Ask an experienced photographer, and you’ll find photography rewarding and incredibly enjoyable. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you’re just starting. You must know everything about gear, settings, post-processing, and lighting.

But don’t worry! You don’t have to worry! I’ve been there. I provide a lot of gear advice and explain key concepts. I also offer a variety of techniques to improve your photos. Here’s what I do:

  • How to choose the right gear
  • How to select the best camera settings
  • Post-processing: Where do you start?
  • There are many more options!

1. Research gear (but don’t go overboard)

You are not a good photographer just because you have gear.

If you’re just starting, buying a high-end camera is not only a waste of cash but will also make learning more difficult. A beginner camera is not worth the cost of a high-end car.

Do your research when you want to buy gear – whether it’s your first camera/lens/accessory or your tenth. For camera recommendations, checking out forums and articles is a good idea. After finding something that suits your needs and is affordable, look at user and professional reviews to see if it meets your expectations. These are my recommendations.

2. Purchase an interchangeable lens camera.

While cameras can take amazing photos, certain models offer more flexibility and better quality. While smartphones and point-and-shoot models can take amazing photos, they lack interchangeable lenses.

Mirrorless and DSLR cameras can be swapped out as you shoot. This is especially important if you like photographing multiple subjects. A wide-angle lens can be used to capture the beautiful scenery. To create a tighter composition, you can switch to a zoom lens. Finally, you can try a super-telephoto to get a close-up image of a bird flying through the landscape.

While each lens is expensive, some affordable models are specifically priced for beginners. One of the best things about interchangeable lens cameras is the ability to upgrade your lenses while still using the same camera as before.

What interchangeable lens camera should I buy? Although the details are not important, you can still get excellent results with an entry-level mirrorless model such as the Nikon Z30Sony A6400, or Canon EOS 50.

3. Make sure to use your kit lens frequently (but do not forget to upgrade it when necessary).

An interchangeable lens camera will come with a zoom lens. This is sometimes called a kitten. Serious photographers often criticize kit lenses, but I recommend that you use your kit lens frequently before spending on more glass.

Kit lenses can be used to cover a variety of subjects. This allows you to explore a wide range of photographic styles and techniques. Kit lenses can cover the most commonly used focal lengths, including 28mm, 35mm, and 50mm. This means you can practice with kit lenses to find the right focal lengths.

You can then make an informed decision about buying additional lenses.

4. A tripod is worth considering.

After you’ve got a lens and a camera, you should also have a tripod.

Tripods will help you capture sharp photos in dark situations. A tripod can be an asset in many photographic genres, including landscape, architecture, product, and wildlife photography.

Tripods are not the best choice for all photographers. They can also be cumbersome to use. For example, street photography is not something that tripods are ideal for. If you don’t know you won’t use it, I encourage you to get a sturdy yet lightweight model and let me know what you think.

5. Photograph lots

Like any skill, you can improve your skills by practicing. The fastest way to improve is to practice. Simply take a camera with you and begin taking photos.

Knowledge is important, but it’s not enough to hold a camera in your hand, look through the viewfinder and consider different compositions. Spend at least one hour every week behind your lens. More is better! It doesn’t matter how you shoot as long as you are improving.

Don’t be discouraged if your shots don’t turn out as you hoped. Photography is all about failure. Over time you will learn how to achieve the desired results, and you will be able to bring home more keepsakes.

6. Please read the manual.

Camera manuals may be the most boring thing that you have ever read.

Despite that, I recommend you do it anyway.

Camera manuals are not exactly a riveting read.

Why? This is why it’s so important to understand how your camera works initially. This information will be useful later on. You must know how to adjust a setting when you are out in the field. If you have read the manual carefully, you can do this quickly. However, if you haven’t read it, you’ll have to search for instructions on your smartphone, and your photo opportunity may be gone.

You don’t have to read it all at once. It is best to place the manual somewhere you can read in smaller parts while waiting, such as in your bathroom or work.

7. Learn more about composition.

Composition is the arrangement of different elements within your photos. Do you put your main subject in the middle or the corner of the frame? Or do you put it in the corner? Do you put it in the corner?

Experimentation is one way to explore composition. Take a subject, such as a flower, and then take many pictures from different angles. Then evaluate the images. However, I recommend learning basic composition rules to help frame your shots.

8. Do not start with workshops.

You’ve caught the photography bug. You may be thinking, “Ooh! You might be thinking, “Ooh!

And workshops can be great. They are geared towards beginners and photographers who understand the basics but want to improve their compositions, lighting, and other advanced techniques. It’s not a good idea to go crazy with workshops immediately. You should start with the basics.

  • How to use your camera
  • Different photography terms: What does it mean?
  • How to choose the right settings for your situation

You’ve already made a significant step towards your goal, as you are reading one of the best photography websites. This site has more tutorials and tips than you could ever need, especially for beginners. After you have mastered the basics, you can identify the workshop that suits you best. You might even consider this route.

I don’t think you should not do a workshop. But you should wait until your needs are met.

9. Get in touch with other photographers.

Learning photography with others can be valuable, whether you join an internet group or head to a local club.

One, you will see your photography improve faster, and two, it will be much more enjoyable with the support of other shutterbugs. 

Connecting with other photographers is a great way to learn and get inspired.

Camera clubs may host monthly competitions or organize photo tours, exhibitions, or other activities. Talking to fellow photographers or beginners will inspire you and keep you motivated.

You can also sign up for reputable photography newsletters or Facebook pages. Or, you could reach out to other photographers that you admire. Professional photographers are happy to answer a few questions if you’re respectful and polite and don’t ask too many questions.

10. You can do it all

This piece of advice will be brief and sweet.

Although you might have chosen a particular genre or subject for your photography, it is helpful to explore all genres. You never know your talents and what you may learn along the journey.

Shoot landscapes. Shoot portraits. Go out on the streets to take some street photography. Photograph close-ups of beautiful flowers.

You never know what you might discover that you love but haven’t considered.

11. Get feedback

While your family and friends may support you, they may lie to you about the quality of your photography. They may not even know what to search for. It’s usually more beneficial to seek feedback from strangers than from a friend or family member that is honest and knows something about art.

You will receive mostly honest, sometimes brutal feedback by joining a photo-sharing website where others can comment on what you do. The image below was posted to a feedback site years ago. Although I knew there were flaws in the image, I wanted to know what others thought and how they could help.

One man submitted a long comment that dismantled the image. He pointed out what appeared to be many million flaws and got into it. Although the comments were hurtful and borderline cruel, it was valuable advice that I could use for my next portrait shoot.

12. Take a look at tons of photos.

Photographic art has existed for almost two centuries. In that time, billions of images have been created by photographers. While many of these photos are poor, there are very good ones. You can learn a lot from these images by studying them.

You should view at least one photo per day. You can search on Instagram, a website such as 500px, or a photographer’s website. It is important to first find beautiful images and then spend some time looking at them. (As you look at each file, consider what makes it special. What is it that I love about it? What are my complaints? What did the photographer do to achieve a pleasing effect?

It might be worth checking out books by historical photographers at your local library. While it’s great to see contemporary photography, many lessons can be learned from the past.

13. Participate in free competitions.

You don’t have to be a professional if you have the money and confidence to enter big competitions. You will unlikely be the first person to win a major prize in the first few months after purchasing a camera.

There are many free alternatives to paying for entry to competitions. You can submit images and see how it goes. Who knows? Maybe you will win!

14. Try different lighting settings.

Photography is all about lighting. Lighting can make or break your images. This is why this tip for beginners is important.

It’s important to develop your sense of light when you are just starting out. You need to know the differences between outdoor lighting and how they affect photos.

Be sure to pay attention to the time and cloud cover, and take photos in many situations. Photograph at dawn, dusk, high noon, and on overcast days. Next, go back to your computer and evaluate each file. Consider how each image looks. What effect does the direction and type of light have on the shadows, mood, and effectiveness of each shot?

15. You want to get out of Auto mode.

This is essential if you want to be a great photographer.

Although Auto mode can be useful when you’re just starting, it will eventually keep you back and prevent you from reaching your full potential.

However, you don’t have to rush. Enjoy the process of photographing at first, even if you have to use Auto mode constantly.

You will then learn Program mode and Aperture priority mode. Finally, you’ll be able to move up the ladder by learning Manual mode.

Manual settings are not as hard as beginners might think. It can feel a lot like learning to drive. It will be difficult to learn how to use the indicators and gears while steering the vehicle. It will become second nature with patience and practice.

You can also find a lot of cheat sheets and beginner guides here on dPS if you’re ready to experiment with manual settings.

16. A post-processing program is available.

An editing program is essential if you want to become a professional photographer.

Why? Because editing has become an integral part of the photo-taking process. Learn to edit if you want your photos to look great.

These days, your “darkroom” can sit with you in bed (alongside some extras!).

Which post-processing software is the best?

There are some free programs, like Darktable or GIMP. These are great, but they have limitations. There are also powerful programs like Photoshop or Lightroom which can prove daunting for beginners. Lightroom is a great tool for learning photography. It’s easy to use and understand.

17. Have fun

This is the most important and best part of photography.

It’s the enjoyment!

Do not let failures or compare yourself to pros stop you from trying. Even the most skilled photographers around the globe were once beginners. Keep taking photos, keep learning, keep challenging yourself, and most importantly, enjoy the joy of photography!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *