For the past month or so I've been quietly (and obsessively) assembling a food and documentary photography outfit. This would not have been possible without the advice and tireless patience of my photographer friends Jake and Yuki. [Thank you both for putting up with me; I am an obsessive pain in the a--.] I've also been doing a lot of reading and research on my own, not only about equipment but about photography in general.
Someday I might do a post about what's in my kit (which is made up of new and used equipment), but as I learned at the Phototasting workshop and from subsequent practice with a $180 point and shoot set to as many manual settings as possible, equipment is worthless if you don't know how to use it, or how to style and compose a shot, or have a basic understanding of exposure and lighting.
Look, I'm hardly (and will probably never be) qualified to dole out advice about photography. What I am qualified to tell you is that a) I'm excited about improving the photographs on this blog, b) Jake and Yuki are awesome, and c) should you not be so lucky to have friends like them, I highly recommend the book Photo 101 by Nicole Hill Gerulat.
A photographer, teacher, writer, blogger, culinary school grad, and former food stylist and photo editor (what am I missing... ah, yes, she has a Pilates certification too), Nicole has a gift for demystifying technical/nerd stuff and presenting it logically and beautifully. Photo 101 has helped me get a handle on some concepts with which I've been struggling; I've had a lot of "aha!" moments reading and studying it. (It's taken up residence on my nightstand and in my hand bag. I read it daily, yes I do.)
So if you're at all interested in learning what makes a photo good and how to take one, and there's not a Phototasting workshop (or Jake or Yuki) near you, you might want to pick up Photo 101. Nicole also has a lovely blog, A Little Sussy, and offers books, online courses and in-person instruction at Nicole's Classes.
As Nicole advises, happy shooting! And please come back here soon for what I hope will be greatly improved photos. (And undoubtedly some funny stories about figuring out my new-to-me kit.)
*This is not a sponsored post. I randomly stumbled upon Nicole's Classes and purchased Photo 101 myself.*