My First Photography Gig & 5 Tips for Beginners Like Me

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This photo shoot was for an upcoming lookbook for Moda Magazine featuring gowns by local designer, Christine Adar. This past year, I contributed to Moda as a part of the publication's creative team, so I was beyond excited when the magazine's creative directors asked me to photograph a summer lookbook. I've always enjoyed taking pictures in my day to day life, so in February, I decided to invest in a DSLR camera and learn how to take higher quality images. I still have a lot of learning to do, but I'm proud of the progress I've made in the last five months. The following list describes the most helpful tips I've picked up along the way:

1. YouTube will be your best friend. Plenty of awesome professional photographers post detailed tutorials on almost any subject pertaining to photography. Take advantage of these sources! 

2. Always shoot and edit your pictures in raw format. Editing raw images instead of JPG ones will lead to sharper, better quality results. This also means using software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to maintain the quality of your images. 

3. Learning to shoot in manual mode makes a difference. Though I started out using the automatic settings on my camera, I quickly realized that learning how to manipulate aperture, ISO, and shutter speed was essential to getting the shots I wanted. Achieving the right balance is still tricky for me, but I'm getting there. 

4. Check your images as you go. Make sure to adjust your settings as the lighting and composition changes throughout your shoot. It's better to spend a little extra time tuning your camera than take hundreds of pictures with the wrong settings.  

5. VSCO film presets are a great way to enhance your photos and save time. Though these packs are a bit pricey at $59 dollars each,  Lightroom presets can help create your desired aesthetic with the click of a button. Though I always, adjust the presets to fit my desired look, these are a great starting point. 

What are the most helpful photography pointers you've come across? Let me know in the comments below!



Creative Directors: Kelsey Daykin & Reilly Koch

Designer: Christine Adar

Models: Holland Huron & Victoria Dior Shivon

Makeup: Sierra Wallach

Photography: Brooke Komas

P.S. Keep an eye out for the official lookbook featuring additional photos from the shoot at


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