Photography Tips for the Common Man

People who are not professional photographers have different ideas about their photography gifts and abilities. Many are of the opinion that it’s easy to be a photographer, but, on the other side of the coin, there are those who have taken really bad photos and consider themselves bad photographers.

The real truth is that just about anyone can take better pictures. It’s really easy to press that shutter button. But there are some steps you can take that will make your images better, even if you are an absolute beginner.

Where to Start Becoming a Better Photographer

These are some of the ideas for beginning photographers to keep in mind whether your goal is to take pictures of your family, landscapes, sports, close-ups, pets, street journalism, or even if you plan to become a pro–in which case, you have to start somewhere!

  1. First, get to know your camera. It really doesn’t matter if you have one of the least expensive digital point and shoot cameras or an extremely expensive DSLR camera. If you aren’t familiar with the camera’s capabilities and settings, you will be unable to take advantage of that camera’s best qualities. Read the manual. Practice getting shots with your camera. You don’t need National Geographic type settings to practice; your living room, backyard, or a local parking lot will do. Just get familiar with that wonderful image recording device.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the most basic photography concepts, such as composition and light. Even a little knowledge about composition and lighting will give you a huge advantage when it comes to taking pictures that have interest.
  3. Use your camera at every opportunity. Having the best equipment available will not help if it’s sitting at home in the closet. Get used to carrying the camera with you at all times. If you have the resources, you can have more than one camera, a small camera that fits into your pocket and a larger “more professional” camera that you take for special photo ops. Even a cell phone can produce great images these days if you are aware of its capabilities.
  4. Above all, do some soul searching and convince yourself that you can do this thing called photography. You can take better pictures, no matter what your previous pictures look like.
girl in window

photo by Kah Wai Sin

Things to Avoid in Your Thinking

  • I am not a good photographer, so why try? This one thought will paralyze your future in photography. Change your thinking now. Even if you have not been happy with your pictures, you can get better.
  • There’s too much to learn about cameras and software. Not true. Yes, there is a boatload of software and camera equipment available, but you are not required to either have it all or learn it all in order to become a good photographer.
  • It takes too much time to become a good photographer. Again, this is not true. Of course, you will get better as time goes on and you become more familiar with how to take photos and use your camera, but if you learn a few basics, it will make a world of difference in your picture quality.
parachute photo

photo by Garry Knight

If you have a desire to be a better photographer, you can do it.

About the Author:
Wayne Rasku has been an amateur photographer since 2003. He runs sites related to photography classes in Atlanta, Georgia, and a Canon lens organization site.

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One response to “Photography Tips for the Common Man”

  1. Laire says:

    What about the common woman?

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