How Long Does It Take to Learn Photography?

“How long will it take?” is a common question among those interested in learning photography. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple or straight forward answer. There are many factors that come into play when learning about photography. To help break it down, consultant and professional photographer Mike Browne created this helpful tutorial to tackle this complex question:

First and foremost, you need to understand that photography is a never-ending process. Even as a professional photographer, there will ALWAYS be more things you can learn. For instance, a portrait photographer may understand the ins and outs of taking a great portrait, but when it comes to other forms of photography (such as sports or nature), it is often more theoretical than personal experience.

Photography is a combination of two things: personal creativity and technical skills. However, to truly be successful, you need to be able to not only come up with the creative ideas but also know how to implement the technical skills to bring your ideas to life. How much or how fast you learn is entirely up to you, and your progress is determined by the amount of time and effort you put into learning these skills. Whereas some individuals are able to quickly learn the technical aspects, they may falter when it comes to the creativity side (or vice versa). Remember, even the most talented photographers continuously look for ways to improve their craft.

time educate photography

This small piece of pie represents how much Browne knows about photography.

A great way to push yourself is to set goals, but if you create a goal and don’t achieve it, don’t let it hold you back or cause you to give up. As long as you do everything in your power to accomplish your objective, and you learn along the way, then you have still had a beneficial experience. You can always try again. Often times to succeed you have to fail first, so as long as you’re giving it all you got, never give up on your goals.

Although many people tend to believe it, just because you have a great camera doesn’t mean you’ll end up with great shots. Amazing photography is captured by a photographer, not the camera. And like everything else, the more you practice, the more great results you’ll get.

So, how long it will take for you to learn photography? The answer is simple: however long you want it to take. Because in the end, the time frame is all up to you.

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One Comment

  1. BIPIN GUPTA says:

    The photo shows 1/6th of the pie held by Mr. Mike Brown representing how much he knows about Photography.
    Honestly I know 4/6th of the pie – or more than half of what Mike knows – without boasting of course – yet I produce just 12 % Keepers + 18 % Amateur Snap Shot Type Photos & 70 % Scrap.
    I have analyzed 70 % of the scrap through self appraisal + with some help from friendly Pros.
    The problems – as knowing them is half the solution:-
    a) Often enough my pictures are not sharp. I attribute this to aging & poor picture taking technique. I am just not as steady as I was in my school or university days.
    b) Constant over or under exposure. Some of it is due to camera settings carried forward from the previous days shooting conditions. Or relying to much on Spot Metering. I keep failing even with the best of self reminders that this time I will check & set the camera properly.
    c) My pictures just do not have that Pop, Color & Contrast I see in the works of the Pro.
    I take recourse to Lightroom or Photoshop and end up correcting only 10 % of the Keepers + Snap Shots – which were a total of 30 % – see above please.
    d) I shoot mostly TAv, and find high ISO has taken a toll of my photos. Need HELP here.
    e) I have all the Filters – CPL, GND, ND etc, but fail to use them. Too lazy perhaps or the shot is so fleeting that there is no time to attach the Filter.
    f) I travel a lot – mostly organised group tours like Thomas Cook. So we will land up at the Coliseum say at 12 noon in very harsh light and find I am struggling with exposure, shadow or bright area detail etc. All my knowledge of is brought naught.
    g) My “Idiot Box” – the Brain – is stuffed with Tomes of Photographic Knowledge. But when it comes to the challenge of making great photographs, it is as if I have got “stage fright” or like in the University Exams all my Learning, Notes & Formulas have vanished.
    h) Others.

    Can some kind folks please help me??

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