Featuring Tracy Autem
One of the biggest impacts Tracy Autem has seen hit the wedding photography industry during her years as a photographer and educator is YouTube photo mentors.
“I teach a Business for Photographers class at the local university and when I ask my students how they learned how to use a camera, most of them say Youtube.”
As a longtime wedding photographer and business owner on the lookout for new talent, Tracy is excited to see so many newcomers. But she cautions her students about the flaws she finds with the YouTube education model. “I always tell people that they have to check their sources. They need to look at the work of the person they are putting their faith into and make sure it’s solid.
Do Your Research on YouTube Photo Mentors
The Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas-based photographer sometimes worries about the new crop of photographers because they’re so starved for information, they can get sucked into watching tutorials by people who have no business teaching. “I’m working with students now, who have been given a lot of misinformation.”
Even though Tracy teaches a business class, she finds herself having to undo a lot of tutorial trauma and explain basic photography concepts to people who think they know how to shoot because they’ve watched a lot of videos. “I think YouTube is an incredible resource and I highly recommend using it as a learning tool, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your research on the person behind the video.”
Tracy says when she talked to someone just starting out in the photography industry seven or eight years ago and asked how they learned to shoot, they would say community college, or high school, or a family member. “There was a personal connection. There was someone there physically showing them how to use a camera. That personal touch has been replaced with tutorials.” That’s why Tracy says it’s more important than ever to make sure your online photo mentor is a legitimate and knowledgeable source because hitting play on the next video could land you in trouble if the YouTube mentor is teaching incorrect information.
Written by Sabrina Sabbagh