5 top photography tips for beginners

Anne JohnstonPhotography tips and inspiration2 Comments

5 tips to stop you giving up on photography

Are you new to photography and feel like you’re struggling to get your head around all the numbers? Are you on the verge up throwing in the photography towel or, even worse, selling all your gear? I know that there’s a lot for you to learn and you might feel like giving up but I promise you, if you persevere it will be worth it. I have 5 top photography tips for beginners that will inspire you and stop you giving up when you’ve only just started.

I received a message out of the blue on Facebook from a lady whose Dad had tried photography as a hobby, didn’t take to it and wanted to sell his lenses. My first thought was that must do what I can to help him as I know that some people take to photography easier than others and my heart sank a little at the thought of him completely giving up. Unfortunately his decision was made and he was certain he’d reached the end of his photography journey. It got me thinking that if I couldn’t help him then I would sure do my best to help others in a similar position.


You might find these blogs helpful too:


Five top photography tips for beginners

Watch this video right here or read on!


1. Try different subjects


With photography your choice of subjects is almost limitless and when you start your photography journey most people will either photograph everything in sight or pick one subject and stick to it.

If you started out photographing people have a think about trying out macro photography and your eyes will be opened up to a whole new world of amazing little things. Maybe you’ve always been fascinated by the night sky but you haven’t ventured out at night to photograph it. I’m always blown away when I photograph the Northern Lights and you can find out how to do that here.

Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one area unnecessarily. You could try out landscapes and find that it becomes your new favourite thing!

2. Get around likeminded people


I appreciate that people learn in different ways. For some of you it’s enough to read magazines or YouTube tutorials and give it a go yourself. Others benefit from one-to-one photography tuition with a professional photographer where you can have the tuition tailored to your needs and your questions answered right there and then. Some folks like to join Facebook groups and chat online with other amateur photographers.

If you haven’t already I’d suggest you join a local photography club. There you’ll find members of all experience levels and you can bounce your ideas off each other knowing that you’re all there for the same purpose.


3. Set yourself a challenge


If you feel as though you’re struggling, nothing focuses the mind more than setting yourself a challenge. On Instagram #project365 is hugely popular. All you have to do is post one photo per day. There could be a set theme for the year or you could just commit to posting one photo about your life every day. The aim is to get you out with your camera and using it regularly.

You might not want to commit to doing this for a whole year though. You might like to set yourself a 30 day challenge or even mini projects lasting 7 days each. If you have a set theme whether it’s macro, people or whatever you decide and you commit to doing it every day for a period of time, you will notice the difference at the end of it.

Pick your theme and go for it!


4. Look for light in dull places


I love landscape photography and can give you lots of tips on when to find beautiful golden light but instead I want to challenge you to look for light in the most dull places.

Photography is all about light and once you learn to see it, you can’t switch off from it, you will literally see it everywhere. I can sit at my desk and know that there’s an awesome sunset in progress because I can detect the golden light out of the corner of my eyes. I can be driving along a road and know that I have to get out of the car and photograph a rainbow. Even if I can’t see a rainbow I know that there will be one appearing in the sky soon because I’m so tuned into it.

My challenge to you is to really tune into the light and find it in places you wouldn’t usually look for it. When you find it, photograph it. Is there light from a lamp-post casting a long shadow along a pebbled pavement?

Look for it.

Find it.

Photograph it.


5. Don’t be scared of your camera


The ultimate goal for anyone new to photography is to be able to shoot on manual so that you can have full control of your camera and know exactly how to create amazing memories. I can teach you how to go from being scared of your camera to shooting confidently on manual mode in just 3 hours.

For some of you I know that shooting on manual is a scary prospect. There are lots of numbers to get your head around with lots of different meanings, it can feel a bit like being back at school. But in my one-to-one tuition I break down the jargon and make it simple for you.

I want to give you permission to take control of your camera and not be scared of it. What’s the worst that can happen? You might take a photo that’s underexposed, it might be overexposed, it might be blurry when you want it sharp. So, what? What’s the big deal if it doesn’t turn out exactly how you wanted it to? Isn’t it better that you try anyway?

The more you try the easier it will become because you’re getting better. And when you see that beautiful light everywhere and you know what to do to record that amazing moment, that’s when you open your eyes to a far more beautiful world. So beautiful in fact that you won’t want to leave your camera at home!


Over to you


Leave me a comment below and let me know if you relate to this blog. I’d love to hear what you’re going to do next in your photography journey.


If you live in Dundee, Angus or Perthshire and you’re ready to take your photography journey to the next level and really get the best out of your camera, then click here to find out more about my one-to-one photography tuition now!