An image is worth a thousand words, yet photographers read millions of words about their field in order to take their work to the highest level. While raw talent does play a role in the journey to becoming a professional photographer, the ones who make it are those who put countless hours of unseen work behind their work. The pictures you see displayed on your favorite photography website or social media account are probably light years ahead of the first images captured by the artists.
There is no secret that will take you from zero to hero when it comes to photography. Nonetheless, there are many tools and guidelines that will help you improve the quality of your work as you develop your skills and style. Ready to start your training? Let us be your Philoctetes and start your training with these 21 photography tips for beginners:
1. Shoot everything, every day
The only way to get good at something is by practicing. Always carry a camera with you, and capture everything that catches your attention. You don’t even need a professional camera – your smartphone will work just fine. This exercise will help you train your photographic eye and improve your results day after day. As a bonus, you’ll learn how to see and appreciate the beauty in the mundane.
2. Buy knowledge, not gear
We live in a consumerist society and, for the most part, we kind of love it. New cameras and lenses are being presented pretty much every week. Each of them with brand new features and improvements. However, the hype surrounding them might push you to buy much more equipment than you need.
What good is it to have these amazing tools if you don’t know how to use them? Instead, invest the money you might have spent on the latest gadget in courses and books to improve your work. Learning new techniques will help you much more than getting a slightly brighter lens.
3. Light it up
Photography literally means drawing with light, so the importance of understanding this element shouldn’t come as a surprise. The way light is used in a picture can be the determining factor between a good and an outstanding photo. Start by doing some research on the origins of the camera obscura and keep on reading about the characteristics of light. Once you have a general idea, put everything into practice and see how each situation affects your images.