"What advice would I give a new photographer just getting started? Well, if I was given the chance to know what I know now, but start all over again in this wonderful industry, I would focus on getting to really know my lenses, camera, and flashes. I would pay special attention to how these three tools deal with light and how light effects everything we do.
I would not even consider spending time learning Photoshop or any digital post production techniques. I would want to spend all my energy in learning the fundamentals of light and how my gear can best take advantage of light. I would keep posing simple in order for me to master light and really get that right. I can’t help but wonder how my career would have been different, had I listened to my own advice. It took me years to realize that it’s not how many lenses or fancy cameras you have, the pudding always has been and always will be in the fundamental building blocks of photography."
Over the past few years I've probably quoted Roberto twenty times. It's become one of my most favorite thoughts. "Practice doesn't make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect! What if you're practicing it wrong?" That one statement explains everything from my golf game to the mistakes I see so many photographers making every day. Bad habits get practiced over and over again, until the only way we know how to do something is the wrong, often the hardest way.
You need to follow Roberto everywhere he goes and look at everything he shoots. Start with his website and then catch up to him at any workshop or conference where he's teaching!
Images copyright Roberto Valenzuela. All rights reserved.
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