10 Practical Tips to Learn Photography Like a Pro
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Learn to use your camera
  2. Practice photography everyday
  3. Experiment with different lighting
  4. Understand composition
  5. Get familiar with photo editing software
  6. Study the work of others
  7. Attend photography workshops
  8. Try different photography genres
  9. Invest in good lenses
  10. Ask for feedback

Embarking on your journey to learn and master photography may seem like a daunting task at first. With so many aspects to learn and master, from understanding your camera to mastering the art of composition, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But, take heart! Just like any other skill, patience, practice, and a good roadmap can lead to great results. That's why we've compiled these 10 practical tips to guide you on your path towards becoming a pro in photography—tips that even a 6th grader can understand!

Learn to use your camera

The first step in your journey to learn and master photography is to really get to know your camera. It's like getting to know a new friend—you can't truly appreciate them until you know their quirks and features. If you're using a DSLR, you need to be familiar with terms like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Don't be intimidated; these are just fancy names for basic concepts.

  • ISO: This is how sensitive your camera is to light. Lower ISO means less sensitivity, great for bright days. Higher ISO increases sensitivity, handy in low light but beware—it can make your photos look grainy.
  • Aperture: This is the hole through which light enters your camera. A wide aperture (a lower f-number) means more light gets in, which can blur your background—a technique known as depth of field. A narrow aperture (a higher f-number) lets in less light and keeps more of your photo in focus.
  • Shutter speed: This is how long your camera's shutter stays open when taking a photo. Fast shutter speeds freeze action, while slow speeds can create an artistic blur.

Every camera is different, so take the time to read your camera's manual or watch some tutorials online to really get to know it. Remember, a good carpenter never blames his tools. So, get comfortable with your camera and you'll be well on your way to learn and master photography.

Practice photography everyday

Just like learning to ride a bike or play an instrument, the key to learning and mastering photography is consistent practice. It's not enough to just read about it or watch tutorials—you need to pick up your camera and use it. Every. Single. Day.

Don't worry about taking perfect shots at the start. Your goal here isn't to create a masterpiece each day. Instead, it's about trying out what you've learned, making mistakes, and learning from them. You're building a habit, and habits take time to form. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day!

But what should you photograph? The answer is simple: Anything and everything. The flowers in your garden, the bustling city streets, your pet, your morning coffee—every subject offers an opportunity to practice and improve your skills. You might even discover your own unique perspective along the way.

Another great tip is to carry your camera everywhere. You never know when a great photo opportunity might present itself. The best camera, after all, is the one you have with you.

So, don't wait for the perfect moment. Start now, start small, and remember: the more you practice, the better you'll get. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to mastering the art of photography.

Experiment with different lighting

How many times have you heard that photography is all about the light? It's true! Light can transform a mundane scene into something magical. So, understanding and mastering light is an important step in your journey to learn and master photography.

Start by observing how light behaves at different times of day. Notice the golden hues during the 'golden hour'—that magical time just after sunrise or just before sunset. Experiment with the harsh shadows of midday light. Or try shooting in the soft, diffused light on a cloudy day. Each of these lighting conditions offers unique opportunities to create stunning images.

But don't stop at natural light. Play around with artificial lighting too. Use a desk lamp to light your subjects, or try using your camera's flash in creative ways. You'll be surprised at the different moods and effects you can create with a little experimentation.

Understanding light also involves learning about exposure. This is where your camera's settings—like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO—come into play. These settings control how much light enters your camera and how it's recorded. Don't worry if these terms sound alien right now. With time and practice, they'll become second nature.

Remember, photography is a form of visual storytelling, and light is one of your most powerful tools. So, grasp it, manipulate it, and use it to tell your story.

Understand Composition

Ever looked at a photo and thought, "Wow, that just looks right!"? That's the magic of good composition. Composition is the arrangement of elements in a photo—it's what guides a viewer's eyes through the image. When you're trying to learn and master photography, getting a handle on composition is key.

There are several rules—or better yet, guidelines—to help you compose well-balanced images. The rule of thirds is a classic. Imagine your frame is divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines. The idea is to place the important parts of your image along these lines, or at the points where they intersect.

But rules are meant to be broken, right? Sure, but it helps to understand them first! Once you're comfortable with the rule of thirds, start exploring other composition techniques. Play with leading lines, symmetry, patterns, and framing. Each technique can help you create more compelling images.

Composition is subjective, and what works for one image may not work for another. The key is to experiment, practice, and develop your own photographic eye. So, the next time you're out with your camera, slow down and really consider how you're arranging elements in your frame. You might be surprised at how much this simple step can improve your photos.

Get familiar with photo editing software

Learning to master photography doesn't just stop at snapping the perfect shot. If you want to bring your photos to life, you have to venture into the world of photo editing. Don't worry, it's not as scary as it sounds!

There are a variety of photo editing software options out there. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are two popular choices among professionals. GIMP is a solid, free alternative. These tools allow you to adjust colors, clean up blemishes, crop for a better composition, and much more.

Adobe Lightroom, for instance, is perfect for basic adjustments like exposure, contrast, and color correction. Photoshop, on the other hand, is a powerful tool for more complex edits, like removing unwanted objects or creating composites.

Learning to use these tools can feel a bit overwhelming at first. But remember, even the pros had to start somewhere. You can find a ton of tutorials online to help you get started. Dedicate some time each day to practice and soon, you'll be tweaking and polishing your photos like a pro.

Remember, the goal of editing isn't to completely change your photo, but to enhance what's already there. Happy editing!

Study the work of others

As you continue to learn and master photography, one of the best tips I can give you is this: don't be afraid to study the work of other photographers. There's a lot you can learn by observing the techniques, compositions and styles that others use.

But how exactly do you study a photo? Well, start by looking at the photo as a whole. What's the first thing that catches your eye? Is it the subject, the lighting or the colors? This is often the focal point of the photo and a key aspect of the composition.

Next, look at the details. What settings might the photographer have used? Is there a specific light source? How did they compose the shot? By dissecting a photo in this way, you can start to understand the choices the photographer made.

Don't just restrict yourself to one genre either. If you're into portrait photography, take some time to explore landscape or street photography. You might find techniques or ideas that you can incorporate into your own work.

So go ahead, dive into some photo books or browse online galleries. You might be surprised by how much you can learn from simply studying other people's work.

Attend photography workshops

As you continue to learn and master photography, attending workshops can be a game-changer. They provide a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of photography and learn from experts in the field.

At a workshop, you'll get to do more than just listen to lectures. You'll participate in hands-on activities, where you'll use your camera to capture shots under the guidance of a professional. For instance, landscape photography workshops often involve outdoor excursions to capture natural beauty, while portrait workshops might feature live models.

Workshops are also a great way to meet fellow photographers and learn from their experiences. Sharing ideas and discussing techniques with others can give you fresh insights and can help you see things from a different perspective.

So, what are you waiting for? Look for workshops in your local area or online. They might just be the key to unlocking your potential and helping you learn and master photography.

Try different photography genres

As you learn and master photography, don't feel boxed into one style or genre. Exploring various genres can be an exciting way to expand your skill set and discover your unique voice in the world of photography.

Think of it this way: You wouldn't know if you liked apple pie if you only ever ate cherry, right? The same goes for photography. From portraits and landscapes to wildlife and street photography, each genre has its own charm and challenges. You might be surprised by what you enjoy and excel at once you give it a shot.

So, how about trying your hand at macro photography and capturing the intricate details of a flower bud? Or perhaps, black and white photography to grasp the power of contrast? Maybe even astrophotography, for those of you interested in the night sky?

By trying different genres, you not only develop a wide range of skills but also keep the excitement alive as you learn and master photography. Who knows? You might even find your true passion in a genre you least expected!

Invest in good lenses

As you continue on your journey to learn and master photography, you'll realize that a camera is only as good as the lens you pair it with. A good lens can make a world of difference in the quality and style of your photos.

Think of your camera as the body and the lens as the eye. Just as our eyes perceive and interpret the world around us, a lens determines how your camera sees and captures the world. A change in lens can dramatically alter the perspective, depth, and details of your photos.

From wide-angle lenses perfect for landscapes and architectural shots, to telephoto lenses that bring distant subjects up close, each lens has its unique purpose. And then there's the prime lens, well-loved for its sharpness and large aperture, ideal for portraits and low light photography.

Investing in good lenses is investing in the quality of your photos. So, while it might be tempting to spend all your budget on a fancy camera body, remember to save some for a good lens or two. After all, becoming a pro means knowing where to invest to get the best shots.

Ask for Feedback

As you learn and master photography, it's easy to get so wrapped up in your work that you lose sight of how others might see it. That's where feedback comes in.

Don't be afraid to ask others for their opinion on your work. You might be surprised at the insights they have to offer. It could be as simple as a friend pointing out an element you hadn't noticed, or a professional photographer offering advice on how to improve a specific shot.

Remember, feedback isn't about criticism—it's about growth. It's an opportunity to see your work from a different perspective, and to improve your skills as a photographer. So, don't shy away from asking for feedback. Embrace it as part of your journey to learn and master photography.

And keep in mind, not all feedback will be useful, and that's okay. Learn to sift through the feedback you receive and apply only what resonates with you and your artistic vision. After all, photography is a form of self-expression, and you are the ultimate judge of your work.

If you're eager to dive deeper into photography and build a strong foundation, check out the workshop 'Introduction To Photography' by Adam Thomas. This workshop will provide you with the essential skills and techniques you need to learn photography like a pro, complementing the practical tips from our blog post.