Hey, are you ready to take better pictures? Many people think that buying a good camera will make them take better pictures. Which is total bulls**t. 😉 I mean a high-end camera will improve the physical quality of your pictures like megapixel and such, but a bad picture is still a bad picture. Luckily it actually isn’t that complicated to take good pictures or to learn how to do it. It just requires commitment. 🙂 That’s why I thought that I will share my 13 photography beginner tips with you today. To help you get jumpstarted with photography 🙂 READY?
Well then let’s get started! 🙂
Learn How to Use Light
Good light is the number one key to a great picture. It really makes or breaks a picture. It doesn’t really matter if you know your camera inside out and everything technical about it if you don’t know how to use the light. The best way to learn how to use light is to shoot in Black and white. Because all you now shoot is basically how light hits surfaces and when a picture looks amazing without colors is certainly will with colors 9 out of 10 times 🙂 I could also go on now and explain in thousands of words how you can use light but the best way to learn this is practice. (also the most fun way, right?) Also, a good way to understand light is to shoot at the golden hour. Or have a look at Rembrandt lighting.
1. Your Gear is Fine
Most beginners see other photographers take amazing images and think that it’s all about the gear. This is true to a certain point. A $3000 lens will give you a sharper image and a better bokeh, but almost always the equipment isn’t the problem. One of the biggest mistakes you can do is to blame your equipment for your bad pictures because that way you will just stand in your own way.
A little Story 🙂
When little Aaron (me) started with photography he had a Canon 1000D (super old, cheapest Canon DSLR) and the 50mm f/1.8 lens (costs about $80). He blamed his gear for everything but was stuck to the gear because he had no money at all 🙂 . That was actually one of the best things that could have happened to him. Because after A while he was able to outshoot people with their $6000 gear that they bought because they blamed the gear and not themselves when things didn’t work out with the camera. It’s just the easiest and most comfortable way to blame the gear in my opinion. Don’t expect a better camera or lens to take better pictures for you. Plus there will always be a better one as time goes on.
2. Stick to the Basics
As Bruce Lee said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” What I mean by that is don’t get to complicated and try to be good in everything. Practice and master one thing then move on to the next one. Also, find out what kind of photography you really like. Landscapes, portraits, street photography? Me for example I think I shoot decent portraits and I love it, but when it comes to concert photography I would be a bloody beginner and I shoot since i’m 15 (26 now). 🙂
Get familiar with ways to compose an image like the rule of thirds, leading lines, framing or negative space. I personally thought that this was total bullsh*t when I started, but they really do exist and yes they also work. 🙂 plus it really isn’t complicated.
4. Try Out your Surroundings
You might think there is nothing interesting in your house or your garden. Try to look at your surroundings in a different way. Your garden probably has lots of amazing backgrounds for portraits or flowers to take macro shots of. A simple window can become an awesome scene and light source.
Focus as well as light makes or breaks a picture. The first thing you should do is turn off autofocus selection and choose your focus point yourself. So you know the focus is definitely there where you want it to be. To find out how to do that on your specific camera just have a quick look at the manual. What also helps is to learn about the lens sweet spot to find the sharpest setting possible since some beginner lenses really struggle with sharpness 🙂
6. Always Have Your Camera On You
Cool photos opportunities often happen when you don’t expect them. What I like to do is to always take a camera with me and if it’s only the phone camera. It’s better than nothing. But don’t stop there. Sometimes while driving you will find the perfect location for your next shoot take pictures of it.
7. Be Consistent
If you take only one good picture every day that’s HUGE. It will improve your photography skills like nothing else. I know it can become hard sometimes to come up with new ideas and that is why I have written this post here for you. CLICK HERE 🙂
8. Use the Internet for Ideas
This tip goes in one line with the one above. look for inspiration Go to Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr or 500pix to see what other photographers are up to. Or click the link above. There is nothing wrong with trying to redo a picture that already exists. It will turn out totally different and you will learn a lot from it. 🙂
One of mine called Aarongrafic:
9. Use Opensource Software
Edit your photos. You don’t have to buy Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. They are great programs, but they are also super expensive. Gimp is a totally free software that works great. I would also recommend Affinity Photo it’s almost photoshop but only costs $49 ones. That way you might save some money to buy another lens. 🙂
10. Note Every Picture Idea
I have the best ideas for pictures when I least expect it and they are gone as quick as they came 🙂 so one super important thing is to write it down to your phone or where ever to make sure you will be reminded of it.
11. Don’t Buy An Online Course
I know there are thousands of photography courses out there. I have never needed one and neither will you. They don’t teach you anything you won’t find on youtube or on a blog like mine for free. 🙂
12. Put Your Pictures Online
Create an account on a social media network of your choice. It is a great way to get feedback, but make sure it is dedicated to your photography. I say that because your friends and family will tell you that they like your pictures anyway because they love you. 🙂 When you get a lot of likes or comments from people that don’t know you, you know they didn’t do it because they don’t want to hurt your feelings, they did like it because they like your picture 🙂
Alright, that’s already it with my 12 photography beginner tips. I hope that I was able to help you with a few things or to maybe have a second look at your gear and spark up your inner photographer again and try some of these tips. 🙂 If you have any opinions or questions please let me know in the comments and I will get to you as soon as possible. 🙂 until then shoot some nice pictures. 🙂