Thursday, April 23, 2015

my top 3 photography resources

Over the past couple years, I've answered a ton of questions about how I've improved my photography skills. Most people want to hear that I bought a better camera. In reality, there are a lot of things that I have done to improve my photography from upgrading my camera to taking a lot of pictures (somewhere in the range of 12,000 to 15,000 per year for three years straight) to studying a wealth of great photos. Today I'm outlining the top three things that have had a huge impact on my photo skills the past year.

 Digital Photography Recommendations / PhotoRec Toby
I've been watching Toby's YouTube channel for over two years now, and by far, it's my favorite YouTube photography channel. One of my biggest complains about photography tutorials is that they tend to cover very basic or extremely advanced techniques without much in the middle. Toby does a good job finding this much neglected middle ground. Beginners won't be lost but professionals can still learn a lot. Toby covers everything from product reviews to Lightroom tutorials to composition techniques. He's had a huge influence on most of my gear purchases and a lot of my photography routines, such as Instagram workflow and Lightroom uploading routine.

In addition to the YouTube channel, Toby has a very active, supportive Facebook community that I highly recommend joining. Additionally, he and his professional wedding photographer fiance are in the process of releasing an outstanding Lightroom video series. I am certainly not an expert on Lightroom, but I've been using it every week, if not every day, for nearly two years, and I've learned so much from this series.

 Pinch of Yum
Pinch of Yum is a food blog. I started following it after Natasha wrote a review of sorts a while back about Pinch of Yum's food photography ebook. Recently Pinch of Yum conducted a reader survey. One of the things that I mentioned in the survey is that I've learned as much about photography as I have about making delicious food from reading their blog, which is absolutely true. In the past few years, Lindsay has taken her photos to a whole new level, and I spend a lot of time studying them and reading her photography tips to improve my own work. As many of you already know, Lindsay played a large part in my decision to start using a larger artificial lighting set up. As such, I've referred back to Artificial Lighting Tips for Food Photography and 5 Ways to Improve Your Food Photography With Artificial Light multiple times in the past year.

It took me a long time to get on board with trying Instagram because I'm inherently wary of anything trendy. I never expected to like it as much as I do. You'll be hard pressed to find a more efficient way to study literally dozens of amazing photos every day. It can take a while to find great photographers that you want to follow and get into a routine of going through your feed each day, but it's well worth the effort.

How do you improve your photography skills?
If you have any favorite resources, please feel free to share them in the comments!


  1. Yay! I'm so glad you've been enjoying Pinch of Yum. =) I'm heading over to follow the YouTube channel now. I agree that most resources are painfully simple or mind bogglingly complex, so I'm looking forward to watching some of his videos.

    I absolutely agree that most people want to hear "I got a new camera and it made everything wonderful!" I also agree that practice is really important. I'm seriously working on my photography this spring, and it takes constant effort and education (plus the realization that you're going to end up with a bunch of shots that didn't work out!). I also agree that studying other photographs is really important! I am still trying to remember to really 'use' Instagram.

    The only other resource I've been using is Skillshare. It isn't all photography classes, and some of the classes are more helpful than others, but it's been a great tool for me to hear different opinions from various photographers and see their work and suggestions.

  2. I do agree with you both on the practice makes better! I have a hard time to make cohesive look on my IG... even my paintings looks so direrent with a posting there. I hope one day I will have time to use camera as well as you darling! Follow you as @lanasartstudio see you there!

  3. Curiously, this is the second or third mention of how good Instagram is for one's product life on Etsy. Will seriously have to consider it in future. Meanwhile, enjoyed the rest of this post too. Thanks for the tips.


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