Learning on the job is the closest thing to a free lunch.
Even though I went to college, all of my photography education happened outside of the classroom. This took place when I was a lowly photo assistant working in various studios in St. Louis and Dallas.
The learning involved observations of both good and bad aspects of the business. I saw innovation and waste. The best lesson was to see that creativity often came from unexpected places and that complacency was the killer of great ideas.
The one thing that I could never understand was set building. It always looked staged, forced, and synthetic. In my mind, getting a real location makes the most sense.
Luckily I figured this out without ever building a set of my own. Instead, I honed my skills for location scouting and hiring.
This magnificently decorated location, in Berkeley, California was not only perfect for a portrait session, but the use of the place was free.
About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.