Photography can be a bit complicated when you’re first starting out. But trust me when I say that getting good at it really isn’t that hard. In this post I’ll be sharing a few tips that will allow you to become a better photographer in no time.
1. You don’t need the most expensive equipment, especially in the beginning
You don’t need a perfect camera to capture beautiful pictures, and you’d be surprised what you could do with a reasonably priced camera. Have you ever seen those videos of pro photographers shooting with cheap cameras? The most important thing is to just take pictures, don’t worry about your gear. When it is time to upgrade, you will know.
Some of the most beautiful images ever were taken with vintage film cameras. This photo was taken on a iPhone 8+.
2. Think about getting a tripod
Trust me when I say this, a decent tripod is totally worth it, especially if you want to shoot at night. As soon as bought a tripod, my night photography shots improved drastically. With that said, shooting at night is a great way to learn the manual functions of your camera. Grab a tripod and wait for the sun to set my friend!
Tripods are great for keeping consistent framing in your shots, time lapses, and especially night photography. A tripod was used for this photo so I could achieve a slow shutter speed without getting a blurry photo.
3. Always carry your camera
I am not joking when I say that my camera and all 3 of my lenses are by my side 24/7. No matter where I am in the world, I keep my camera at the ready. When you carry your camera all the time, you’ll get a chance to capture great shots when you least anticipate it. You don’t have to schlep around all your gear, but a small camera bag carrying your camera and 1-2 lenses is perfect. Having your camera on you at all times will put you in the mindset of a photographer: you will start to notice more beautiful things, and you will take more pictures. Plus, carrying your camera looks pretty cool, especially if you have a dope camera bag like the one I use.
Your camera should be an extension of your body. This is my Sony A7rIII with an 85mm f/1.4 lens. This never leaves my side!
4. Get Inspiration
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the inspiration I have received from photographers that have come before me. Whenever I have down time, I am constantly searching for photos on Instagram that inspire me. I save them for later, and I look at them before I go out and shoot. Evaluating other people’s work allows me to think outside the box when I am shooting, and I find I am much more creative when I do so.
Inspiration is one of the most important things to becoming a good photographer. I am inspired by Japanese aesthetics, and follow many popular Japanese Instagrammers.
5. Don’t miss ordinary subjects for photography
You’d be surprised at the beauty around us. Even normal everyday objects contain beauty, you just need to find it. You don’t need a beautiful model to take stunning fashion photos, and you don’t need gorgeous food for incredible food photos. Work with what you have, and look for beauty even when you think its not there.
Who knew a simple cup of coffee could be so beautiful?
6. Enjoy the learning process
When it comes to photography, you’ll never run out of things to learn. Inspiration is all around us, and there are always new styles of photography being developed. View the world through the eyes of a professional photographer, and never stop being a student of the field.
Never stop being a student of photography, and you will never stop getting better.
7. Make the most of the freely available resources
The internet has so many free resources available for you to learn from! YouTube is amazing, and I have used it to learn much of what I know today. Check out my channel here.
The internet is FULL of free photography information.
8. Don’t be afraid to Experiment.
Your camera might be far more versatile and dynamic than you think. Browse through your camera’s handbook for assistance in interpreting all of the tiny symbols. While you explore through them, try capturing the subjects with various configurations to figure out which effects you enjoy. While reviewing your pictures on your computer, you can check out the EXIF data (in the file’s properties) to recall the settings you applied. This is a great way to find your style.
Creative exploration is essential for photography.
9. Learn the basics well
The amount of information on photography available on the internet can be a bit mind-boggling. Start slow. Learn the basics of composition, the exposure triangle, and your camera before diving into more advanced things. If you cannot master these three things, you will have a hard time when you try to learn more advanced techniques such as studio lighting or astro-photography. Start slow, you will learn in time 🙂
Learn the basics of photography, its not too hard! This photo illustrates the difference between 1 stop of light. Read more about this in my article on prime lenses.
10. Take pictures constantly
Remember how I said always have your camera on you? I said that because you should be taking pictures as much as possible. If you can, don’t go a day without taking a photo. If this isn’t possible, at least take a look at your work or other people’s work and make mental notes about what makes these photos beautiful. Visualize the photos you would like to take before bed, and always think about the steps you need to take to improve.
Your camera should never leave your side.
Interested in learning more? Check out my course on Becoming a Professional Photographer. In this course I cover the basics about how to become a professional photographer through Portrait Photography, one of the best forms of photography to start charging with. I cover topics like creating a portfolio, pricing, finding your first clients, and even shooting. Definitely check it out 🙂