Do you have a camera and just can’t stop clicking? Let’s put some form into that newfound joy with these basic starter tips that might help you start a journey into professional photography.
1. Don’t go crazy buying the most expensive equipment right away
A wise teacher once told his students that the quality of work depends on the skill of the student, not the tool. Believe it or not, it’s actually possible to get great photos with an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera.
The more photos you take, the better you get at picking out the best moments, lighting, and angles. Eventually, as your personal style develops, you can invest in a more expensive camera suited for your style.
2. Consider using a tripod
You may want to think about getting an affordable tripod, especially if you want to make sure you get a crisp shot but are concerned about your hands shaking. Even your heart beat can cause your hand to move, no matter how still you try to be.
The stability in conjunction with the camera’s timing can allow you more options as you compose your shot.
3. Keep your camera with you all the time
The best and most magical photo opportunities have a habit of sneaking up on us when we least expect them. You want to have your camera on hand to catch those unexpected moments.
Although it seems obvious, use your own phone camera—as a tool. When you see something special you can shoot ‘notes’ to remind yourself where to come back to when you’re better equipped.
4. Learn the basic rules
The amount of information about photography online can be overwhelming. Start with articles on composition, or look out for workshops and other learning opportunities near you. Be open to what more experienced photographers have to say about technique. You have to know the rules before you can break them.
5. Take photos regularly
Try taking a picture a day. This daily habit helps keep you in a photographer mindset. You’ll start to see patterns in your work. You may realize that you gravitate toward certain styles, learning the kinds of shots you’re best at, and those that you can work to improve. It’s a good discipline to get into.
6. Make a list of shots you’d like to get
For those times you can’t carry your camera around, keep a small notebook to jot down places you’d like to come back and photograph. Note any important details, like the lighting, so you can come back at the same time of day, or when the weather’s right. If you don’t want to carry a notebook, send yourself a text or email using your mobile phone.
7. Don’t overlook mundane subjects for photography
You might not see anything interesting to photograph in your living room or your backyard, but try looking at the same things with fresh eyes. You might catch an interesting streak of light, or find some unexpected treasures in your bedroom corner. Simple everyday things often make the best shots.
8. Experiment with your camera’s settings
Your point-and-shoot may be more flexible and powerful than you know. Get help deciphering all those little symbols and see just how far you can push your camera. As you explore, try shooting your subjects with multiple settings to learn what affects you like. This will also help you develop your personal style.
9. Don’t be afraid to experiment
With digital cameras, there is no cost to errors except time. Go crazy and shoot, shoot, shoot! You might end up with something you like. You will definitely learn a lot in the process.
10. Enjoy the learning process
The best thing about this type of art is that you never run out of things to learn. Look at everything with the eyes of a photographer and you’ll see opportunities you never noticed before.
ADMI offers a short, 4-month photography course that teaches you all the tricks to get you started on your professional journey as a photographer.
Get more resources on learning photography at Photography Tips for Beginners.