When I was in college my favorite class was black and white photography. I took that class because I needed some credits to graduate and it didn't really matter what class it was so I figured why not something easy peasy lemon squeeze.
It was a super fun class because we got to shoot photos with film cameras and develop them in the university's dark room. It was so old school; I felt like a magician dipping the photo paper in all the different chemicals to then see, like magic, an image appear on the paper.
My professors were an older couple, both photographers, both hilarious. They didn't like "cute" photos. They preferred new perspectives on typical things. That is why I got a C on a postcard-like photo of a boat and a A+ on a sinister looking photo of a hot dog oven in the school cafeteria.
For the life of me I cannot remember their names, but I can recall the three pieces of photography advice that to this day ring in my head anytime I'm out shooting.
The Best Camera is the One on You
One of the must-haves for the class was to have a film camera. I got so caught up trying to figure out which one was the best one to purchase I ended up going to office hours and asking my professor which one he recommended to get.
He asked me what I had been shooting photos with so far and I showed him a disposable camera I had purchased until I could get a better one. Mr. Professor said that was the best camera I could use because I had it on me already.
Fancy cameras are great but if they're so fancy that you're always thinking about how you can't take them places because they can break, then they're useless. That's why I love the iPhone. It's always on me and ready to shoot at a moment's notice.
Shoot the Obvious Photo and Then Keep Shooting
The boat photo I got a C on was a very obvious shot. I walked to the bay, saw a boat, centered it on my view finder and took the photo. I was done.
If I were to do it again, I would try to get photo of the boat reflecting off the water or maybe just a section of the boat with a backdrop of sky.
So, to get a really creative photo, get the very obvious, "cute" one out of the way first.
Get it as Best as You Can on Camera, then edit
As you're out shooting, don't think about how the photo will look like after you edit on your phone or your computer. Get it as close to what you want it to be on the viewfinder. Get the lighting as best as you can ON CAMERA.
Editing lighting too much, for example, might leave you with a grainer photo. Get close to the subject instead of cropping the photo later and you'll end up with more details and better lighting. Get close! It can be uncomfortable, but the best things happen out of your comfort zone, friend.
What is the best photography advice you've received? Tell me in the comments below :-)