12  Photography Beginner Tips

12  Photography Beginner Tips

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 whiteBecause 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. 

13 Tips For Photography Beginners
Example for advanced 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.

13 Tips For Photography Beginners

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). 🙂


3. Composition

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.

This picture shows basically how the rule of thirds works

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.


5.Focusing Right

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 🙂

13 Tips For Photography Beginners
Shot with the 50mm f1.8 for $80

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. 🙂

Some examples:

Portrait Page:

Click on the picture to get to his profile

One of mine called Aarongrafic: 

Click on the picture to get to his profile

Alen Palander:

Click on the picture to get to his profile

Brandon Woelfel:

Click on the picture to get to his profile

 


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. 🙂

Cheers Aaron.

Related Posts:

8 thoughts on “12  Photography Beginner Tips

  1. Clay Westfall

    Wow! I never knew that I could learn so much about photography on one website. I never thought I was much of a photographer, but after reading through your tutorial, I feel much more confident! Thank you for the easy, step by step explanation, especially with the lighting. I will keep posted for more tips! Thanks again…

    Clay

    1. Aaron

      Hey Clay, I’m glad that I was able to spark your interest in photography 🙂 And thanks for the positive feedback 🙂 keep it up:)

      Aaron

  2. SmileAfresh

    Hi Aaron,
    That’s a very nicely done posting. You make photography seem all of a sudden so simple! I grew up with a natural talent to draw sketches of portraits- but never got to understanding photography itself. However, I think it is a hobby I could really enjoy and maybe make a living out of. Is it too late for me? Currently I’m working towards self employment and more freedom for myself and family. Does it take too long to know if something like photography could work out for someone?
    Boniface

    1. Aaron

      Hey SmileAfresh, Being a freelance photographer is now easier than ever through social media. Even though there is a lot more competition nowadays, but it really comes back to how much work you put in just like blogging 🙂 You can do it like me. Do it as a hobby and get good then start letting people pay you for your pictures. 🙂 To the question if it would take too long to know if photography will work for you is my answer, if you really want something and love it, you will be successful.

  3. deecrai

    I love the beginner tips. I myself love taking a good picture and use just a regular camera phone which happens to be best camera I have ever used compared to even the actual digital cameras around the house. I really do think that they are helpful and interesting. I even learned a few things.

    1. Aaron

      Hey Deecrai, A phone is fine, but maybe you should get a DSLR when your phone is already better than your camera. 🙂 Glad to hear that you learned a few things.

  4. HappyB

    Aaron. You have made my day. I used to do a lot of photography with SLRs and old fashioned film. It became so expensive, (I tend to shoot a lot of film when I find a subject I like.)
    Now with digital, I will have to retool and look at things in a different way.
    I have downloaded Gimp for editing and creating graphic images, so thanks for that tip.
    I am going to be shooting a lot of guitars for a friend soon. Any tips? I have found lighting difficult because a. The surface of most guitars is very reflective and not always flat. b. The subtle colours in the wood rarely get a fair rendition.
    Thanks again for a great article. Highly inspirational.

    1. Aaron

      Hey HappyB, thank you for the nice feedback 🙂 To take pictures of reflective objects it is absolutly crucial that the light doesn’t come from the same angle as your camera. a good way to show off the texture from the wood is to place the light source (what ever you use) in a 90° angle to your camera. that way you will have enough light, but the reflections won’t destroy the picture.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *