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photo byYoungoldman via iStock
I’ve been talking to a lot of people who made it their new year’s resolution to start photography in 2021. This is so exciting for me as someone who uses photography in a really cathartic way. 2020 was an incredibly stressful year for almost everyone I know and I think that starting photography is a great way to decompress.
But, I remember when I first started photography it was also a little stressful. I felt like there was a ton of technological know-how I just didn’t have, which stressed me out. I also felt like there was a lot of creativity required of me and I wasn’t sure how to get myself into a good creative space yet.
If you’re in the same boat I was when I first started photography, I want you to know that you’re not alone. We have all been there and I promise that it isn’t impossible. The technological knowledge will come to you slowly, as you start photographing more. So, this article filled with beginner photography tips mostly focuses on your first task… starting.
Take Photos in Different Lighting
photo by recep-bg via iStock
Most beginner photography tips focus on taking photos during pique lighting hours, like the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. This time is known as “golden hour” because the sun produces a golden glow during this time and it’s a really pleasing light for everything from landscapes to portraits.
But, I would like to take my tip a little further. I think it is important for beginner photographers to take photos during all different hours, with different lighting. I think it is just as important for you to take photos when the sun is high in the sky as it is for you to take photos during golden hour because experiencing bad lighting will help you understand good lighting better.
This tip isn’t just for natural lighting, though. I also think it’s really imperative for beginner photographers to play around with different artificial lights. Use colored studio lights. Use regular studio lights. Use the flash on your camera.
Slowly, over time, you will come to understand the benefits and challenges of shooting photos in each one of these scenarios.
Experiment with Different Kinds of Photos
photo by donwogdo via iStock
I was browsing through a friend’s “digital photography for beginners” course a few days ago and noticed that he recommended finding a photography niche as quickly as possible and strictly sticking to it.
My beginner photography tips are not as one-track minded. I understood his argument, which was essentially that if you choose a type of photography earlier on in your career you can specialize in it more quickly. But, I think it is more important to take your time trying each kind of photography so you eventually find one you really love.
Plus, there’s tons of things to learn from each photography niche.
If you are just beginning in your photography career, try every kind of photography you can: portraits, landscape, wildlife, wedding, etc. Testing the waters of each will only strengthen your photography skills and will allow you to generalize your knowledge of photography to multiple niches.
Keep a Notebook Filled with Ideas
photo by Twomeows_IS via iStock
While I’m recommending that you keep a notebook filled with your photography ideas, I have to be honest and say I cheat a little at this one because my notebook is digital. I just use the notes section of my phone to track my thoughts.
Whether you decide to do it the old-fashioned way, or you decide to use your phone, it is important for you to always have your notebook with you so that you can write down photography ideas as they come to you.
I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve had a wonderful idea for a photoshoot while I was out around town, towing my kid with me, and completely forgot it by the time I got home. Avoid my mistake and keep all of your photography ideas, and perhaps some basic photography tips, in a notebook with you at all times.
Don’t Buy Any New Gear
photo by Tempura via iStock
I get really frustrated when I come across articles with beginner photography tips on them that suggest buying a ton of new camera gear. I understand that plugging products is a good way for photographers to bring in money, but some of these articles suggest buying hundreds or thousands of dollars of new camera gear and make it seem as if new photographers won’t be able to be successful in photography without it.
That’s really not fair. I used an incredibly old camera for the first 2 years of my photography career, mostly out of necessity, but I believe that this experience forced me to get really good at photography basics before I could advance to better equipment.
If you don’t listen to any of the photography tips for beginners on this list, listen to this one. Do not buy any new gear until you are absolutely sure you’ve outgrown the gear you already own.
Print Your Photos
One of my first metal prints from Artbeat Studios.
I know I was just talking about the fact that I cheated and kept all of my photography ideas digitally, but there are some beginner photography tips that really require you to keep it old school. This is one of them.
When you print your photos, it enables you to study them in a completely new light. When you leave your photos on your computer screen, it’s a lot easier to overlook problem areas because your eyes become so accustomed to seeing them that they basically disappear.
I always recommend ArtBeat Studios for beginners because they offer a 20% discount on your first photo. They specialize in printing metal photos, but they also print on canvas as well.
A lot of these beginner photography tips really rely on you being able to self edit, especially since many of us are still quarantining during the pandemic. In order to be able to self edit much more clearly, you have to see your images hanging on your wall. The photos will be much larger and you’ll also get to see what they look like during different parts of the day, with different lighting.
ArtBeat Studios, in particular, provides excellent quality prints that won’t fade over time, so you’ll be able to keep your work over the years to see how much you’ve improved.