10 Helpful Tips For Photographers Just Starting Out

Starting anything new can be a daunting thing. There is always so much to learn, practice and do. It can sometimes be quite overwhelming to decide exactly where to begin when considering all of the options. To help set you off in the right direction we have compiled a list of 10 Helpful Tips For Photographers Just Starting Out.

Luckily, we have put together this list of 10 things you should do when first exploring the realm of photography that will get you going in the right direction.

1. Do Your Research When Buying a New Camera

Cameras - 10 Helpful Tips For Photographers Just Starting Out

If you are just starting your journey into photography. Firstly, that’s fantastic news. Secondly, it is important to spend a good period doing thorough research before making any important purchasing decisions.

While the extensive list of brands and their cameras can be overwhelming, you mustn’t just jump in and buy a camera for the sake of owning one. This is after all going to be the tool you use to capture your creative visions and buyers’ remorse will just spoil the magic.

It is worth keeping in mind that for most, the latest high-end cameras, with all their bells and whistles are going to be too much. If you’re just starting out, then aim to purchase something in the low to mid-range. However, understanding that some people like to buy things to grow into, if you have the budget, then go for something a little more expensive. Just know that once you advance over a certain point in photography the return on each pound drops significantly once a certain feature set is met. Furthermore, you may end up paying extensive amounts for features that you simply do not need and in all likelihood will never use. Lastly, the more functions your camera has, the more complex you are going to make the challenge of learning.

If you’re a beginner, go for a beginner’s camera.

2. Read The Owners Manual

Manual Book - 10 Helpful Tips For Photographers Just Starting Out

Next in the list of 10 Helpful Tips For Photographers Just Starting Out is another important one to do straight away. Although it is one many people neglect, and this is understandable. You’ve just purchased your new camera and want to start snapping. No problem, shoot away. However, once you’ve worn yourself out make sure you come back and read the owner’s manual thoroughly. “But it’s so boring,” you say.

Reading the owner’s manual of your camera may be a laborious process, but it is an important one. If you have at some point in your camera’s history thrown this away, most camera brands post their user manuals online.

Spend the time with your camera and its manual to go through all the functions of your camera. It is paramount that you know your camera inside and out. It needs to become an extension of you. You must fully understand its strengths and limitations to make use of it as the tool it is. By neglecting this step you are not only stunting your development as a photographer but will also start missing shots that may have been perfectly achievable had you only understood your camera’s functions better.

3. Complete A Course Or Workshop

Classroom - 10 Helpful Tips For Photographers Just Starting Out

Joining a workshop or course is a notable one from our 10 photography tips for complete beginners. As this is great way to start your journey into photography. Having access to a tutor can be an invaluable way to develop your skillset and understanding to a point you may struggle with by taking on the task of learning the discipline alone.

Now, there is no right or wrong way here and the decision you make if of course your own. I understand that for some the purchase of a camera will be a high enough expense without adding courses and workshops on top. And that’s ok. You can and will become great photographers regardless.

However, by enrolling on a course you can drastically cut that initial learning curve. Having a clear and structured learning programme as well as having mentoring on hand to guide you, can be a very rewarding experience indeed. It can also be a great way to meet new photographers and begin building a network.

If you have the resources available to you to enrol on something then I recommend doing so. If not, there are still plenty of self-guided courses you can direct yourself on in your spare time.

Either way, taking the time to methodically cover and practice with all the elements of your camera will be time well invested. No matter how you go about doing so.

4. Photograph Everything

Photographer - 10 Helpful Tips For Photographers Just Starting Out

Learning the theory of something will only take you so far. At some point, you must begin to practice what you have learned to fully understand the principles at play. And that is exactly what this stage is all about.

Once you have somewhat of working knowledge of your camera and its capabilities then next some the play stage. This is by no means a stage that should be leaving you with high-quality images that will end up in your portfolio or on gallery walls. By photographing everything you are simply learning how to photograph things.

5. Learn How To Use Post-processing Software

Lightroom app - 10 Helpful Tips For Photographers Just Starting Out

If you are someone who “doesn’t understand how to use computers” then now is the time to let go of that limiting belief. Because post-processing in photography isn’t something one can choose to do. If you want to make outstanding photographs you will need to need to learn how to develop your images in post. There is no way around it. This is fundamental advice from our 10 photography tips for complete beginners.

Fortunately, gone are the day when photographers needed to lock themselves away in darkrooms for hours on end while handling dangerous chemicals. These days, it can all be done quite simply from the comfort of an armchair on some very intuitive pieces of software.

6. Experiment With Styles

Portrait - 10 Helpful Tips For Photographers Just Starting Out

This step is a little like the take photographs of everything, but a little more refined. This stage comes after you’ve learned about the functionality of your camera, you’ve been photographing everything and are starting to build your confidence a little more. This stage is all about experimenting with styles and disciplines within photography itself.

Start looking at photographic styles and the main artists within the sub genres. See what they are doing and try to copy them. There is nothing wrong with this and it is a proven way to learn creative things well.

7. Connect With Other Photographers

Network - 10 Helpful Tips For Photographers Just Starting Out

Building a network in any walk of life is important. This is perhaps truer for photography. The chances are your relationship won’t lead to much work. But it can always act as a strong feedback network if nothing else. Furthermore, it’s just nice to speak with people about shared interests.

8. Get Feedback

Someone receiving feedback

Being open to and actively seeking feedback is an incredible way to learn about yourself and your skills. Without it, you run the risk of thinking your work is special, when, it isn’t. Even experts, people at the very top of their game rely on receiving feedback from others to help them continue to improve and remain on the top.

When asking for feedback, make sure you ask people you know will give you an honest opinion. There is no use in asking someone who isn’t interested. If you have other photographers, you can ask them even better. These people will find it easier to see what is working and what isn’t in your images and give you sound and actionable advice to help improve their quality.

9. Enter Free Competitions


A great way to keep one’s passion for photography alive is to enter competitions. And when they’re free you’ve got nothing to lose.

At some point, every photographer will hit a bump in the road and become stuck on what to take photographs of. Competitions are a great way to overcome this and remain focused by directing one’s energy towards a specific topic.

You never know. Enter competitions for long enough and you may just land a few wins and gain the bragging rights of being able to call yourself an award-winning photographer. You have it in you.

10. Have Fun

Person playing in bubbles

Lastly, and the most important tip of all when it comes to this game. Don’t forget to have fun. If you’re reading this, then chances are you’ve either already taken up the hobby or are very close to doing so. If that is the case, just remember to keep treating it as a hobby. With the same excitement, you started with. Learning photography doesn’t need to be some overbearing responsibility. And if you ever feel like it’s stressing out by being so, then feel comfortable taking a step back for a moment. Photography isn’t going anywhere.

Learn to love the process, and I guarantee you will be taking some killer shots very, very soon.

11. Conclusion

Hopefully, this list has left you with some points to consider. Just remember that the learning curve is always steep when learning something new. Stick with it, and it will click eventually. You’ll be taking incredible photographs in no time.

What do you think of the list? Is there any recommendations you would make to new photographers that have not been included? If so, please make your recommendations in the comments section below!

10 Helpful Tips For Photographers Just Starting Out, 10 Helpful Tips For Photographers Just Starting Out

David Davis
David Davishttps://shuttergang.com
Hi, My name is Dave, and I am passionate about photography. I am currently travelling to document the world's most interesting people and places. I have started this blog to share these incredible sights and experiences with you, including all the knowledge I gain as a photographer/videographer along the way. If you share a passion for street, documentary, and travel photography, join the mailing list and stay up to date with the latest posts and resources direct from the field.

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