Photography Inspires: How Aspiring Photographers Work Towards Their Goals

This article was written by our writing leader Elisabeth.  Get to know our Summer 2018 Leaders here!


We see beautiful landscape, portrait, wedding, food, and nature photography all over the internet. Whether it be on social media, an ad you see on a website or blog, or an image on Google, pictures are everywhere we look. It’s hard to escape them. Have you ever wondered how these picture were taken? Or what lengths the photographers had to go to get such perfect shots? What about how they got their photos published on various websites and even in magazines?

For sure, it must have taken a lot of hard work.

Everyone has to start somewhere. You know the photographers that do Beyoncé’s photoshoots? They were once having trouble finding people to take pictures of. National Geographic photographers? They probably used to take pictures of flowers and trees in their backyard. Just like anyone else in any other profession, they had to climb their way to the top – and that requires extremely hard work.

Instagram and YouTube famous photographers such as Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi have a unique style that fits them personally. They embrace that and use it to their advantage. You will most probably learn from them that finding your style will define who you are as a photographer. When you’re just beginning, you may not know for sure what your style is or what you want it to be.

As an aspiring photographer myself, I know how hard it can be to start. With all of the equipment, lighting, and editing, it can get a little overwhelming. If you haven’t had any experience behind the camera, you might not understand the struggle that photographers go through when they begin. It’s a lot harder than it looks. Building a following on social media can be hard as well.

So let’s hear from two amazing photographers whom I found through the Instagram hashtag #photographer. Both have unique perspectives and styles that I would love to share with all of you. Maybe you’ll get a little inspired along the way.

Introducing the photographer @shahrezx and Aryana of @__redwood__:

What introduced you to the art?

@shahrezx: I have always loved going outdoors and have visited many amazing places. Through that I saw amazing places and I wanted to share those amazing places/experiences to other people through photography.

Aryana: My ex-boyfriend was a professional photographer and introduced me to the art. He was very technical and used a Hasselblad, but I discovered that I’m more intuitive and like to take photos whenever something catches my eye. Therefore, I use digital cameras or even my iPhone to take photos.

Image: @shahrezx via Instagram

Who is your main inspiration?

@shahrezx: Through Instagram I’ve seen and met a lot of other photographers which have amazed me with what they can do with a simple camera. Creating wonderful images that show creativity and beauty. Most of my inspirations were photographers in my own school, but over time I found out about the huge community of photographers on Instagram. Some of my biggest inspirations have been @uk.shooters and @_smurfious

Aryana: I usually feel inspired by a mixture of different things and people. Music, nature and photographers on IG cause me to push forward. Adding to this list, I would say that among famous photographers, Ansel Adams and Richard Avedon are real pioneers and have inspired me a lot.

Image: @shahrezx via Instagram

What are some challenges you face on a regular basis as an aspiring photographer?

@shahrezx: As a student, it’s hard to fit in times specifically meant for photography. Much of my photography is just taken at various locations that I visit, mainly because of the busy schedule most students or teens have. Also trying to go places far away is very hard as a student and teen, most of my photography is local.

Aryana: There are plenty of inspiring photographers to be found on social media. It’s not easy to stand out from the crowd and distinguish yourself. On top of that, I’m my own worst critic. This is a good and also a bad thing. Being your own worst critic can result in growth and perseverance, but it also makes me feel insecure and unsatisfied. I guess we are all familiar with that little voice inside your head, telling you it’s not good enough. The biggest challenge for me is to block out that feeling and be pleased with my accomplishments.

Image: Aryana @__redwood__ via Instagram

What do you think is the most important thing when it comes to posting photos on social media?

@shahrezx: Trying to have your own unique style. Being yourself, and trying not take trolls’ or “haters’” comments personally.

Aryana: I would say… being proud of your work. Don’t try to please others. Just focus on yourself and your work. If you’re happy with the outcome, that’s all that matters. Eventually, your social media circle will grow and then you’ll know that it’s because they are interested in you and your work.

Image: Arayana @__redwood__ via Instagram

Be honest – do you care about your following? Why or why not?

@shahrezx: To some extent I do care. Likes, follows, and comments do help me improve my photography. Feedback is really important and I find that I rather have interactions with my followers than likes.

Aryana: I’m very flattered that so many people are interested in my photography, so yes, I do care. My followers inspire me a lot. There is so much undiscovered talent to be found. It’s truly a gift to catch a glimpse of their work every day.

Image: Aryana @__redwood__ via Instagram

Lastly, what advice would you give for people just starting out with photography?

@shahrezx: Try to enjoy doing photography, and if you wanna grow your Instagram account, try to use hashtags. Finally, try to ask other photographers on Instagram to improve – the photography community on instagram is huge.

Aryana: Be yourself and try to take photos of things, people, or places that interest you. Motivation is key.

Now, I would like to make it a point that one of these photographers is in their teens and another is past twenty. One lives in the U.S. and the other in Europe. They are both so unique, with their own styles and struggles. They do not let those struggles get between them. They both come from such different walks of life! Anyone can pursue this if they so wish, and try.

If you only get one thing from this interview, I want it to be that. Keep going. It’s possible to get somewhere. Enjoy it. Love it. Do it.

Take their advice, and mine as well – because it’s only the truth.

I hope this inspired all you aspiring photographers. It inspired me for sure.


Are you an aspiring photographer? What are your favorite subjects for your photography? Comment below.

Did you like hearing from these photographers? If so, check out @shahrezx’s and Aryana’s instagram pages to hear more from them and see their photos.

If you liked this interview, you may also like:

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Feature Image Credit: @shahrezx

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