When I first started to learn about photography, I thought I had to go out and buy the best camera, a whole bunch of gear and spend a ton of money on courses and books. Well, today is your lucky day because you found me, and I’m here to tell you, you DON’T have to do these things to get started in photography and creating beautiful photos.
All you need need to get started learning photography is a Camera! You don’t have to have an expensive DSLR. You can use an older DSLR, a point, and shoot, or even your cell phone! That’s right, your cell phone! Now I’m not saying go out and charges someone $500 for a photoshoot done with your cell phone, but if all you have right now is that, then we have something to work with. So here are my 15 tips to get you started in photography.
#1. Have a camera.
We’ve already been over this a bit, but I was serious. A lot of people think that a photographer is only good because they have an expensive professional DSLR, but the camera doesn’t make the photographer. The camera is simply a tool for the photographer to use to create beautiful photos.
Any type of camera can get you started. When you are first starting out with photography you’re going to be doing a TON of learning and practicing with different techniques. You’re not going to be charging clients, so any camera will do. For now. However, when you are ready to buy your first DSLR check out my blog post on purchasing your first DSLR.
#2 Have something or someone to shoot.
This is pretty easy. Pick a subject that you want to capture in your photos, and practice on that over and over again. When I first started learning about photography, My daughter was a newborn, I used her and my son as my main focus and I just took their photo over and over again. Now I have more photos of my kids than I know what to do with. Here is one of the very first photos I took of my daughter, with my cell phone. It was terrible, but I was learning, and practicing, and that’s all that matters. Which brings me to my next tip.
#3 PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
I can not stress this enough. You will not get better if you only pick up your camera once a month or once a week. You really need to make this a daily thing. Pick up your camera at least once a day and shoot SOMETHING. You can do it!
#4 STUDY STUDY STUDY.
Along with practicing, we need to study. Okay, now I’m sure you’re wondering at this point, “What am I practicing on?” Well, I’m going to tell you! Anyone can pick up a camera and snap a photo. What makes a photographer different from someone with a camera is the fact that we know about exposure, composition, the rule of thirds, the exposure triangle, and so much more. So Study and practice these things until you understand them.
#5 Learn composition.
The composition is one of the most important aspects of photography. The reason I’m so adamant about you not needing an expensive DSLR right away is because the composition is something you can learn without it. The composition is basically how the photo is arranged to make it appealing to the eye and to keep the person interested in your photo. If you’d like to learn about composition in more detail check back soon for a lesson about composition.
#6 Learn about the exposure triangle.
Now the exposure triangle is something that is meant for a DSLR. The exposure triangle is the three ways to adjust your exposure when shooting in manual mode on your DSLR. We will get to the manual mode eventually but in the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to study up on the exposure triangle and familiarize yourself with aperture, ISO and, shutter speed. I have lessons on that just check them out by clicking “The Beginner’s Photography Course” at the top of the page.
#7 Join a facebook group.
Join a ton of them actually. Especially local meet up groups. The reason I say this is because you may find some that are not very useful to you, and just have a bunch of drama, those you will want to avoid. However, every so often you’ll come across a really good one, that has very helpful, more advanced photographers in it, that are more than willing to help you. This is a lot of how I learned and got advice. You can post your photos in the group and ask for CC (constructive criticism) It’s going to be hard at first because you may not hear what you want to, but try not to take it personally. CC is something that can be very beneficial to you if you know how to give and receive it. A group I would recommend off the top of my head is, www.facebook.com/groups/photographywithoutboundaries. There are some helpful, experienced photographers in this group, including myself, that are very willing to help others learn. Just be patient and open minded.
#8 watch youtube videos!
There are a lot of really good paid tutorials out there. And I have been willing to spend my money on some to gain more knowledge in photography, and better my photos. However, when you’re first starting out and you’re on a tight budget, youtube is your best friend! I used to sit and watch youtube videos for HOURS! I promise you it helped. Here are some suggestions:
Photos In Color: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpCPQcqqmRLPz5xNY-veblw
Anthony Morganti https://www.youtube.com/user/AnthonyMorganti
There are a TON more, just type in what you want to learn and you will find tons of free tutorials.
#8 Learn about lighting!
Lighting is by far the most important element to photography. And, again, you can learn this without a DSLR. Natural light does not require anything other than, well, natural light. The sun, window light, lamps, etc. anything that you have that gives off good light. Learn what the different light is and how it works in your favor or against you. Learn when the best time to shoot outside is, in order to get the best light. Blog post coming soon!
#9 Listen to podcasts!
I know what you’re thinking, photography is a visual thing, how could we possibly learn anything from a podcast? Well try it and trust me you’ll understand. There is so much you can learn just by listening while you’re on the go.
#10. Post your photos everywhere!!
There are a TON of photo sites that you can join for free and post your photos on to get feedback and, also view other photos. Check out this video for my recommendations.
#11 Spend lots of time looking through other photographer’s work.
This is very important. You need to spend a good amount of time looking at photos, to get a good understanding of what a good photo looks like. Browse through photos online, create an album of your favorites and try to recreate them with your own touch. This is very helpful. Seeing other photographer’s work can really help inspire you and get your creative juices flowing.
#12 Get your family and friends involved.
Let your family and friends know that you’re interested in becoming a photographer. Let them know you need their support. Use them as your models to practice shooting. Get them to share your photos on their facebook page. Support is a great motivator for you to become successful.
#13 Don’t worry too much about editing right away.
Editing is going to eventually be very important and beneficial. When the time is right I have a blog for you about Lightroom. Lightroom is the best editing software out there for you to get started in. But in the meantime, just focus on how to use your camera, composition, and lighting. Those are important.
#14 When you are ready to take that step into the DSLR world. Learn to shoot in Manual!
Remember how I told you to learn about the exposure triangle? Well, this is when that knowledge will help you. Once you get your first DSLR you’re going to want to get out of shooting in auto mode and get into the manual. There are a few ways to do this… You guessed it. Blog post. 🙂
#15 HAVE FUN!!
This is important. The reason you want to become a photographer is because in some way it’s interesting to you right? Well, let’s keep it that way. Try not to take it so seriously at first, Have fun with it. Don’t stress yourself out to the point where this new exciting thing in your life turns into just another job. Make it fun! Keep yourself motivated. There a ton of things to do to stay motivated. But while you are learning, make it fun and interesting and enjoy!
Thank you so much for reading this post. I hope that it was useful to you and helped get you excited about learning photography. Please subscribe to my email list if you’d like to get more photography tips from me. I promise I won’t spam you every day with a bunch of stuff. Just some tips that I have found helpful along the way. Also, you can follow me on facebook at:
Start here for Learning Manual Mode