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Needing some Photography Help? Let's start out with some beginning Advice.

Updated on January 17, 2015

Photography can be a daunting new hobby or profession, from learning the basics to taking a professional photo there is much to learn in between. Here I talk about your beginning steps to understanding the basics.

Before you can venture off and start clicking your fingers at new photos, you need to have a basic understanding of what exactly you are looking at and what you need to be familiar with to take a good professional photo.

In this article you will learn about:

1.) Equipment

2.) Tripod or no tripod, & what is a tripod?

3.) Important basic knowledge on things to know in photography.

4.) Tips for beginners in Photography

5.) Advice on what Mistakes NOT to make in Photography as a beginner.

...and so much more.

To start off, why don't we start with equipment, and what type of equipment we need.


When your just starting out, don't go crazy on going out there and buying up all the expensive equipment and gear for photography. Because you are just starting out, this maybe a bit too overwhelming, not to mention a bit expensive, so go easy and just get a basic camera. Your main goal starting out should be to get familiar with the terminology of photography, and your basic knowledge in light, shutter speed and what things are labeled and called, and how things work. Once you gain this valuable knowledge, then going out and getting a bigger camera would be more suited, as by then you would know which kind of camera you would better want and need to produce the kind of photography you desire to take.

When you are thinking about what kind of camera to get, think about where you are in your pre-knowledge of photography. Some people have no idea about photography and how it works, or some have just a limited basic idea of how photography works, take all this into account when you look for your first camera. Keep it basic and simple, get one camera and one lens to practice and learn your photography with. If you’re looking to purchase a digital SLR camera (digital single-reflex camera), minimally you need a lens, and a memory card to begin taking pictures. Whatever you decide to get as a basic start in gear for your photography, keep it simple and only get what you can really afford.


When looking at camera in the marketplace there are loads of companies telling you this camera is better than this camera for such and such a reason. But, really, the only thing I would be looking at isn't what camera looks better, or is higher in price, but what camera gives the best ISO. High ISO allows you to take photos in low light situations, and this is very important to taking good pictures in darker situations. I’d suggest paying attention to what the ISO range is on a camera and whether it performs well in high ISO. You don't want a grainy picture, or a poorly lit photo.


You want to make sure you get a good lens that is adjusted to your personal need. That is, whether you are going to use it a lot, or not, or if it will be for long term or short term.

If you are going to get one for short term you might want to try looking at 35-50mm Prime lens as a starting point. This tends to be a great starting point when you start out in photography.

If your going long term you might want to try 50mm f/1.4 lenses will be an upgrade with better built quality and wider aperture of f/1.4.

Really it depends on the camera, the make model and what the camera can do with the tools it's been given, so make sure to look at all the options you have and really look at the ISO, and the lens. Some lens zoom, some you have to adjust. These are all things you have to decide on which you prefer.

If you decide that you rather just get a basic camera as a starting point, I would highly recommend this. Working on your angles, and natural light, your understanding of the terms and usages of the gear before buying a camera or any equipment is always best in my opinion. However, when your just starting out, make sure you keep it simple. There is so much you have to learn that gaining some wisdom before buying too much is always wise.


Tripod, or no tripod?

What is a tripod? The word "Tripod" comes from Greek words meaning "3"+"feet" and refers to a three-legged structure. Usually this is used with photography the most. It's a tool used to stabilize your camera as you take pictures.

This comes in handy if you have really shaky hands or need to stand/ or sit for a long period of time. They also enable you to use slower shutters speeds which in turn means you have the ability to choose a wider range of aperture, something that most certainly can come in handy.

Tripods also help you to be flexible, because you can move the camera around in almost any angle you can get better and steady shots. Which naturally enhance your photography. They also help in small situations like getting close up shots that desire a sturdy hand.

For more tips on why a tripod is a great idea, I have placed a link below for your convenience.

Overall, if you want to eliminate the shake naturally from our hands and produce better photos, that are clear and expressive, using a tripod would be a great beginning tool to get closer to getting the pictures you desire. No one likes a blurry photo.


Keeping Your Camera With You

Keeping your camera with you may sound like a common idea. But it is so easy to forget your camera as you go about your everyday errands. However, keeping your camera in a bag or around your shoulder, is such a great idea.

Throughout the day, there will come to many chances of getting a great shot, and rarely will you get a great shot if you don't have your camera there to take the shot with. Just walking around going about our days can help us get so many wonderful ideas of pictures we can take. Which can lead us, when just beginning to show us the type of photography we would like to do.

Since there is such a wide range of photography styles, deciding what you want to do early, will make the journey more easier.

Choosing A Photography Type

  • Portrait Photography
  • Digital Photography
  • Fashion Photography
  • Beauty Photography
  • Nature Photography
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Black & White Photography
  • Wedding Photography
  • HDR Photography
  • Travel Photography
  • Time lapse Photography
  • Micro Photography
  • Underwater Photography
  • High Speed Photography
  • Panoramic Photography
  • Motion Photography
  • Infrared Photography
  • Newborn Photography
  • Past & Present Photography
  • Sunrise Photography
  • Rain Photography
  • Colorful Abstract Photography
  • Storm/Weather Photography
  • Rainbow Photography
  • Domestic Animal Photography
  • Landscape Photography

So many more things besides those listed here that you can do. Picking one that you enjoy, or starting simple and keeping it "at home" and "in your space" is always a nice place to start. But don't stay there, let your creativity run wild. Take something simple, like a broken down bus, or an old car, and try taking an interest take on it. Or take people gathered at a coffee shop, or the headlight of a car, and try taking it from an interesting angle. Starting small with things around you is a great start to getting your creative motor running and getting some unique ideas all your own.


Keeping A List

Sometimes getting the creative side of us is hard, but getting out there and trying to see things in a "new light" isn't something our brains are programed to do after we get use to an idea or lifestyle. Picking up a pen or pencil and sitting down and taking some time to write down ideas you have wanted to do in photography, can be key to getting your imagination out there and working in the the ways you would like it to go.

Take some time to set some goals, what have you always wanted to do? Taking a professional wedding photo? Take a professional shot of your dog? Whatever it is, now is the time to write it all down and see how many new things you can come up with. It only takes a few minutes and can be the starting point to a great hobby or profession.

Once you do this, set you to meet those goals and see how many you can master in different ways. Taking something like an idea, and modeling it in different ways can also help us think of things differently, and in turn grow more in our understanding of things. This is also true in photography, especially when you are just starting out.

If you can't sit down and write down a few ideas, or can't seem to find anything to write down, try walking around town, or holding your cellphone out as you walk around, when an idea comes to you, write it down. Or surf the internet. Look at other peoples work and see what inspires you. Finding something that inspires you is key to getting your mind working in creativity that you desire.

If none of that works, try walking around your house, either inside or out....look for everyday objects like flowers, or a sidewalk leading to some steps to a front door....your dog, a couch, even your bedrooms or car. These everyday objects, can change our thinking....maybe the light from the window is creating a nice light on your couch, try capturing it. Or your dog is doing a funny pose, capture that. Maybe your cat is sleeping in a serene way, capture that, or capture the wildflowers outside your window.

Going back to what I first talked about in the beginning of this article, keep things simple at first, don't try going too big. And try pre-seeing the photo before clicking. If you see a nice photo in your mind before you click, you will have a better idea of what angle, and what lighting is needed. Use things that inspire you, test you, and push you in your knowledge and understanding of photography. These are the best objects in which you write down and get your inspiration and encouragement from. Great inspiration.


So Many Things To Learn

When you have a hobby or profession like photography, you have so many things to learn you never run out of new things to add to your knowledge.

As your beginning, the most important things you want to learn about is the equipment, the terms and terminology, and things like aperture, shutter speed, ISO and DSLR, etc. And what those things are. To help you in this, I have gathered here for you a video to help explain these things.

There is a LOT to learn, but this is a great place to start. Always start with your basics in these when you take a picture, and grow on that in continually doing your research as you gain more experience.

Playing Around With Photography

Once you learn things like shutter speed, and ISO. And you have made your list and have an idea of series of ideas, your camera and are ready to go out and take some pictures. Play around with taking some random shots and getting a feel for your camera's settings, what this or that does over something else, and what result it gives you overall.

Becoming better familiar with not only a camera but YOUR camera will allow you to take the first steps in taking pictures that you can learn from, and grow in your basic knowledge of photography. So make sure you get familiar with all buttons and programming, numbers and symbols you have on your camera, before going out and taking your first serious photograph.


Learn The Rules

Before going out, make sure you add the "rules of Photography" to your list of know how. Before you break the rules you have to know you broke them. Look up basic rules of Photography. And get familiar with the language used in photography. This is always a great idea to any hobby started, and can easily aid you in the future of your quest within the desired hobby.


Taking Photos Regularly.

In order to get good at something you have to practice at it. Photography is no different. Once you figure out all there terms, rules, know how, and equipment needed, how to work your camera, you should practice at every chance given.

Practicing often will get you better use to your settings on your camera and how you work it and give you a better idea of what kind of pictures you will produce, or could produce with it.

Remember, it's a learning process. Your not going to come out with the perfect shot, it takes time. So, keep this in mind when you go out there and practice your photography and get some bad photos. Stay positive, and stay encouraged with those things that inspire you, like the list talked about in this article. When things are getting off to a bad start, these things can help you stay with it, until getting through it isn't so rough.

Also, if I may suggest something, take notes, as if in high school or college, about the terms. Write them down in a notebook and go over them continually, until you are familiar with the definitions and the function of each. Knowing off hand what shutter speed means and tripod, and ISO, etc, can really help you in gaining a strong beginning knowledge that you can go on in the future. Keep your mind open and stay patient and persistent. It all takes a little time.


Avoiding the Mistakes.

Here is a video to help you avoid some common mistakes by new beginning photographers. This should help you to better understand about light, and how your camera works in gaining better photos right from the start.

Overall I hope this article was useful. Just remember, when it gets overwhelming, keep it small and stay simple as you start out. Start with things like composition, and lighting, for your first searches. These littler searches of terms can lead to bigger ones and help guide you in your understanding of photography and how it all works.

Mistakes to Avoid as a Beginner Photographer


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    • Brittany Hudson profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Gastonia, North Carolina

      Thank you. :)

    • jrpierce profile image


      4 years ago from Ellijay, Ga

      Great hub! Very good information and something anyone can use.


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