Many of us dream of picking up a camera and taking glorious snapshots of the world around us. Some of us may even have entire Pinterest boards of photos that inspire us.
There’s something so wonderful about the creativity and integrity of photography.
Austrian photographer Ernst Hass summed it up best when he said, “There is only you and the camera. The limitations of your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”
Yet so many amateur photographers have a hard time beginning their journey. Here are a few beginner photography tips to help you become a better photographer and shake your nerves.
1. Perfect Doesn’t Exist With Beginner Photography
Right off the bat, here’s a beginner photography tip that even seasoned veterans could learn from. There’s no such thing as ‘perfect’.
No matter how much we plan, tinker, or try, there will always be something about the photos that you won’t like. You may even feel like you’re not a ‘real’ photographer, something many creative types experience.
If you have perfectionist tendencies, it’s time to shed them. Photography is about art and creativity, after all, there’s something manufactured in overly altered images.
Stay humble, but also be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you take a bad photo. Even the best photographers had to start somewhere.
2. Experiment Often
One of the most common complaints that beginner photography hobbyists have is that there’s a shortage of things to photograph. Yet it seems like they’re missing the forest for the trees, here.
The world is a wide, vast place. There’s always something brand new to experience. Don’t be afraid to grab your camera and explore.
Grabbing your camera, heading into nature or downtown, and snapping photos is invaluable. Even if a subject doesn’t seem interesting to you, there’s always a creative angle one can take.
Experiment with your equipment at every chance you get. Mess around with different types of effects software, camera lenses, and exposures.
The more you experience, the more you learn. And the more you learn, the stronger your skills as a photographer.
3. Capture Your Passions
Speaking of interesting subjects, don’t discount your own interests. The world’s most popular photographers, from Ansel Adams to Annie Leibovitz focus on subjects close to their hearts.
It doesn’t matter if it’s interesting enough for anyone else. What truly matters is that you’re passionate about the subjects you capture.
Think of the things you’re most passionate about in life. It may be sports, nature, pets, family…it can be anything. For example, click here for some creative examples of marketing photography.
People tend to put out a stronger body of work when they’re working on things that interest them.
So what motivates you as a photographer?
What are some things that you’d like to see and capture, and how can you incorporate those into your photography?
4. Equipment Doesn’t Make the Photographer
If you’re just getting into photography, it’s going to be tempting to head to your nearest store and buy the most expensive equipment you can find. And, truthfully, this is what a lot of companies are banking on.
But even if you’re a gearhead, it’s important to realize that a photographer’s skill isn’t equal to that of their equipment.
There are plenty of talented photographers that take photos with nothing more than their camera phone. Apple even created an entire marketing strategy around that very idea!
Don’t get sucked into the hype of buying the biggest and best stuff right out of the gate. Start small and modest, then work your way up to the more expensive gear.
5. Keep Your Camera With You at All Times
How many times have you gone about your day, only to be struck by a sudden notion of inspiration?
You quickly shuffle through your belongings only to realize that you don’t have your camera with you. Suddenly, that perfect moment is gone forever.
Life, like photography, is all about spontaneity.
That’s exactly why, when it comes to beginner photography, newbies should keep their cameras with them at all times. Even if there’s nothing to shoot, just having your camera with you can make you feel like a more ‘official’ photographer.
6. Appreciate Your Mistakes
Here’s the thing about beginner photography: it tends to entail mistakes. A lot of mistakes.
Now, there are plenty of perfectly talented photographers out there that will look at every photo they take and think that it isn’t good enough.
Play devil’s advocate for a moment and assume that’s true. That still doesn’t mean that the photo, botched as it may be, is useless. There are just as many things one can learn from mistakes than successes.
Next time you make a mistake, don’t get upset and hit the delete button immediately. Take the time to really evaluate the photo.
So it went wrong. That’s perfectly fine.
But what about it went wrong and how can you improve on those mistakes in the future?
A surprisingly large part of photography revolves around introspection.
7. Learn as Much as You Can
It doesn’t matter if you’re enrolling in photography school or just want to take up photography as a hobby. There’s so much to learn about the art form, especially in today’s day and age where gear and software are more accessible than ever.
Take it upon yourself to learn anything and everything you can about photography. Become a student of the art form and study up on the past.
Your greater understanding of photography will not only help you improve your skills but give you a deeper appreciation of it to boot.
Beginner Photography is Easier Than Ever
Take these tips to heart and incorporate them into your day-to-day photography practice. You may be a beginner now, but with enough time and practice, you’re sure to become one of the greats.
Don’t forget to check out Pligg’s download section for great photo editing software, as well as books and articles to help you learn.