You’re a beginner photographer. You may have a shiny new camera or a state-of-the-art iPhone X. Either way, you want to get a great start at photography. You want to take a lot of photos. You want to learn different viewpoints. More importantly, you want to learn your camera and learn how to edit. No need to go out and buy a million photography books and guides. Take a look at our tips for a beginner photographer below:
Take Lots of Pictures
Don’t just go around snapping pictures – taking multiple pictures as a beginner photographer will produce better results in some situations.
The more a scene changes, the more pictures you can take. For example: If a football player is making a run for a touchdown, hold down the shutter, and keep shooting until he’s done celebrating. It’s much easier to delete pictures than it is to recreate the action to capture “The Moment.”
Always take multiple pictures. Even if you’re just snapping a shot of your friend, take four or five shots. Later, you can delete all but the best shots.
Try Different Viewpoints
Most people hold the camera at eye-level to take a picture. This provides the most common of what you see. But, maybe there is a more interesting angle that will create a better photo?
For smaller subjects like kids, kneel down to see them eye-to-eye. For flowers, lie on the ground and shoot up to show the sun or the sky in the background.
G even higher than normal: Try standing on stairs or a ladder and look down on the subject. High perspectives and wide-angle lenses create more interesting photos than just directly level with the subject.
Ditch the Lens Cap & Camera Bag
One common thing a beginner photographer likes to do is keep their camera protected in a bag. Now I always keep my camera ready to snap a photo. I don’t ever use a lens cap or camera bag when I’m out shooting.
Myself use to use a camera bag and a lens cap when I first started out. I was very careful because I didn’t want to damage my equipment. Every time I’d want to take a photo, I’d unzip my camera bag, pull my camera out, remove the lens cap, and finally take the picture. Then, I would reverse the whole process to put the camera away.
The bag and lens cap made me miss out on great photo opportunities. The camera is just a tool like a hammer. You don’t keep your hammer protected and put away. It is meant to be used. If you do get some damage, all the extra shots you have taken are worth it. Plus, you won’t ever notice the effect of minor scratches on the outside of your camera.
Learn Your Camera
It is important as a beginner photographer to learn your camera. You’ll be surprised how much your photography can improve just by knowing how to use your camera. I recommend reading our guide, How to Use Manual Camera Settings. For starters, make sure you know how to:
- Turn the flash on and off
- Select continuous shooting
- Set the camera’s timer
- Select aperture priority and shutter priority
- View the histogram
Use Your Pictures
One thing you should be doing is to look at your pictures. Don’t wait until your pictures are a distant memory before looking at them. There are many different ways you can use your pictures: For starters as a beginner photographer you can start an Instagram page for your photos.
Make prints from sites like Shutterfly.com, frame them, and hang them on your walls.
Put a digital picture frame in a prominent location somewhere in your house.
Sell them on stock photo sites. In no time you’ll be making money and getting better.
Edit Your Pictures
Don’t be fooled. Professionals are editing their photos. In this day and age you’re not using a dark room, but instead using Photoshop or Lightroom. Editing your pictures isn’t cheating. Every single photo you see in the media has been edited. With many free editing software there is no excuse to not edit.
Editing your pictures is also a great way to learn. You will learn more about composition by cropping your photos. If all your pictures are blue, you can adjust the white balance in your image editing app.
Once you discover the importance of editing, you’ll spend more and more of your time editing. You will also build your own workflow that works for you.
Don’t Worry So Much About the Equipment and Settings
The single most common mistake I see people making is being preoccupied with equipment and settings. Of course we constantly get the question that, “What camera do you use?.” Let me tell you that the best camera is the one you have with you. Even the iPhone x takes great photos. Why don’t you give it a try?