There are youngins, practiced and seasoned photographers. You’re somewhere in that mix. There comes a time when you might want move up a level. From n00b to amaeture, or amauture to professional. So what does this process consist of?

It can actually be captured in one simple phrase, “Never pass up an opportunity.” What exactly are these opportunities? As with most careers, there is a rather tedious flight plan to follow, but today we’ll focus on just one piece of it.

Getting Noticed

A great way to get noticed, is by using proximity, photographing things that relate to the people around you.  The second component of getting noticed, is by being unusual. Sunsets are beautiful, but they aren’t unusual. I see at least 10 a week on my Facebook feed. Do something different. Unusual.

Denver Zoo - Gillespie Photography 2012


Don’t be hesitant to bring your camera where ever you go. For example, if you’re headed to a Rockies game, and you arent sitting in the 3rd level, bring your camera. Headed to the zoo? Bring your camera. Headed to a parade, a concert, a birthday, an open house, a ribbon cutting ceremony? Bring your camera.

Denver Zoo - Gillespie Photography 2012

Don’t be shy, but also be courteous to those around you. Here’s a list of some key points to follow.

  • Browse your city, county, venue calendars for opportunities.
  • Places like the Denver Zoo or History Museum have free days.
  • Coors Field & Mile High stadium policy permit lenses 300mm or smaller.
  • Pepsi Center stadium policy permit lenses 200mm or smaller.
  • Public zoos has zero limitations on cameras.
  • High school sporting events are 99% of the time, non-exclusive.
  • If your hesitant to bring your gear, call the front office.

Now onto the list of things not to do.

  • Don’t be accountable. By that, we mean, don’t photograph an event with the expectation of delivering a production product to someone.
  • Avoid tough lighting. High school gynasiums are difficult. Anything low light, including weddings, can be a challenge.
  • Don’t let others preasure you into shooting something you’re not ready for. You’ll only get discouraged.
  • Don’t photoshop images to death. Someone will spot it, and people don’t dig it.

In summary, bring your camera. Find something unusual. Your portfolio can consist of whatever you want it to, but it helps if your subject matter is relative and interesting.

Denver Zoo - Gillespie Photography 2012

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