6 Phases of every Photographer - Mohamed Hakem's Photography

It’s no doubt that photography attracts new  people more than any other art and the reasons are obvious!. Whether you want to be a professional or an enthusiast or just documenting your kids life is an enough reason to be pulled to this nice field. But photography cannot be done without the charming device called Camera. Whoever likes the idea and wants to learn more passes through certain phases, I will state the 6  phases that most people who want to learn photography passes through!some phases should be skipped till you reach to the end! if you find yourself that you skipped a lot of these phases then you are on the right track! I'll be stating wrong concepts that most people believe in the first 3 phases ... enjoy :)

PHASE ONE “The Beginner!”

SO now I’m ready to buy a good camera and begins searching for this  black bulky camera called DSLR because that what a professional camera is!! I begin asking and searching until I hit either Canon or Nikon and get struck by the prices. I can’t really tell the difference between the cameras and don’t understand why on earth is a camera double price the other with the same specs! So by logic I buy the cheaper camera with some cheap accessories. In this phase I am extremely happy! I want to learn, I’m having hope and excited about having this lovely device with me! You throw all the settings on auto and leave the camera do the rest! Comparing the pictures to my mobile phone I become extremely happy and satisfied. You  watch your photos and become happy and you want to show them to the world!

PHASE TWO “The Discoverer”

This phase can be somehow frustrating and exciting at the same time. You get to know some ugly truths and begin to feel that the pictures you capture lack a lot compared to other pictures you see around you. You begin to feel confused, your pictures does not have the look of a professional picture nor the blurry backgrounds, your lens can’t even zoom close enough and the flash sucks. So you become confused because you don’t actually understand, is it because you’re not using manual settings? Is it because you’re not using proper editing to your photos? a new lens is required?   You then discover that there are some lenses called prime lenses, a single focal length but a big aperture. Wait what ?? a single focal length? That sucks until you put either a 50mm 1.8 or 35mm 1.8 and you see the depth of field! Ohhh Wow that’s exactly what I want. Then buy a 55-200 to zoom in and then you are satisfied again. You begin to discover that zooming in is fun but hard at night, you get to understand that your kit lens is very average and the real deal is with the aperture and photos with blurry backgrounds. The more blurrier the better!.

PHASE THREE ”The spender!”

So hell yeah… Im Mr know it all. I have a professional cam with a couple of lenses that can do blurry backgrounds so good, you shot yourself in the mirror more than 50 times. You then find yourself hitting a plateau with no progress and you blame it all on your gear. I think that I’ am way too good for the kit lens and the entry level body. I have to buy another body! I have to buy a 70-200 2.8, oh sigma is 1/3rdthe price so let’s buy that. You then know that there is another category of cameras called Full Frame but they are way too expensive so let’s just upgrade the body to a more expensive one and buy a bunch more of lenses that are not so cheap and are not 2000$. Yeah yeah I have to buy battery grips, more bags, more filters… wwwWWhat?! A 400$ filter!! No way I’ll buy a set of 40 filters for 30$ instead. All my attention is on my gear because that’s what is limiting me from being the best.

PHASE FOUR “the quality seeker”

So now you get to see that all the professionals use full frame cameras. Everybody is saying that a 70-200 nikon is WAY better than your sigma.

You have to buy a full frame to pull yourself to the next stage

You have to buy a full frame to pull yourself to the next stage!

You have to buy a full frame

You have to! So you begin selling all the gear you have, all the lenses that was lightly used and begin funding for the full frame. I will buy the expensive stuff. The full frame arrives, the lenses arrive and the sturdy 500$ tripod arrive. You begin to see a quality difference and throw more money on expensive lenses. You keep on doing so and maybe replace a canon from version to version for a 2% better sharpness. You begin to learn geeky stuff on the camera models and lens construction and become a pixel peeper. No doubt you will have earned a lot of knowledge, you will take some very good pictures and credit it to the system you have.

PHASE FIVE “The Experienced”

so now you are an experienced photographer. You have heavy gear, world class glass and the tiniest pixel concerns you. You have already spent more than  10000$ from the beginning. you should have known what is your most interesting category, do you fit in Studio work? Commercial? Landscape? Street? Travel?. Your equipment is so damn good. You could be earning money by your services. You have lots and lots of info that will make a beginner see you as a Professor. Your are satisfied, having confidence in yourself, already have some great photos. But the thing is you are kind of saturated. You see videos of professional photographers that are extremely successful with their work despite knowing that you might have more knowledge and the same gear. Photography is fun but not as exciting as before.

PHASE SIX “The Professional”

The most wrongly term used for photographers.  A professional photographer is not the one with the most knowledge, or the one with the best gear or even the one who earns more money, when you see them they don't screen HEY LOOK I'M a PHOTOGRAPHER! I'M carrying a bazooka in my HAND!.professional photographers are specialized. They know exactly what they shoot. They shoot less pictures and have more pickers. They have their own style. They are not concerned with the new gear coming out every day. They not only specializes in a certain style, but in lenses and focal lengths!. Yes some professionals shoots only on 35mm lenses.

Portrait of the French photographer Henri Cartier Bresson a founder member of MAGNUM Photos on the roof of the Magnum office penthouse of Magnum Photos in Manhattan on West 57th Street.1961 <br />
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Contact email:<br />
New York : photography@magnumphotos.com<br />
Paris : magnum@magnumphotos.fr<br />
London : magnum@magnumphotos.co.uk<br />
Tokyo : tokyo@magnumphotos.co.jp<br />
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Contact phones:<br />
New York : +1 212 929 6000<br />
Paris: + 33 1 53 42 50 00<br />
London: + 44 20 7490 1771<br />
Tokyo: + 81 3 3219 0771<br />
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Image URL:<br /> <a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/Archive/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox_VPage&IID=2S5RYDYBO8XU&CT=Image&IT=ZoomImage01_VForm">http://www.magnumphotos.com/Archive/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox_VPage&IID=2S5RYDYBO8XU&CT=Image&IT=ZoomImage01_VForm</a>

That’s the reason you sometimes find great photographers having only one camera and one lens. They are not into junk camera features, they are only interested in what concerns their style. that’s exactly what Leica cameras marketing lies. Professional photographers know exactly the picture they want to capture and how and why will they capture it and with what equipment. They also tend to go light, they don’t have to own all the range. Some don’t do tele’s others hate wides and they know that the cameras nowadays does not differ that much. They not necessarily buy top notch cameras or concerned by the the numbers that camera makers market. To them, a camera is just an extension that helps them captures what they want seamlessly not an obstacle! even a camera with many features can be a burden as it makes you concentrate on the features not the scene.

The below are shot by Nikon P80 (not a DSLR) and the entry D5000

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