Q&A: 10 Answers From a Professional Photographer


I'm Alecia, and I am the studio manager, or what I like to call the sidekick, here at Abigail Fahey Photography. I am also a professional photographer and enjoy supporting Abi in all that she does, as well as sharing knowledge and helping to inspire budding photographers. I've answered a list of questions that I know I was left wondering as a new photographer in hopes to fast track your journey.

Q: How did you master manual mode?

There are many ways for you to master manual mode, from hiring a mentor, reading books and blogs and watching tutorials on platforms like YouTube or Creative Live.

Personally, I decided to go to a professional photography school for two years for a certified diploma, however I am sure for those that are interested in simply mastering a hobby that there are other classes available to you at local colleges or community centres. 

Q: Are there any specific courses you can recommend?

I really appreciate the Creative Live courses and find the majority of the content they release to be high quality and useful, so you can't really go wrong there. I thoroughly enjoyed both Kelly Brown and Sue Bryce's courses, and they have many to choose from. PHlearn is also a fantastic resource for learning Photoshop.

* I've gone into more detail of Favourite Creative Live Courses in a recent blog post. 

Q: What is the number one advice you would give to new photographers?

My number one advice to new photographers is to practice, practice and practice some more. The easiest way to get comfortable using your DSLR in the beginning is to take it everywhere, and take photos of everything - quite literally. This will expose you (see what I did there?) to a variety of different scenarios and the best way to learn is through experimenting. When I first started photography I always had a camera with me, to the point where people were surprised when I showed up somewhere without one.

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Q: What brand of camera do you shoot with?

Ah, the long time battle of Canon VS Nikon... and now Sony is in the mix too. People like to get passionate about this subject, but I am going to be 100% honest here and say: it doesn't matter. I shoot with Nikon, while Abi shoots with Canon and I can honestly say it does not make a difference. In fact, I have owned both a Nikon and a Canon at some point. 

You should choose the brand that you connect with most and what you feel is best. I chose Nikon because I like the feel of the D750  in my hands and the way their menus are set up - and that's it.

Q: What is your favourite lens to shoot with?

Now this is a loaded question. Choosing a lens completely depends on what you are shooting and what style you are after. Personally, I have my 2.8 24-70mm lens on 95% of the time. This is because I love shooting lifestyle family and newborn photography and for me this lens is perfect. The other times I can be seen with a 1.8 50mm and a 70-200mm.

Q: What do you use to edit your photos?

I am a lover of all of the adobe services, and actually use a combination of Lightroom, Photoshop and Bridge. I use Lightroom for quick and mass editing, Photoshop for fine tuning and art-based images and Bridge to navigate and organise my images. I am also a diehard Mac fan.

Q: What platform would you recommend for starting a photography website?

Here we use a combination of Wordpress and Shopify to build our websites. If you are looking to create a simple platform to share your images, Wordpress.com is a great place to start and can always be upgraded once you get more serious. You can find some great resources for Wordpress on our Pinterest board

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Q: Do you shoot with natural light or flash?

Again, this is completely up to you on whether you prefer to shoot with natural light or flash and all comes down to style. Neither option is more professional than the other and both require a wealth of knowledge. However, I do think that you should have at least basic skills in both, as you will find yourself in situations where you are forced to use one or the other. I will always choose natural light over flash but feel confident that should I ever need to use flash or shoot in a studio I would still be able to create amazing images. 

Q: How did you find your niche?

When I first started photography I was all over the place - and that's normal. Everything seems worth shooting, everything is exciting and every form of photography seems like the right one. I went from wanting to be a wedding photographer, considered food photography and then eventually landed on families and babies and even then went from fine art portraiture and switched to lifestyle photography. This was a natural progression, and simply happened by experimenting and following my gut. You won't know until you try!

Q: How do you stay inspired?

Staying creative and inspired in photography is so important, and sometimes difficult to do, especially when it becomes a career. When I feel in a rut I try to shoot something our of the norm just for fun, and I also really enjoy printing my images large as I feel like that always gives me a good boost. I've created a whole post on this subject, as I know how important it is to stay inspired. 

Do you have any other questions to add? 

We would love to hear from you on InstagramFacebook or Pinterest! Happy Shooting!

Alecia x

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