If you're an aspiring photographer, then Shaira Luna probably needs no introduction. With her signature style of dainty, soft photography, one can easily distinguish her work from a mile away. She's an in-demand shooter for many brands, both for editorial and commercial, and is a favorite among celebrities like Kathryn Bernardo, Anne Curtis, and Julia Barretto.
Suffice to say, Shaira has more than established herself in the business—and with 13 years of experience under her belt, she's someone you'll want to take advice from if you're just starting to learn the ropes of the business. That said, we asked the pro for some beginner advice and here are her top five tips:
1. Get to know your equipment.
"Appreciate and make the most out of the equipment you have! Whether it's a point and shoot or a semi-pro camera, it really helps to use it all the time until you become familiar and comfortable with it."
2. Inspiration is everywhere.
"Aside from images on screen, always look at the images around you! Billboards, book covers, posters, packaging—see what makes them work, until it becomes second nature for you to deconstruct or at least take mental notes about the images you come across every day."
3. Train your eye.
"Keep taking photos, and whenever you can, bring your camera with you! Train your eye to frame what you see in daily life, and this will help you become quicker in composing and capturing."
4. DIY is key.
"Be resourceful and always try to find alternatives or solutions to things you want to try out, but may not yet have access to. When I was starting, I knew it would take a while before I would be able to afford real equipment, so I definitely took the DIY route! I was always in school supplies section of stores, trying to figure out what I could use for shoots. This helps build your practical know-how, and will come in useful in any career!"
5. Shoot, shoot, shoot!
"I'd say patience is very important when you want to become a photographer. Everyone learns at a different pace, and in different ways. Some understand things better with a teacher or through workshops, while others thrive when left to their own devices. Again, just always observe, appreciate, and use your imagination! And when you get better at shooting, just keep shooting and shooting and shooting."