Helpful Photography Tips for Beginners
Getting started in photography can seem like an overwhelming task. Digital cameras have so many settings and menus, it seems like there is SO MUCH to learn when you’re just getting started. So the burning question is, where do you start?
Before we dive into our list of photography tips for beginners, it’s helpful to remember that photography is an art form. When you pick up your camera, composure your shot, adjust the exposure, focus in and press the shutter, you’re not just taking a picture, you’re making a photograph. And making a good photograph takes practice and skill.
When you look through the viewfinder, you’re taking the initial steps in forming a vision of how you want your picture to turn out. People get into photography for a variety of reasons. Some photographers are more interested in artistic expressions, while others simply want to capture good all around photos while they are on vacation or with family.
As we walk through Photography Tips for Beginners, remember to focus on developing your technical and artistic photography skills. When possible, we’ll try and refer you to previous lessons on our site, as well as some suggestions for good online photography courses to get you on your way. So, let’s get started.
Learn Everything You Can About Your Camera
Get to know your camera inside and out. Learn a majority of the important settings and how to change them without having to refer to the user manual. You camera probably has a lot of settings and features may seem overwhelming and probably a little intimidating. But, don’t let that hold you back.
Start by getting as much information as you can about your camera from the manufacturer product brochure, videos on YouTube and Apps. You can also learn a lot about your camera by reading product reviews by third parties.
For more help, read our article on Building a Resource Library for Your Camera.
Learn Basic Composition
Next, take a break from studying the technical aspects of your camera and photography, and start learning the art of photography. Composition is a good place to start. Start by reading our article on the Compositional Rules of Photography.
Then, take an online course that covers composition;
- Composition: A Photography Masterclass
- Photography for Beginners: Composition, Posing and Light
- Photography Composition & Portrait Photography Masterclass
Learn to Edit RAW Files
We strongly recommend you shoot in RAW whenever you can. RAW files are uncompressed and need to be processed using programs like Photoshop or Lightroom. The files are significantly larger than jpeg, but that’s a good thing because they contain more data so you make adjustments to exposure, highlights, shadows, contrast, sharpness, and colors.
Next, you need to learn how to edit your RAW files. Get your hands on some photo editing software like Lightroom and take an online course. Here are a few course suggestions;
- Adobe Lightroom CC: Photo Editing Masterclass
- The Essential Guide to Lightroom
- Adobe Lightroom CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide
Experiment and Take Risks
Don’t be afraid to take a bad picture. Your camera won’t break if your images don’t turn out perfectly. Leaning photography is a process or trial and error, so you have to take a few risks. One suggestion is to spend without taking a single photography at eye level. Try shooting from different heights and vantage points. You’ll be amazed at the difference in your photos. Try getting super close to your subjects and use a shallow depth of field like f/2.8.