Guest Post: Where To Begin Your Photography Journey

Today I'm sharing something I've never done before—a guest post. This post was written by my lovely wife, Hannah. Hannah is the creative vision behind our photography business, Cottonwood Road Photography. In this post she addresses the question of where to begin your photography journey. If you or a someone you know, wants to start a photography business and aren't sure where to start, this post is for you.

One of the highest joys of my job is the opportunity to help other aspiring photographers develop their skills and start their own photography journeys. It is stressful and overwhelming to figure out how every aspect of your camera works, how to compose and use light and everything in between. As a result, people reach out regularly in search of help getting their head around things. What follows is a collection of resources I share with those just jumping into photography.   

Running a photography business can be incredibly hard. Long shoots, responding to inquiries, hours of editing, and travel are more than enough to keep you busy. Despite the difficulty, it is super rewarding to work with couples leading up to and celebrating the biggest moments of their lives.

Whether you're interested in starting your own business or just want to learn how to use your camera, I highly suggest taking a photography course. You can take one online or attend a class of some sort. Focus on mastering the art of photography, and learning your equipment. I took years of classes in high school & college to learn the basics. However, my real break through came when I started teaching myself. Here are a few resources that helped me personally grow and develop as a photographer once I got serious about developing my skills. 

Photography Information

Digital Photography School - explore the whole site! This is a great place to begin learning the technical side of your camera, from lenses, settings, lighting conditions and more. If you are a beginner, they will help me learn how to manipulate your camera so that you get the shot you envision.    

Justin & Mary Pancake Sessions  - Who doesn't love pancakes? Explore everything they have for photographers! These short and sweet posts cover everything from their favorite equipment to how to host a client meeting in your home. They were instrumental as Preston and I started our business.

Jasmine Star - Excellent videos from another photographer on how to run a wedding photography business. I used to watch her short videos nonstop as I sought to learn everything I could about how to be the very best photographer. 

Psychology for Photographers - This was extremely helpful in learning how to manage client relationships, how to have hard conversations, the why behind pricing and value, among many other things. This helped me learn how to mentally handle all of the challenges that came my way. 

Creative Live - You can find an answer to almost any question somewhere on their site. They cover a ton. This is the next step in learning not just the technical aspects of shooting, but building a portfolio and running a business as well. Careful, you could get lost in all the helpful resources they offer. 


B&H Photo Video - We order all of our camera equipment through B&H. They have great prices, their site is easy to navigate and they take the stress out of the equipment buying experience. 

Ken Rockwell - Before you purchase another piece of equipment, check out Ken. He does some of the best reviews on all different kinds of equipment! In the process of making an excellent decision about what to buy, Ken serves as our ace in the hole. 

Once you've done the hard work of nailing the art form and how your specific camera works, you'll be ready to start narrowing down what field of photography you're interested in pursuing. But that's a post for another day.    

Hope this is a big help as you get started! :)