The biggest piece of advice for any photographer is simply to keep shooting. Go out on shoots often and take pictures of new things. You’ll gain confidence as you learn. As Kai Wong says in this helpful video for new photographers, part of the enjoyment and excitement of photography is exposing yourself to something new every time. And, by photographing new things, you’re always adapting and learning. Here are some other bits of advice for beginner photographers to help you gain confidence and improve your photography:
Find inspiring locations. Take advantage of the internet and look up locations you want to shoot beforehand. Use Google Maps and Google Street View to check out your location and even line up the shot you want to take. Look through other people’s photos on Instagram and Flickr to find inspiring places to shoot.
But also get out there and explore.
Shoot in the Right Light
Time it right. Don’t shoot in the midday sun because the light is never flattering in the middle of the day. Aim for sunrise or sunset, or just before or after.
Yes, a creative eye plays a big role in a great pic, but you still need decent gear to take decent photos. You don’t have to go overboard, a good DSLR and a couple of good lenses will do.
Copy Other Photographers
You can learn a lot by mimicking other people’s photos. Find some work that you really like and try to do the same thing. By replicating other people’s photos, you’ll get a better understanding of what focal length, light, angle, composition, and settings you need to get that specific result.
Once you have that down, try to shoot the same scene in a completely unique way.
Shoot More of the Same
When you’ve picked your subject, photograph it from different angles. Don’t just set up your tripod in one spot and leave it there; move around and capture the subject from different view points.
More Photos Equals More Options
You’re going to take a ton of pictures to get one keeper. That’s normal. Just keep shooting and you’ll improve your photography. You’ll be able to see your technique and style getting better as you look through the images afterwards.
Criticize Your Own Work
Good photographers know what to publish and what not to. Again, you’ll have a lot more throwaways than keepers. Even the best photographers take bad pictures; the goal is to recognize the one great photo that stands out from the not-so-great ones.
Carry Your Camera Everywhere
Always have your camera with you so you can keep shooting everywhere you go and keep learning new things. You may also find a new passion for different types of photography!
It’s OK to Use Auto
You don’t always have to shoot manual. Using an auto exposure mode will let you focus on what you’re shooting, rather than the perfect settings.
“Photography is an art, not a science.”
Forget the Rules
You’ll hear about composition rules that you should follow, but it’s all about your creative style. Do what feels right to you and what you think looks good.
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