I’m not a “trained” photographer; I’ve never taken any classes. If you started talking exposures or lighting or f-stops, or any other technical term, you’d get a blank look from me. What I don’t know about photography would fill more than one book on the subject. Here’s what I do know:
You learn by doing (true of a lot of endeavors).
Keep your shots. All of them (within reason). I like looking back at older photos, because they provide me with a benchmark, a way to measure my progress.
Shoot what you love–if your heart isn’t in it, your finished work will reflect that.
Everyone has a style; find yours. Don’t be an imitation of someone else.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Not everything will be a success; you’ll learn as much from your failures as you will from your successes. Sometimes more.
Keep shooting. And above all–remember to have fun!
I paired this particular image with a texture I like to call “stained glass.” By fading it until it’s barely there (-80%), it gives the petals the look of a butterfly’s wings.