In this instalment of our 2021 Refresh blog series we're chatting to the wonderful Florence Fox, a superb Shropshire-based photographer and the loveliest lass around - she's sharing her top tips for getting started with photography in Lockdown III. Grab yourself a cuppa and have a read!
So, we’re back in a place where a lot of us find we have a little more time on our hands! And what better way to use that time that to explore the skill of photography and document the everyday of your ‘new normal’. Lockdown could be a great opportunity for you to start photography as a hobby, or to dust off that DSLR you have at home and finally find out how to use it properly.
“The best camera is the camera you have” First things first, don’t get hung up on big brand names or megapixels - it doesn’t really matter! To start photographing you can quite literally just use your phone if that’s all you have. To me, photography is less about the technical and more about the creative eye - how you view the world, how you frame the subject and how you look for light. There are tutorials for how to get the most out of your camera phone online to make sure it’s working it’s hardest for you as well.
Get the whole family involved There is no upper or lower age limit with photography meaning it’s a fantastic way for the whole family to get involved together. You can practise photographing each other; even the most mundane things can be a great record of this time together. If you head out on a daily walk then bring the camera along and see what interests you outside the home; nature, landscape, deserted streets... For those home-schooling at the moment photography definitely counts towards providing those creative lessons as well and kids will love some hands on practical lessons.
Set yourself a project There are plenty of project templates you can follow out there to help you get started with inspiration. The most ambitious being the 365 project - a photo for every day of the year. There are loads of different ones out there - just have a Google! If you want to commit to something smaller maybe just try a 52 week one - focusing on one element or prompt for the whole week and picking your favourite image at the end.
During the first lockdown I also wrote my own photography prompt PDF called ’30 days inside’ with something every day that can be done within the walls of your house! Inspiration is everywhere... Click the link below to download your free PDF Prompt sheet!
Learn, learn, learn There are so many learning resources out there for budding photographers; YouTube videos, documentaries, books... you can search for just about anything from the comfort of your own home if you want to know more on a certain topic. For those that prefer the more analogue approach, I really rate Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs - Read This by Henry Carroll as an accessible introduction to photography.
There may well be camera clubs near you that are hosting virtual meetings as well, a great way to turn it into a social hobby with something to look forward to doing when we’re allowed out again. Many art galleries and clubs are hosting online artist talks as well, so you can hear inspirational photographers talking about their work over Zoom too!
The best piece of advice I can end with is just to keep practising and enjoy it! Don’t get too caught up in thinking about f stops and shutter speeds, just play with the camera and go with what feels right. The only way to improve and find your own style is to work out what you like photographing, and throw yourself into it. Have fun!
We hope this inspires you to dig out that old camera, or get creative with your phone on your next daily walk - be sure to tag Florence on Instagram with your Lockdown Photography Project photos!
You can find Florence here: