event photographer in los angeles

5 Beginner Photography Mistakes

Beginner Mistakes Photographers Make (5 things)

1. The first mistake people often make is looking at what other photographers are doing.

First, I want to say that This can actually do some good: Looking at the work of others can be a good way to get inspiration and to raise your standard of what is possible.

So, what’s the problem?

When everyone looks at what other photographers are doing, their work all starts to look the same. This is obviously something you should avoid. Rather, you should find a way to Be authentic: Figure out what you want to say and do it your own way. Find your inspiration where no one else is looking. Do not limit yourself to what your contemporaries are doing.

My recommendation is to Look at the classic masters of photography for inspiration or even completely different genres of art. You might think that the best way to this is by searching online, but the best way to find what you’re looking for is by checking out old books. I recommend hitting your library and used bookstores up. I personally have a secret spot I buy photography books all the time from for as little as 6 dollars

2. The second beginner photography mistake is thinking that gear matters.

If you think better gear will make you a better photographer you’re wrong. If you're thinking ,“I could do this or that that someone else is doing if I just had that lens or whatever, you're making excuses for not shooting. IF ANYTHING limitations make you a better photographer. It forces you to find creative solutions and to work harder.

Back in the day when I had the original Canon 5d, I did not upgrade to the 5dii. I worked with the limitations of the 5d classic and it arguably made me a better photographer. It sucked in low light, so i had to learn clever ways to use my strobes. Its autofocus and burst rate was slow so my timing had to be spot on. By the time the 5diii came out its lowlight performance and focus system was a game changer but to this day I wonder if my timing was better shooting with a 5d original.

The last three examples are all closely related

3. The third mistake photographers make is not respecting the craft.

I’m not just talking about neglecting the technical stuff like shutter speed and aperture. I’m talking about the concepts behind it all so that you’re not memorizing or mimicking set techniques. You should drive toward having a deep understanding of the art form- its past and its historical context.

4. The Fourth mistake people make is not having a photography teacher.

Most people need a teacher. In my experience there are very few who can read a book or watch

youtube and repeat what they’ve learned. I’m not saying you need to go to school or mentor under a photographer, but if you’re not truly able to teach yourself you need a teacher. I did photography all throughout high school and college and to be honest I didn't learn much but at least I had a foundation. Afterward I mostly taught myself, but when I decided to start shooting professionally i didn't have the arrogance to think I knew everything there was to know. Regrettably I started off by shooting weddings as a second shooter and that experience was incredibly valuable. It doesnt matter where you get your education from but if you can't be self taught you need a teacher.

5. The Fifth mistake photographers make lacking life experience.

Without life experience, it can be difficult to make meaningful art.

So:

Go live your life.

Get inspired AND NOT BY LOOKING AT OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK.

Find your voice

Go on a journey! And most importantly...

Introspect!

How to Photograph Celebrities

In this video I talk about my experience photographing celebrities and give my tips on how to do it. I also talk about photographing celebrities on film and how I bring a film camera to every job. I hope you guys find this helpful and/or entertaining! I have been a professional event photographer in Los Angeles for over 10 years . I also teach photography at Barnsdall Art Center. Follow the links below to see my work.

Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/ Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/ www.mikmilman.com Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/ Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/

Why People Like Bad Photography

Why People Like Bad Photography

I have given it a lot of thought: Why do people like bad photography? More specifically why do people like photography that offers little more than aesthetic value. When starting out, photographers tend to be enamored by what they see as good photography, mostly because they do not understand how it is done. But once they figure it, in order to grow as an artist, they should begin asking themselves their intent. Why are they making photographs the way they are making them? How can they make meaningful images and grow as an artist? I have been a professional event photographer in Los Angeles for 10 years while teaching photography at the same time.

Follow the links below to see my work. Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/ Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/ www.mikmilman.com Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/ Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/ www.mikmilman.com

My New Favorite Black and White Film

AGFA APX 25

AGFA APX 25 is my new favorite film! Will I use it often? Probably not. Since it's been discontinued for some time now, I am going to cherish what I have left. Although the results when developed in Diafine were unremarkable, this film truly shines in Rodinal. Personally, this is the finest grained film with the best tonal range of anything I have shot so far. Let me know your thoughts! I have been a professional event photographer in Los Angeles for 10 years while teaching photography at the same time.

Follow the links below to see my work.

Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/

Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/ www.mikmilman.com

Anscomark M Film Camera

Anscomark M Film Camera

The Anscomark M is the sturdiest camera I have ever held. "Built like a tank," is one of the most overused expressions when it comes to cameras, but it really does apply here; We are talking WWI era tank to be clear ;) This camera is feature-full from built in selenium light meter, threaded cable release hidden below the shutter button, to it's interchangeable lenses. Unfortunately it can be very hard to find lenses for this camera if you can even find the camera at all. I am looking forward to shooting with this camera and I'm very excited to share my results with you all!

I have been a professional event photographer for 10 years while teaching photography at the same time. Follow the links below to see my work. Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/ Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/ www.mikmilman.com Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/ Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/ www.mikmilman.com

Shooting Detail Shots with a 400mm Lens

I have been a professional event photographer and photography instructor in Los Angeles for 10 years. Follow the links below to see my work and be sure to subscribe to my channel on Youtube for more videos

YOUTUBE

Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/

www.mikmilman.com

How to Use an External Camera Flash // Part 2

Part Two of How to Use an External Camera Flash

In this video I focus on how to properly use modifiers and bounce your flash for more pleasing results.

I have been a professional photography work for 10 years while teaching photography at the same time. Follow the links below to see my work and be sure to subscribe to my channel on Youtube for more videos

YOUTUBE

Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/

www.mikmilman.com

Photographing Jamie Lee Curtis

In this episode I photograph a Fund Her event hosted by my friend Adrienne and Jamie Lee Curtis. Fund her supports women candidates for office. Link to their site below!

Check out Fund Her: https://www.fundher.org/

I have been a professional photography work for 10 years while teaching photography at the same time. Follow the links below to see my work.

More videos on YOUTUBE

Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/ www.mikmilman.com

Avoid Photography Burnout!

When you shoot as many events as I do, it is important to develop strategies to prevent burn out. In this video I share a few.

YOUTUBE

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Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/

www.mikmilman.com

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How to Shoot Candids at an Event

Here are just a few of my tips on how to shoot candids at an event. I have many more, but here are a few I have not seen mentioned on Youtube. So much more goes into the making of a great photographer than what we typically categorize as technique. Photography should be a full body experience. The way we move goes beyond not being noticed. How we move also effects our readiness to capture pivotal shots. Today I am sharing just a few of my tips on how to capture amazing candids including: Moving deliberately and slowly, how to hold your camera in order to be more responsive, predicting smiles and making photographs in between sentences, listening for the pause in a sentence, and more. Pay attention to how you move! The more relaxed you are the readier you are to capture a moment.

I have been a professional photography work for 10 years while teaching photography at the same time. Follow the links below to see my work. Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/ Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/

Advanced Event Photography Tips You've Never Heard

 

Advanced Event Photography Tips You've Never Heard

Pre-select your focal point

Rather than waiting for the viewfinder to reach your eye, consider where the point of focus will be and use your camera’s focus point controller to set it. Keep in mind, this will require you to develop the vision required to conceive your composition prior to seeing what you will see in you viewfinder. With practice this becomes intuitive. You will find yourself automatically adjusting your focus point.

Shoot with both eyes

performer at adobe max


While one eye frames your shot, use your other eye to monitor the action.
Doing so improves your timing as you’re no longer viewing what’s in front of you through the tunnel of your viewfinder. Additionally you are able to monitor the space for other potential images.

Read the room

happy skaters


Follow the energy. This is not hocus pocus. Do not overthink it. Follow the energy for more interesting candids.

Predict smiles

smiling skater

Have you learned to follow the energy? Good. Now it's time to predict a smile.
watch the eyes and anticipate the pause

Time your shot ahead of the peak of action

Your motor skills has a delay. Your camera has a delay from the moment you press the shutter button and the moment it makes an image, albeit small. Experiment with timing your image just before the peak of action to counteract that delay.
 

Nick Offerman at Adobe Max

How to Get Good at Photography

 

How to get good at photography. The following are tips I have accumulated from over 10 years experience teaching and shooting professionally.  

1. Always be working on SOMETHING. This can be a technique, a style, it can be shooting in low light. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT IT IS. Just always be working on something. Don't get complacent. If you’re going into a job or personal project or just doing some travel photography, go into it thinking to yourself: “WHAT DO I WANT TO WORK ON TODAY”

2. Keep a Journal. This one layers onto the idea of always working on something. My advice: go into a job, a shoot, or project with an idea of what you want to achieve. Afterward journal what worked? What didn't? But this is important: YOU MUST DO THIS WITH KINDNESS. What does this mean? Remove the ego and do not limit yourself to what did not work. Be kind to yourself and ask, what went well and WHY?

3. TAKE A CLASS OR FIND A MENTOR Some people can go it alone but most cannot. It doesn't mean that they're not talented, just that that is not how they learn.

4. LOSE YOUR EGO Try to get honest feedback from your peers and DO NOT rely on social media feedback. I swear to you, my least interesting photos are the ones that get the most likes. The images that perform the best are not necessarily you’re best In the case of instagram the images that are successful are the equivalent of junk food that gives you that blunt sugar salt and fat fix. THERE IS NO SUBTLETY

5. GO OUT AND SHOOT How do you get good at Soccer? You play soccer. How do you get good at photography? You take photos.

Top 5 Event Photography Tips

Advanced Event Photography Tips You've never heard

1.

Pre-select your focal point. Rather than waiting for the viewfinder to reach your eye, consider where the point of focus will be and use your controller to set it. With practice this becomes intuitive.

2.

Shoot with both eyes. While one eye frames the shot, use your other eye to monitor the action. Improves your timing and you’re able to monitor the space while still framing a potential image. This allows you to maximize your coverage when shooting an event.

3.

Read the room. Follow the energy. This is not hocus pocus. Do not overthink it. Follow where you are naturally drawn to. Something is likely about to happen.

4.

Have you learned to follow the energy? Good. Now it's time to predict a smile. The trick is to watch the eyes and anticipate the breaks in your subject's sentences.

5. Time your shot ahead of the peak of action. Your motor skills have a delay. Your camera has a delay, albeit short, from the point in which you press the shutter and it actually makes an image.

event photograph

Venice, CA