Top

10 Tips to Get Started in Photography

Posted on June 6, 2008 by Bo

If you’re just starting out in photography, you may feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information and advice that is available. The important thing to keep in mind is that photography is an art, so everyone you talk to will have a different method or approach.

Here, I’ve outlined the 10 best tips I’ve received that are some basic guidelines. Without getting into the technical operations of your specific camera, these are some tips that you can apply to your photography regardless of what level you’re at.

1. Fill the Frame
I include this tip first because it’s the most helpful rule I received from my first photography instructor and I’ve heard it echoed many times since then. The instruction I received was actually, “get closer,” but I feel it goes hand-in-hand with filling the frame.

Most often, if you’re having trouble with your photos, you’re not close enough. Get as close as you think you need to get, then take a step closer. Really observe your subject and see how it’s fitting in the frame. Allow your subject to fill the frame and cut out all surrounding details that are unneeded and distracting.

2. Rule of Thirds
This is another big one and a common rule of composition. Imagine dividing your frame into 3 equal sections, both horizontally and vertically. The points where those divisions intersect are the hot spots for your photo. Position your subject or key element at one of these points to emphasize them.

3. Light is Key
Photography is taken from the Greek words phos and graphos, literally translated as “writing with light.” Without light, photography wouldn’t be possible. When you take a photo, you’re capturing how light interacts with the subject. You can either capture how the light is occurring naturally, or you can try to influence the light and/or the subject to achieve the desired effect.

4. Keep It Simple
This is commonly referred to as the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Less is more and more is less. Simplicity should be your goal; try to avoid unnecessary complexity.

5. Don’t Take a Photograph, Make It
This tip was handed down to us by the great Ansel Adams. Being a photographer is more than just pressing a button. Your photos are your art, your creation. Each one of us has our own unique view of the world, so let that show in your photos. Don’t just take a picture that a monkey could take; put some thought into it, put yourself into it, and make a picture happen.

6. Think Before You Shoot
This applies to everything all at once, from your exposure settings to your perspective of your subject. Think about why you’re taking this picture. Why is this meaningful to you? Are you framing it creatively and/or from the most interesting angle? Would you hang it in your living room?

7. Beware of Over-Chimping
Chimping refers to the act of hunching over your digital camera’s LCD screen to check out the wonderful pictures you’ve just taken. While there’s nothing wrong with chimping, be aware that while you’re gazing at your camera’s LCD you might be missing a great photo opportunity.

I was recently at a party where a friend of mine was taking pictures of another friend’s 10-month old daughter. He would fire off a few frames of the child looking curiously at the camera, and then he’d stop and examine the shots he just took. Meanwhile, as he was gazing at the back of his camera, the little girl was smiling the most beautiful and natural smile I’d seen her do all day. I pointed this out to my friend, but by the time he took another shot, the natural smile was gone.

While it’s a good idea to often chimp your photos to check for exposure and framing, don’t forget about the subject that’s right in front of you.

8. Know the Rules, Then Break Them
As with most things, the rules are made to be broken. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas and step outside the things you’ve learned.

9. Take Your Camera With You
Photography is one of the few activities that you can do at any time of the day and get excellent and interesting results. For this reason, I recommend taking your camera with you wherever you go. You’ll find that having a camera handy helps you be on the look-out for interesting subjects. It’s a great and easy way to keep photography on your mind.

10. Take Time to Study
Last but not least, take the time to learn about photography. Get your hands on a photography book; sign up for a photography class or club in your area; study different techniques; give yourself personal assignments. Anyone can take a picture, but you simply can’t learn the art of photography if you’re not prepared to put in the time and effort.


Keep Reading!
Add to Technorati Favorites

Comments

31 Responses to “10 Tips to Get Started in Photography”

  1. Greg Sissom on June 7th, 2008 10:15 pm

    Thanks for the introduction. I have captured a couple of really good pictures in the last couple of months. I have just been playing around with my new camera. I still don’t understand the aperture and how the speed affect the photo. I have an understanding of the type of lighting, as the book explained. Maybe we could talk the ladies into a weekend where we could all get together.

  2. 10 Fotografie-Tipps – The Reaction on June 10th, 2008 6:23 am

    [...] dass eine gute Aufnahme entsteht. Auf geekinspired.com können Sie einige grundlegende Tipps & Tricks entdecken, wie noch schönere Bilder [...]

  3. Winter on June 10th, 2008 9:29 am

    This is fantastic! Thank you so much!
    These tips have helped alot.
    =]

  4. 今日列表 | News on Photography on July 9th, 2008 11:26 am

    [...] Ten Tips to Get Started in Photography [...]

  5. mysterious yoko on July 11th, 2008 8:30 am

    thank you so much for your help.i am very interested in photography…i was wondering how to start as tehre is so much to learn..thank you for your tips again..

  6. All About Photografi Link on July 16th, 2008 5:09 am

    [...] Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 | Photography with Basic PhotographyPhotography 101Through the LensTen Tips to Get Started in PhotographyLearning Exposure BasicsPhotography BasicsRAW vs. JPEGCamera Meters and HistogramsEight Tips to [...]

  7. 34 Essential Tutorials To Get Started With Digital Photography - PXLshots.com Blog on December 17th, 2008 6:00 pm

    [...]   Visit Tutorial [...]

  8. Tony P on December 18th, 2008 3:34 pm

    I’ve started less looking and more shots. It gives you more to chose from when selecting that perfect shot.

    Number 9 is another I could benefit from. I need to have the camera with me more often.

  9. Eye-On Designs - Design & Print » Blog Archive » 34 Essential Tutorials To Get Started With Digital Photography on December 19th, 2008 1:19 pm

    [...] Visit Tutorial [...]

  10. Marcelino 2.0 » Blog Archive » 34 Essential Tutorials To Get Started With Digital Photography on December 19th, 2008 4:07 pm

    [...] Visit Tutorial [...]

  11. mel on January 20th, 2009 4:04 pm

    Your tutorials are perfect packed with information and great for a beginner.

  12. 10 Fotografie-Tipps on January 27th, 2009 9:05 am

    [...] dass eine gute Aufnahme entsteht. Auf geekinspired.com können Sie einige grundlegende Tipps & Tricks entdecken, wie noch schönere Bilder [...]

  13. Introducción a la fotografía digital at Pisito en Madrid on April 20th, 2009 3:41 am

    [...] 10 consejos para empezar en la fotografía digital [...]

  14. shoua on November 11th, 2009 10:43 am

    Thank you for the tips. I’ve recently became interested in fine art photography but have no idea how to start off.

  15. Shoua on November 11th, 2009 10:45 am

    Thank you for the tips. I’ve recently became interested in fine arts photography but have no idea how to start off.

  16. Top 10 Tips – Photography for beginners | Photo Book Blog | Photo Book Tips on March 23rd, 2010 1:01 pm

    [...] Fill the frame – Most often, if you’re having trouble with your photos, you’re not close enough. Get as close as you think you need to get, then take a step closer. Really observe your subject and see how it’s fitting in the frame. Allow your subject to fill the frame and cut out all surrounding details that are unneeded and distracting. – Geek Inspried http://www.geekinspired.com/photography/10-tips-to-get-started-in-photography/ [...]

  17. aubree(: on August 6th, 2010 12:58 am

    hey i want to get started in this but i dont have a camera and besides if i did how would i get noticed?

  18. las vegas seo on November 29th, 2010 6:29 am

    Great stuff, Just passed this on to a coworker who read up on this and she took me to a movie after I forwarded her this site. So, Thanks!!

  19. orlando seo on November 29th, 2010 6:51 am

    This is 4 times now that i’ve come on your website in the last three days when searching Yahoo for absolutely unrelated things. Kinda odd. Keep up the good work!

  20. orange county photography on November 29th, 2010 6:57 am

    Do you mind if I used a bit of your CSS design for my own blog? I would appreciate it! Thank you!

  21. las vegas makeup on November 29th, 2010 7:03 am

    Yet another handy post, really awesome to visit your blog! Keep up the good work!

  22. las vegas bridal on November 29th, 2010 7:15 am

    Hey, Trying to view your blog on an EVO 4G and am having issues. I can’t get the images to load right. Just wanted you to know, Cheers!

  23. Blair Tortorici on December 7th, 2010 6:03 pm

    November’s archives are broken, cannot watch anything.

  24. las vegas seo on December 21st, 2010 5:38 am

    Hey man, was just browsing through the internet searching for some information and stumbled on your blog. I am impressed by the information that you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. Bookmarked this page, will come back for more. You, my friend, ROCK!!!

  25. las vegas bridal hair on December 22nd, 2010 12:26 am

    NUTS!I did a really long reply to your article but my internet crapped out and I lost it all! Oh well, just wanted to say that it was a great article! Great job!

  26. san diego family photography on December 22nd, 2010 2:58 am

    Hey, nice! Though, I had difficulty viewing this article in Safari 5. Just wanted to bring that to your attention! Thanks.

  27. orange county photography on December 22nd, 2010 11:19 pm

    Would it be ok if I borrowed a bit of your template design for my own blog? I would appreciate it! Thank you!

  28. data center optimization on December 23rd, 2010 2:05 am

    Hay, Trying to view this website on an EVO 4G and am having issues. I can’t get the menu to load correctly. Just thought you should know, thanks!

  29. las vegas web design on December 23rd, 2010 3:19 am

    See, I knew there was a reason why I visited your website. Its because of great stuff like this. Thanks for the info. Look forward to more. See ya!

  30. matthew holmes on January 26th, 2011 6:17 am

    i am in grade 10 and want to become a photography before i leave school
    how would i do that

  31. Guilfoyle Photography on April 13th, 2011 1:18 am

    I have just started getting my business going, and there is so much MORE for me to learn. I really took to heart setting up my own assignments. I was concentrating on getting appointments with family that I forgot about the fact that Nature and subjects are everywhere not just with people. Plus this way I can use that time to “play” with my camera, and equipment and try for new looks. Thank you so much.

    Another main thing for me is keeping it simple. I got so wrapped up in all the equipment, and such, that I forgot about the days that I could pick up a camera and get a great shot without all the technical stuff behind it. The “Simple” days before I decided to make this a career. Thanks again!

Got something to say?





Bottom