Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tips for beginners

When I first started taking pictures, and had a real desire to learn about photography - it was a bit overwhelming for me. There is SO much to learn when it comes to taking a photograph & then editing it.

So I've decided to write a post to help out those that might be just starting out. Hope some of these ideas will help encourage you to stick with it! It does get easier!

One thing I've learned is that you don't always need the "best" equipment to take great shots! It is very possible to take nice photos with a simple point and shoot camera. Work with what you have, get to know your camera and your editing program so that you can take advantage of the features available to you. Make sure not to break the bank trying to purchase equipment you may not need while your learning.
{ taken with my panasonic point & shoot camera, edited in Photoshop CS4}

Always take your camera.
Ever get in this situation "Oooh, I wish I had my camera!".... KEEP your camera with you if at all possible. You never know when you might be presented with a perfect photo opportunity! Perhaps something you wanted to practice shooting, or something that just caught your eye. Keeping your camera with you encourages practice. And practice is key!
{ taken with my panasonic point & shoot camera, edited in Photoshop CS4 }

Take notes.
Keep a notebook or a journal of things you'd like to photograph. And keep it handy! Jot down any details you may want to remember about settings, lighting, composition... etc. That way, you can remember the things you'd like to work on.

Pay attention to the small things.
Sometimes the most ordinary things can make the most interesting picture. Be aware of your surroundings and take advantage! By taking photos of those simple things, you'll be surprised how much you can learn.
{ taken with my canon 7D, edited in Photoshop CS4 }

Step outside of your comfort zone. A lot of times we get stuck shooting the same things, using the same techniques. This will stunt our learning. Start thinking outside the box! For example: take a photo from a different angle than you would normally would. Play with lighting and try moving your subject around to get a fresh perspective. Switch up your work-flow in editing to achieve a different "feeling" in your photo.
{ taken with my canon 7D, edited in Photoshop CS4 }

Take avantage.
We are so fortunate now to have the internet! There is SO much information available online. There are lots of resources out there for us. Go on Youtube and search for some photo editing tutorials. Link up and PARTICIPATE in some of those amazing photo challenges by your fellow bloggers. Follow the links they provide for you, you will come across some amazing photographers that offer a ton of tips and tricks that just might cater to you specifically.

Have fun!
This is the most important thing to do as a beginner. Make sure to enjoy the process. Sometimes, it can be frustrating when we are constantly comparing ourselves and our photography to others'. It's important to be inspired by other photographers but try not to compare TOO much. Learning takes time and a lot of patience. You will get there! Remember that we are all still learning, regardless of how long we've been taking photos.

To go along with these tips, check out a guest post I wrote over at The Mommyhood Memos | Basic editing tips.

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  1. Great tips! I am a beginner beginner ;) and these are great ideas! :)

  2. Thanks so much for these tips. As a beginner, I'm learning everyday and constantly inspired by so many of you. It will always only be a hobby, but one that I'd like to improve upon.

  3. Thanks for the tips, I wish I had a better photo editing program the one I have is Paintshop Pro,I wish I could get photoshop but it's just so expensive.

  4. Great tips. Thanks for sharing. I love that first shot. Gorgeous! When I can't take my big camera I take my point and shoot, so that I won't miss anything.

  5. Great post! I especially like the point about equipment. I've taken some of my best shots on a film SLR that cost me $25, I have some film cameras that I picked up for less than $5, I also primarily shoot with the Nikon D3000... which is an entry range SLR and all I could afford. I'm always still learning :)

  6. Great post Mandy! And now that I know you have the 7D - do you love it? It's on my wish list for my upgrade next year.

  7. Mandy these are all terrific points. Thanks!! ♥


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