I don’t confess to being an expert when it comes to photography, but I’m not quite a beginner. I would call myself an enthusiastic amateur. In this post, I’m going to share 4 things that I wish I knew before I started photography.
1. A better camera will not make you a better photographer
If you spend any time on Facebook groups, in-camera clubs, or on Twitter, you’ll probably know that talking about cameras can get quite technical, and heated about which is the best camera or whether you need that new 50 megapixel monster with 104 focus points. I made the mistake of buying an expensive camera in the hope that it will make me a better photographer. Yes, a better camera might give you higher quality but it won’t give you a better image, this is where learning how to take a better image will make you a better photographer, which leads on to my next point.
2. Learn how to make a better image.
If there is ever one tip I can give to a new photographer is to learn two things, light and composition. When looking at images on the web that you think “wow”, you’ll be thinking why don’t my images look like this. A shot might have good foreground interest which leads you into the shot, it might follow the rule of thirds, or have a great leading line. These techniques will make a more interesting shot. Are you shooting an animal portrait? Get down to their eye level it will make a more interesting shot as it will make the animal look as though they are coming to you. Are you shooting an image of a tree on a hilltop, looking for a leading line to draw the eye to the tree?
3. Don’t stop shooting!
When we watch a football match or a player in our favourite sports team, we only think of the duration of the match or a game in process. We forget the hours of training and practice it takes to get there. Photography is exactly the same. A photographer will only get better by getting out there and shooting, practising your craft. Ask any award-winning photographer, about their famous shot and I’ll bet they will tell you how many shots it took to get that shot, how many hours of getting up at 4 am to get that sunrise. So go out and shoot, shoot, shoot.
4. Look at other work
When starting out I would go out with my camera looking for subjects to shoot, without knowing what to shoot and how to shoot it. The best inspiration you can find is to look at other work, seek inspiration, but don’t copy, make it your own. Be inspired.
I hope you find this useful and it inspires you as a beginner to go out and shoot more. Don’t be downhearted if you go out and come home, with blurry, overexposed images. Photography is not a race, and it takes time to hone your craft and become a better photographer. Don’t forget to practice, practice and practice.