Nick Carver Photography Blog

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Featured Testimonial: Online Courses

Check out this testimonial from one of my online course students! He completed the "Introduction to DSLR Photography" online course as well as the "Composition for Dramatic Landscapes" online course.

When I started this course, I was afraid to show my work and to be critiqued. My experience with Nick has helped me to believe in my skills and has in a short period of time given me the confidence to experiment and trust myself. He is such a gentle teacher and has instilled in me the belief I can take good shots. I have taken 2 on-line courses and only wish I lived in California where I could study with him more closely. He is a superb teacher!

- Dr. Jeffrey Levine

Becoming a Professional Photographer

A lot of people nowadays have great aspirations to become a professional photographer. They just picked up some professional equipment, they got themselves a professional website, they had a professional logo designed by a professional graphic designer, they have professional business cards all ready to go and, most importantly, they already have some paid gigs under their professional belt.

Well, if they are getting paid to take pictures, then they must be a professional photographer, right? Sure. No doubt about it. Because if you look under "professional" in the New Oxford American Dictionary, one entry is as follows:

professional
adjective
(of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as a pastime

So, yes, they are technically a professional photographer. Technically. But most people seem to overlook another entry you'll find under "professional" in the dictionary. It's a definition that I think says much more about a person. It's a title one must earn through hard work, practice and patience. It's not something one earns with a cleared check. It's the definition we should all strive for over the latter:

professional
adjective
having or showing the skill appropriate to a professional person; competent or skillful

Having or showing the skill appropriate to a professional. Competent. Skillful.

These are the things every photographer should strive for. Not just the ones looking to make a buck with their photography - everyone. We should all strive to be competent and skillful. Whether you collect payment for applying these skills is irrelevant. Family pictures, travel shots, party pictures...doesn't matter. If you are competent and skillful, you will enjoy photography and you will have great pictures to show for it.

If you do want to make money from your photography; great! There's never been a better time than now to do it. The sky is the limit and you can create a successful photography business faster than ever before. But don't be just another paid amateur. Be competent. Have the skills appropriate to a professional photographer. Know how to operate your camera with your eyes closed, be able to rattle off the shutter speed that will lighten your exposure by 2 stops, know exactly what depth of field you need, don't ever forget that a smaller f-number is a larger aperture.

Be competent. Be skillful. Be professional.

Regardless of what your financial goals are in photography. Earn the title. Earn it through training, experimenting and tons and tons of practice. Collect payment or don't. But never stop striving to be professional.

Featured Testimonial and Student Images

The following is a testimonial from one of my students by the name of Juli. She started out with private lessons and took my Landscape Photography Class in Irvine, too. From landscapes to portraits to food, she's a very talented photographer with awesome work. See a sampling of her images below and be sure to check out her site at www.JVDPhoto.biz.

Here's what she had to say about my services...

Nick is extremely talented both as a photographer and an instructor. Many in his field excel in one area or the other, but he is equally gifted in both.

Private lessons come complete with interactive presentations and customized assistance. Beyond his years of in-depth photography studies and practice, he has clearly put hours of work and dedication into his teaching strategy and materials, which expedites the learning process and connects with various learning styles.

Nick asks what you do and don't already know about photography, but he also feels out which aspects you think you know, but don't really understand properly. His corrections of my misconceptions have provided some of the biggest breakthroughs I've yet experienced, in areas I didn't even realize I was ignorant.

As someone who (self-professedly) eats, sleeps and drinks photography, Nick has a passion for the subject that makes his classes and private lessons engaging and fun. He's a fast talker and keeps the lessons moving at a speedy pace (despite being paid by the hour - you will definitely get your money's worth!), but he also creates an environment where you feel comfortable speaking up when you have "stupid" questions or get lost. And true to his skill as a teacher, when you need clarification on a subject, he will attack it from different angles until it truly makes sense to you, not just repeat the same wording until it's been beaten into your short term memory.

Nick's lessons have taught me to properly utilize the features and functions of my camera, and have made me a more knowledgeable and confident photographer. I would definitely recommend him to anyone looking to get more comfortable with their DSLR, take their photography skills to the next level, discover tips and tricks to reliably achieve the images they want and expect out of each shoot, or simply get a better grasp on all that technical stuff that they tuned out in High School Photography class. Oh, wait… was that last one just me? 🙂

In addition to a generous amount of new knowledge, I have walked away from every single session with one or more "Aha!" moments that have made (and in some cases will make, with more time and practice) a huge impact on my future shoots and photos.

Despite his youth, Nick is an experienced photographer and an adept instructor, who provides more knowledge for your buck than many instructors twice his age. You will definitely be surprised by what (and how much!) you learn.

- Juli

Image by JVD Photo

Image by JVD Photo

For information on private lessons, click here. For a list of upcoming seminars, click here.