Updated: Dec 2, 2019
You have to start somewhere. Find what you love to do, work hard, and never stop learning. Dreams come true. These are my top tips and advice for beginner photographers that can be applied to any area of your life.
My sister is a fashion blogger. I taker her portraits and fashion pictures. I take pictures of other things too. She invited me to write a guest blog post on my top 5 photography tips for beginner photographers.
If you know me well, you'll expect something a little more than just 5 tips for beginner photographers. For me, everything I do and everything that I experience has a deeper meaning, purpose, and reason. My tips are principles that you can apply to any area of your life, not just photography.
FashionRadi is my sister's blog. She's a creator and model. I have her to thank for getting me into portrait and fashion photography. Check out her website.
And these are my top 5 tips for beginner photographers.
1. Find what it is that you really like taking pictures of
What do you really like photographing? I can't express to you how much easier photography gets when you take pictures of things that you like taking pictures of. It's so simple! When you do what you love, you can't go wrong.
Are you someone who likes getting close and personal with nature and her vibrant colors and beautiful textures? Are you someone who loves getting out into the city and exploring the lifestyle of its residents? Maybe you love architecture? Or you love fashion and working with people? Whatever it is that you like to photograph, JUST DO IT! That feeling of living a moment of bliss behind the lens is really special!
Do what makes you feel good on the inside because that feeling is going to inspire you to learn and further develop your skills as you progress with your photography, which will make that journey 100 times easier and more enjoyable. Have fun!
I love photographing Nature; she is so perfect. Her curves, edges, textures, and colors are so inspiring. I feel like I'm meditating every time I go out into her embrace and give into the experience. Her beauty is not only a magnificent picture, but an eternal fountain of universal wisdom. When I photograph Nature, it's for myself. (Check out my nature wall art prints here: www.abundela.com)
I also love photographing food. I love cooking and plating my food all artistic-and-five-star restaurant-like. But when I photograph my sister, friends, or clients, it's for them. I love looking through the lens and seeing that little adjustment I can make to accentuate their best features.
After one of my photo shoots, a client said to me: "I'm not exaggerating! I love the way you photograph! You made me feel beautiful and I thank you." That's when you know what you're doing is really special and valuable. Photography is not about just clicking a shutter button. Photography is emotion, excitement, inspiration.
2. Find your "why"
Why are you doing this? What about photography makes your heart skip a beat? Finding why you love to do what you do really brings a whole different dimension of meaning and purpose to your life. Having a 'why' is like having a strong base for building a house; it keeps your house standing up even in the harshest weather conditions. You know that if you're having a tough day or you're experiencing creativity blocks you can overcome these setbacks because you have a reason, you have a purpose, you have something to keep you moving forward, to keep you hopeful and excited.
Do you know why I photograph? Because it makes me feel like myself. I'm the one looking through the lens, choosing to capture what captivates me, choosing to see things differently than what society or anyone else wants me to see. When I photograph, I am me - unedited, uninfluenced, happy.
3. Don't be too hard on yourself
When you first start photographing it can be overwhelming, especially if you're a perfectionist like me and you want to be at a professional skills level right away. Don't expect so much so soon. Don't be too hard on yourself. The sooner you realize that you're learning something new and that it's going to take time to get to where you want to be, the easier it will be to move toward your goal.
Don't panic if you still don't know how to operate your camera and are feeling confused about which settings to use. Don't stress too much about using the best camera accessories like filters, lenses, tripods. As a beginner photographer focus on the very basic settings. Learn the basics first. As you start doing more photo shoots at different times of day, different locations, different themes, you'll start to develop an inner feeling for what aperture or ISO setting to use. Trust me. It's not that hard to figure out. And it's all good because you now have a 'why' which means that when you're feeling stuck or lacking motivation, you can easily overcome that road bump and be on your way again!
Nowadays there's a lot of resources available to expand your knowledge on any subject you like. I personally like YouTube because it's easier for me to see how something works first. I also have photography books. You can always ask friend photographers for tips. You'll find a way if you're really serious about it. Just remember to be patient with yourself!
4. Don't buy expensive equipment just yet
As a beginner photographer I think that buying fancy expensive equipment is not necessary. Focus on learning the basics. Take your time. Take it easy. Make your life simple. Invest in something more user friendly like a beginner level digital Canon or Nikon camera that's within your budget. There are so many great options out there on the market. You're going to be surprised at the quality of photography you can produce with a beginner level camera.
Can I tell you a secret? I was told once that the camera doesn't make the photo, but the photographer behind the camera.
What do you see through the lens? How do you see the world? Capture that. Try different points of view. Play with composition and framing. Use your imagination. Give way to your inspiration. You can always use editing programs like Photoshop or Lightroom to enhance and edit your photos afterwards. As you start photographing more you will also start looking into the accessories and equipment that best support your style of photography. Always make room for growth.
5. Experiment. Learn. Enjoy.
My last tip is not really a tip but a reminder. Experiment with the different settings on your camera. Spend more time with your camera, go on more dates together, and soon you'll know everything about each other. Also, don't overlook mundane subjects. There is so much beauty all around, even in the places that you least expect. When you think you've seen it all, you'll realize that everything around is ever-changing if you are willing to challenge your perspective.
Learn. Be curious. Never lose that inner childish curiosity that sees the world as interesting, amusing and magical. It will show you new experiences, new colors, new views. All you have to do is be in the moment, enjoy the journey. Enjoy every moment of hardship as it will make you stronger. Enjoy every moment of happiness as it will make you grateful. Enjoy every moment of discovery as it will make you curious. Enjoy every moment of change as it will make you grow. Enjoy every moment of love as it will make you believe in miracles.
Photography is an art of expression. Express yourself. Express your emotions, your challenges, your successes through the lens. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Make memories. Cherish the moment. Believe in yourself. And you'll always manifest what you dream of.