Find out how Ricardo went from beginner to award winning photographer & tips on how to improve your photography.
Highlights of this video:
0:15 How Ricardo won his first contest
1:42 Local contest – and how to enter
2:46 How Ricardo learned & improved his photography in the SIC Lounge
4:10 Brent is so proud!
4:48 Advice on how to improve your photography
7:09 The BIG step for Ricardo
9:27 How to get CONFIDENCE in your photography
11:03 The image that won – and how it was produced
From Beginner to Award Winner (in just a few months)
Recently I interviewed Ricardo Ayala to find out about his recent award winning image. We talk about how he has improved his photography, gained confidence and entered a local amateur photography contest and won!
Ricardo shares his tips on how to go from an absolute beginner to an award winning photographer in just a few months.
I started by asking Ricardo about his progress, and how he gained the skills and confidence to enter this contest and win.
Here is the post he started in the SIC Lounge Photography community that caught my eye.
The Photography Community that Gets Results
Ricardo has been an active member in the SIC Lounge Photography Community, and he talks about what it is here…
Ricardo: Well the lounge is a community of photographers were we basically learn from the feedback of the other members. It has a lot of material over there like training materials. It’s very good. You share your image and you get constructive feedback.
Brent: Awesome so you joined the Share-Inspire-Create Lounge which Johny and I setup – the online community for photographers. You’ve posted a lot of your images and I know you’ve been really active. That’s how I know you -I feel like I know you like a a next door neighbor to me. You’ve been very active. You’ve commented on other people’s images. You’ve posted your own images and you got feedback from other members and obviously you’re getting confidence in your photography.
And then you found this contest and you’ve entered it and won.
That is just incredible to me.
Tips for Improving Your Photography
I then asked Ricardo to give us his tips and advice for photographers on how to improve thier photography. This is what he says…
Ricardo: Alright, so I would say the first thing you have to do is to learn how to use your gear. You know read the manual – understand your gear from the inside out. Then get all the information and the basics from whatever books you can get or online or something like that.
Then join a community like this one – like the SIC lounge. It’s actually something that I will highly recommend. I mean it’s quite cheap to be honest. And what you get in return it’s priceless – It’s simple as that.
Actually one of the things that I got from the lounge was one of these hangouts, I saw that Andrew Wisler – he said to all of us that maybe if you can join a photography class or something like that then go for it because you will complement everything.
So I actually did that (joined a photography class) and I’m actually doing that now. And what I do is like I do all these tasks and homework or whatever. And I complement all these things with the feedback that I get from the lounge.
So you just put everything together and you can just show what you got and you learn a lot.
But it’s important to have a positive feedback not like the feedback you get from Facebook because Facebook is just “like” and people don’t really know about photography maybe or it’s just your friends and they don’t want to say something bad about you. And sometimes you post it in 500px. People just say like or not.
But they’d never say “Hey man you should think about the composition. You should think about this or that or maybe you can look for something like how to process the image in a different way.” So definitely places like the lounge, it’s the best place to learn.
Why it’s important to get honest & constructive feedback on your images
Ricardo: I mean I think for amateurs it will be the biggest step to show your work to the people that you don’t know. So it comes back to the lounge you know.
When I first show my image to the lounge I was expecting something like “the image sucks” or something like that. But it wasn’t like that at all. It was just the opposite. It was constructive. It gave me all the courage to do it – so when you do that in a contest it gives you all these energy and all this courage to continue doing it.
And when you see results like this – I mean I guess I was just lucky or I don’t know that I won for the first time. I mean that’s good and if you don’t win it doesn’t matter you know. You just did it and keep trying and that’s the way it is. And I don’t know if you won you can just go in and try National Geographic. They have a lot of contest out there. It doesn’t matter. You don’t lose, you always win.
Gaining confidence – from the feedback
How important is it to get encouragement from your peers?
Ricardo: You know when I post this image in the lounge and I get all these feedback and I started looking again at that image I was like “Okay I can do this, or should I do better” you know. But you know as I was saying it just encouraging you to try to improve your photography.
Brent: That’s awesome so it’s basically gives you confidence that you’re doing the right thing.
Thanks Ricardo for talking to candidly with me in this interview.
To find out more about Ricardo’s work go here: Ricardo’s 500px account
Hope you found this interview inspiring. Please leave me comments below. Brent
P.S. If you are ready to take your photography to the next level (and win an award) then join me and Ricardo in the Share-Inspire-Create Lounge today.