Beginning Photography

Beginning Photography Tips

A popular craft, photography is a mainstay of American culture. We created the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and hone our skills to make photos as telling as possible. These 10 simple tips will help you share stories with just one click.

1. Understand the basics of composition

You don’t have to be a master of art to be a good photographer, but you do need a sense of composition basics to put the emphasis in your photos where you need it the most.

2. Write down the people, places, and things you wish to shoot.

Make a list of pictures you would like to take to help you plan ahead, be organized, and stay motivated. Keep your list of subjects up-to-date.

3. Do online research for guides and other useful resources

Once you have your list, go online and do some quick research. For instance, if you want to take a picture of a sunset, you can do an Internet search for “sunset photography tips.” The information you find can inspire and guide your photo shoot, whether you’re focused on landscape photography or action shots. You can also use books and magazines as references for your projects too, as well as for checking out equipment reviews.

4. Always keep your camera on hand

Taking your camera with you is a good habit, and it helps you keep potential photo opportunities in mind. Nature photographers should bring cameras with them when they venture outdoors, while those interested in event photography need to be ready to shoot whenever they’re around groups of people.

5. Experiment with your techniques

Experimenting with different techniques helps you learn a lot just by trial-and-error. You’ll try new things and watch as some methods succeed while others fail.

6. Take photo editing seriously

If you happen to have a digital camera with the in camera editing feature, it’s easy and fun to work on post editing in the field. In doing so, you can control the final picture by cropping, changing the detail, exposure, and saturation.  I’ve been using Lightroom for many years and I find it to be very reliable with the ability to organize my photos for quick editing.

7. Take satisfaction in all of your pictures

The time you spend on this hobby is valuable because you are always learning and growing as a photographer. Be satisfied with what you accomplish, and it will show in your pictures.

8. Share pictures for constructive criticism

Use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to share your pictures with your friends and family. Keep things fun by getting them involved in action or portrait photography, or ask their opinions on your latest work. As you read their responses, look for positive feedback. Like all artists, you’ll find that words of praise and encouragement are uplifting and keep you motivated.

9. Learn from your mistakes

Make sure your hobby stays enjoyable by not overreacting to mistakes. If a shot does not turn out the way you want, try to figure out why, and take it again. You will learn to stay focused enough to create the photos you want.

10. Practice, practice, practice

As a novice photographer, you know that as your skill level increases with practice your hobby may become more serious. Keep your favorite pictures in case you decide to make a portfolio.  Zenfolio offers a beautiful home for your photos and videos.

If you follow these 10 tips, you will be sure to improve your beginner skills and take steps toward a rewarding hobby.

Will Moneymaker is a freelance photographer, family historian, a husband of twenty-five years and devoted father of four. The arts have always been a part of his life. Join Will as he shares his thoughts and adventures in photography. Subscribe to his weekly newsletter.

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