The world of digital photography is vast and exciting, but if you are new to photography, your camera manual alone may seem overwhelming, much less all of the information you’ll find online about digital photography. Here are a few tips to consider when you are new to photography.
1. Take Your Camera Everywhere
The more you use your camera, the better you will understand its modes, functions, and all of the amazing things it can do! When the camera is new, it may seem cumbersome, and it may also take you a bit of time to learn how to adjust the settings. I guarantee you, though, if you work with it regularly, operating the camera will become second nature quickly. It isn’t rocket science, but practice does make perfect!
2. Be Inspired
Browse the internet, and find images that inspire you. Websites like Flickr and Pinterest are great places to start. Also, get inspiration from places other than photography by allowing your personal interests to intersect with your photography. For example – I am interested in local and state history, so when I was new to photography, I spent a lot of time photographing historic locations here in my home state (Georgia). Finding ways of incorporating your other interests/hobbies into your photography is a sure-fire way to stay inspired.
3. Don’t Overspend
A common mistake new photographers often make is sinking a lot of money into equipment that they never end up using. I’ve done it, my friends have done it, and it’s all very (financially) unfortunate. Stick with your camera in the beginning, and then acquire equipment slowly over time once you know exactly what you need and how often you will be using it.
4. Try Before You Buy
In the same vein as purchasing equipment, you can also rent photo equipment. This is a great way to test the waters on equipment before you invest. Aperturent is my favorite rental service. Their inventory has everything I need, their prices are perfect, and their staff members are some of the best in the business. I wouldn’t rent anywhere else, to be honest!
5. Study Hard
99.99% of the photographers I know are self-taught. They didn’t go to art school, and a large percentage of them didn’t pick up photography until their 30’s and 40’s. Some of them have become successful photography business owners, while others are making their mark in the fine art world. All of this to say that you can achieve a great deal through self-teaching. We are fortunate to have endless resources at our fingertips through places like Pretty Presets, Pretty Forum, Flickr and YouTube, where people will share what they know with you for free!
Be sure to check your local library, too. You will be surprised by the amount of up-to-date photography how-to books you’ll find in the library, and the library is also a wonderful place to find photo books (art books, as opposed to how-to books) that will inspire you through imagery.
Come back tomorrow for 5 more great tips!