Need to get more shooting practice? Volunteer!

As any established photographer will tell you then best way to improve your skills is to always take pictures. You do this by take your camera with you everywhere and just shoot everything. However just taking random pictures of things isn’t always conducive to learning.

Sometimes you need a specific subject to focus on as I stated in a previous post on doing Weekly Assignments over at DPS. However this is only a once a week thing and it will not take all your free time to complete the assignment.

To fill up some of that time and give you experience with working for a client one option is to Volunteer.

So how do you volunteer your skills? There are several ways.

First you could do a Google Search for “volunteer photography work” which will give a huge list of links with information on volunteering your skills. If those results give you information overload and want to be more focused you can do look at your local community or work place.

My full time work has a whole department dedicated to something called the “Community Involvement Program”. Where I work they are very big on doing volunteer and charity work so much so they plan large events around things such and UNCF and United Way. Additionally they have a system in place where you can log your volunteer hours so that when you have your yearly reviews you can show how much you volunteer. There is even an event calendar where you can sign up to volunteer at events if you don’t know what you want to volunteer for.

This is how I volunteer my time and skill as a photographer. Different people will have an events scheduled and I go to them and photograph the event and share my pictures with our Community Involvement Office and the Organization the event was at. This way they can use the images for their own promotions and at the same time I get to shoot at different locations and in different environments as well as get my name out there and network.

You can also ask you local charity or not for profit establishments if they need any photography done for promotional items or just for record keeping purposes for their events.

I will warn you however, some places may say you can take photos for them but when you get there you are told you can’t! This happened to me for a charity event where a local Symphony was playing. I was not allowed to take any pictures because the Symphony brought their own “In House” photographer. When I asked why it was because the Symphony sells images of all it’s concerts it does for money so if I took pictures it would hurt their ability to do so. If something like that happens to you just shrug it off and find something else to shoot. There will be other opportunities out there for you.

Either way, I do highly suggest that you volunteer your time in taking photos for organizations that are out there. This way you can not only get practice in you also get your name out there and network with people.

Thanks for reading


New lenses!

My order came in!

Got a great deal on trading in my 15-85mm EF-S lens (after getting my 17-55mm 2.8 EF-S I never used it anymore…) I used the money to get two new lenses, a speedlight, and focusing screen.

So now outside of having a macro lens I have a nice well rounded collection to work with for taking most shots for school.

Five Photography Sites You May Want To Follow

There are many places on the internet to get your photography related news and information. So much so that it can be a bit overwhelming to any one just getting into photography.

Here is a list of Five sites you may want to start following as they have great information that will stay with you as you progress in photography:

Scott Kelby’s Site – Like him or not, his site does have a lot of information to digest and make your own as a photographer.

The Strobist – If you really want to learn about using light in your photos this is the place to start. Scroll down a bit and use the right side drop downs to read the Lighting 101 & 102 Archives!

DPReview – This is a great place to look up camera and lens reviews. Plus they have a decent forum to glean information from as well!

Chase Jarvis’s Site – A legend of adventure photography. He is a down to earth, inspirational, and really makes you want to run out and shoot anything and everything. Just Google the man!

DIY Photography – Gear costs money, you don’t always make enough to cover the cost of buying equipment. Why not build it yourself when you can?

Thanks for reading!



I have started up my 500px account finally and have a few pics up there for viewing.

Here is the link:

Some prints are available for purchase as well there.

Thanks for reading


Good News!

Got a nice email today to make my weekend. Here are the first lines:

Dear Jason,Welcome! We’re sending you this email to let you know that we have processed your enrollment. You are officially a student at the New York Institute of Photography.

Now for the waiting game as they said it will take 1-2 weeks for the first assignment to arrive.

I’m excited and can’t wait for the material to arrive!

Thanks for reading