8 Photography Tips for Beginners

I’ve been sitting on this post for a long time, but I am SO excited to finally share with you my latest blog post: 8 photography tips for beginners!

1. Start with any camera

Whether it’s a phone, your grandpa’s film camera, a friend’s DSLR, or a cheap disposable camera, whatever, just find whatever you can and start shooting! To become a good photographer, you don’t need a fancy camera or the BEST equipment! The basics of good/creative photography can be explored on any type of camera. Just go out and shoot first, invest later.

2. Photograph anything and everything!

When I first started, I took photos of everything: landscapes, flowers, family, friends, architecture, travel, food, products, jewelry, etc. As a wedding and lifestyle photographer, I truly believe in the power of niching down eventually, BUT, I also believe in trying everything at least once. In some ways, I believe that photographing one thing can help improve your skills for another. For example, photographing families have helped me become a better wedding photographer! Trust me when I say, when you can successfully make a screaming toddler smile, there’s nothing you can’t do.

3. Use Instagram as a source for inspiration

When you follow other photographers on Instagram, it can be a little disheartening at first. There will always be thoughts of, why don’t my photos look like that? When will I be at that level? But the truth is, the more you study photography, the more that gap will close over time. Photos are SO much more than filters or editing. Great photos are about excellent use of lighting, composition, posing, expressions, emotions, angles, etc. When browsing on Instagram, study the photographer’s use of these techniques by saving photos to different collections, so that you can use it as a guide for your own photography.

4. Learn about your camera

By now you’re thinking, ok cool. I’m completely ready to take my photography to the next level! Cool! Now you might be thinking about buying your own camera. That’s awesome! Whatever camera you buy, just always make sure to do your homework BEFORE you buy. Like I said, it’s really easy to want to buy whatever camera your photography idol is using, but remember, you can be an excellent photographer on cheaper cameras. A cropped sensor will be cheaper than a full frame camera, or a 35 mm film camera will be cheaper than medium format. Whatever camera you buy, make sure to do your homework first. That means watching Youtube videos, reading articles, or product reviews, etc. I will post a camera/lens buying guide somewhere down the line, so remember to keep an eye out for that.

5. Shoot in manual

This is perhaps the trickiest part for new photographers. What does shooting manual mean? Well first, shooting on auto means letting the camera decide what a proper exposure looks like for the scene you’re trying to set. Sometimes, that just means taking a photo that is just bright and not dark. Shooting manual means having more flexibility in the capturing the type of photo you want to take. Maybe you want you want more background detail or more background blur, maybe you want to the photos to be tack-sharp, or maybe you want to convey a bit of motion! Shooting manual means that you would be able to take control of these things by manually adjusting the 3 parts of the exposure triangle (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO). Once you understand these settings, you’re ready to take the next step! After my 8 photography tips for beginners post, I’ll teach this next!

6. Practice, practice, practice!

Whatever you’re interested in shooting, make sure to put yourself out there to practice. If you’re interested in landscapes, plan trips around photographing landscapes that you’ve had on your list. Or if portraits is what you’re into, ask your friends or family! If you’re still too shy to work with friends or family, try going to photography/model meet-ups through Facebook groups!

(Warning: be careful when working with new people you’ve met online. Always make sure that you’ve talked to them over the phone or have met them in a public place first before working together)

7. Reach out to photographers

This is probably my favorite tip. Don’t be afraid to reach out to photographers! Whether it’s a comment or a DM or an email, just reach out and say hello! This is especially important if you want to have start your career in photographer and you don’t know where to begin. Shadowing a photographer or simply buying them a coffee can give you so much more clarity and perspective.

8. Don’t Quit

I could have easily ended this with have fun, but I didn’t. The fact is, the entire journey will always be fun! Especially when you shoot a photo you’re really excited about, or when you learn and try something new, or when you start to develop and hone in on your style, it will be the most amazing feeling! But there will be times that life will get in the way, or maybe you’ll be too busy or you’ll get frustrated with it, and then you’ll stop. But don’t! Keep going and honing in on your craft. When you continue to practice and train your eye, it’s the most rewarding feeling seeing it pay off in the end!

I hope you enjoyed this post: 8 photography tips for beginners! I hope to do more posts like this, so make sure to stay tuned! You might also enjoy: 5 things I did to pursue my dream job!

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