All photographers have to start somewhere and learning how to take great pictures requires a lot of practice. I have compiled a quick list of photography tips for beginners that will help you get started.
I’ve also created a downloadable PDF that includes these tips plus a few bonus more ‘advanced’ tips, see bottom of page for those details.
8 Essential Photography Tips for Beginners
Pick up a how-to photography magazine
They’re pretty cheap. And these will show you what each setting can produce on your camera.Such as low aperture vs high aperture, matrix light metering vs spot metering, etc.
YouTube, of course, is an excellent resource as well. But with magazines you don’t use your precious data or have to skip through unnecessary fluff and ads.
Start shooting at different times of the day to understand how light affects pictures
Shoot with the sun behind you, besides you and directly in front of you (safely please) to see the differences.
Shoot early morning before sunrise, during sunrise, post sunrise, before sunset and of course during sunset.
Light strikes your subjects differently throughout the day and can create different drastically different images.
When doing photo walks, don’t forget to turn around
This will give you another perspective. Maybe that rustic light-post seemed boring as you walked by it, but turn around and from this angle the sun strikes it in a unique way. Boom, get that camera up.
Become familiar with your camera’s buttons
Learn what they each do and memorize their locations so they can be changed without even looking.
Some cameras also have specific buttons that are customizable, check your camera’s manual for details.
Take interesting images
If taking a landscape image, don’t just capture that single mountain off in the distance. Look for something interesting to add in the foreground of the image.
Or flip it around, and include a beautiful background while focusing on the foreground. This can be applied to just about any subject.
Be careful if shooting with a wide-angle lens and be on the lookout for image distortion
If you zoom all the way out with your lens and your image looks like a fisheye filter was applied, that’s distortion. It generally works well with landscape shots and tight spots like shooting indoors for real estate photography.
There are various degrees of it and you can definitely get creative, just be aware of it.Most entry-level kit lens avoid creating strong distortion.
Take your time and explore
It can take me a few minutes to dive into taking pictures and get warmed up. Especially if taking pictures in public when you might get a little self conscious. Once you get absorbed in the moment, obsessed with the little details and capturing that perfect shot everything else fades away.
To help with your composure, imagine your image in a magazine
Does it look good on the page, does it stand out? Do you think the magazine editors would even put your image in the magazine? If not, take the shot again….and again…and again…until you can visualize it sitting perfectly on the magazine page.
There’s a ‘rule of thirds’ out there somewhere but with enough practice, you can train your ‘eye’ to compose images well enough you don’t need to stress about following that rule.
Hope this helps as your begin your photography journey. Now get out and practice, practice, practice.
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