communicate your vision to your clients is critical. And understanding involves talking less, listening more and asking targeted questions so you know what their vision is.