Photography Business Tips For Beginners – Whenever I think of a useful photography tip, I write it down for later. Most of them are forgettable, but some are so useful that I try to tell them to as many photographers as possible. This article contains 21 of the best. These bite-sized photography tips are easy to understand, covering everything from beginner camera techniques to creativity and composition. If you are learning photography, they will be especially useful for you.
I’ve also made a video with a separate list of tips if you’re a more visual learner. It has some more “advanced” tips (mainly some lesser-known photography techniques I like to use) that are separate from the rest of the tips in this article. You can see it here:
Photography Business Tips For Beginners
To take great photos, you need to be engaged in what you’re doing. Don’t just fly on autopilot. Instead, put thought into your composition and try to make your photos as good as possible.
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It starts with learning the basics of how to create good photos. Don’t cut off important parts of your subject with the edge of your frame. Keep your horizons level and try to eliminate any distractions in your photo by adjusting your composition. See if your photo has balance and simplicity.
If the photo doesn’t look good on your first try, keep experimenting until you get it right. It’s very easy to press the shutter when something looks good and then stop, but if you consider a few alternative compositions, chances are that one of them will be better than the first.
There are numerous cameras, lenses and other accessories in the market today. We at Photography Life spend a lot of time reviewing them, and it’s true that some are better than others (or better suited for a given job). But once you’ve tested them enough, the real takeaway is that everything is great today. The differences are almost always minor, especially at a given price.
So, use the camera you already have and don’t look back. In almost every way, today’s entry-level mirrorless cameras are better than a top-of-the-line film SLR or even a DSLR of ten years ago. Yet, somehow those film photographers managed to capture beautiful, iconic photos that still look great today.
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Your creative skills and knowledge of camera settings are more important. Focus your efforts, not on collecting camera equipment.
There are a lot of camera settings and getting them right takes some practice, especially as a beginner. Even advanced photographers don’t always do everything perfectly. But it’s worth learning how to set up your camera properly, and which camera settings are most important, so you have a better chance of getting the photos you want.
First, try practicing with camera modes other than full auto. You won’t learn anything if your camera makes all the decisions for you. It can be confusing at first, but hopefully our articles on aperture, shutter speed, and ISO will get you off to a good start. Those are the three most important settings in all of photography.
In addition to aperture, shutter speed and ISO, learn how to focus properly by practicing with different autofocus modes. You’ll probably prefer single-servo autofocus (also known as One-Shot AF) for stationary subjects and continuous-servo autofocus (also known as AI Servo) for moving subjects. Do not use manual focus unless it is so dark that autofocus does not work.
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Finally, shoot in RAW if you want to edit your photos or think you’ll have the chance to edit them in the future. JPEGs look good out of camera, but the files have much less latitude for post-processing. (If you’re not sure, shoot RAW+JPEG and save the RAWs for later.) See RAW vs JPEG for more.
When you’re choosing your camera settings, it’s important to avoid overexciting lighting in photos. Why? It is simply impossible to recover any detail from the white areas of the photo. Personally, I prefer to give the sky in my photos great texture and color rather than just being a big, featureless blob, and I bet you do too.
Keeping your highlights intact is very easy. But this is where shutter speed, aperture and ISO are very important. These are the only camera settings that directly affect photo brightness (ignoring flash settings, of course). Even exposure compensation – itself an important setting – simply tells your camera to change one or more of these three variables.
While you’re taking photos, check the camera screen to see if there’s overexposure. If so, you should first lower your ISO to its original value (usually ISO 100). If it’s already there, use a faster shutter speed. So this issue will be taken care of. As for the aperture, make sure it’s not set to a crazy value (f/32, f/45, etc.) and you’ll be fine.
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If your camera is mirrorless and has histogram or zebra, enable it. These tools let you check your exposure and get a properly exposed photograph.
Perhaps the most important part of photography is lighting. If you take a photo with good lighting, you’ve taken a big step towards getting a better picture. But what counts as good lighting? It’s not all about the sunset.
Often, the goal here is to balance the light intensity between your subject and the background. Even if you’re photographing a stunning sunset, the photo can be ruined by a completely dark and silhouetted foreground.
The easiest way to fix this is to pay attention to the direction and softness of the light. If the light is too harsh, you can get bad shadows on your subject, which is especially a problem for portrait photography. If the light is coming from an obscure angle, what you can do is move the light source (in the studio) or move the subject (outdoors) – or wait until the light is better (landscape photography).
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Also, if you’re shooting handheld, make sure there’s enough light. If not, use flash or move it to a brighter location. The easiest way to get smooth, colorful photos is to shoot in an environment without enough light.
It’s easy to make mistakes in photography if you’re not careful. The best way around this is to slow down and take your time when possible, especially when you first start learning photography.
First, double check your camera settings. If you’re shooting outdoor portraits on a hot summer day, but you’re using last night’s settings to photograph the Milky Way, something is wrong. Slow down and take the time to get it right.
Then, keep the same mindset for every other important decision. Is your design as good as it could be? Did you autofocus in the right place? Have you done everything possible to improve the lighting conditions?
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And don’t listen to people who tell you to avoid reviewing photos in the field. Sure, it’s a bad idea to review photos when something amazing is happening right in front of you, but you’ll almost always have some time between shots. Find problems with an image in the field – without going back to your computer.
It’s easy to get stuck in one place when you’re taking photos. Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, move your legs (or tripod) as much as possible. Climb on top of things, change your camera height, walk forwards and backwards, do whatever you want to do – but move forward.
If you take dozens of photos from the same height, facing the same direction, without moving your feet or tripod at all, guess what? They will not be very different. If your entire portfolio is taken from the same height and without any experimentation, you’re missing out on some great photos.
Rotating is the only way to change the relative size and position of objects in your photo. Hate that your subject is too big and the landscape in the background too small? Stand back and zoom in. Want to fix a distracting rock? Move it until it falls outside of your design or is too small.
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For wildlife photography, pay close attention to the angle and height of your shot. Animals usually look better when you’re at eye level with them, and they also provide more distant backgrounds, making subjects stand out more.
Tripods are one of the greatest inventions in photography. They all but eliminate one of the most difficult problems – lack of light. With tripods, you can shoot exposures of several minutes and capture details so dark they are invisible to the human eye. Even in brighter scenes, tripods improve the stability of your composition and help you take clearer photos.
So, when should you use a tripod? If your subject is stationary, almost always. That means landscape photographers, architectural photographers and still life photographers have a good excuse if they don’t use a tripod.
Macro photography is another case where tripods are essential. At high magnification, even better in-body
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