6 Practical Steps to Learn Photography in Six Months
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Get familiar with your camera
  2. Learn basic photography techniques
  3. Practice different styles of photography
  4. Edit your photographs
  5. Create a photography portfolio
  6. Connect with other photographers

Have you ever wondered how to learn photography in six months? It might seem like a tall order, but with the right steps and a bit of dedication, it's entirely achievable! This guide is here to help you navigate through the process. Let's turn that curiosity into a skill, one shutter click at a time.

Get familiar with your camera

Before you start capturing those stunning shots, it's important to get to know your camera. Think of it as your new best friend—you're going to spend a lot of time together, so get comfortable!

Understanding Your Camera's Anatomy

It matters little whether you own a Nikon, a Canon, or a Sony—the basics of a camera remain largely the same. Here's what you need to know:

  • Body: This is the main part of the camera where you'll find buttons, dials, and screens. It's the control center of your photographic journey!
  • Lens: The lens helps you focus on your subject. It can be interchangeable, which means you can swap it out for different types depending on what you're shooting.
  • Sensor: This is where the magic happens! The sensor captures light to create your photos. The larger the sensor, the better the image quality.

Deciphering Camera Modes

Most cameras come with a variety of modes. Here's a quick rundown:

  1. Automatic: The camera makes all the decisions for you. Good for beginners, but you'll want to move on from this mode to have more creative control.
  2. Program: A step up from automatic. The camera sets shutter speed and aperture, but allows you to adjust other settings.
  3. Aperture Priority: You choose the aperture, and the camera sets the shutter speed. This mode is great for controlling depth of field.
  4. Shutter Priority: You set the shutter speed, and the camera chooses the aperture. Perfect for capturing motion.
  5. Manual: You're in control of everything. It can be a bit daunting, but with time, you'll love the creative freedom this mode offers.

Now that you've got a handle on your camera's basics, you're ready to move on to the next step of your journey to learn photography in six months. Remember, understanding your camera is just the beginning. As with any new skill, practice makes perfect. So, keep that camera close—you're going to need it!

Learn Basic Photography Techniques

Now that you've got to grips with your camera, it's time to dive into some basic photography techniques. This is where you start to see how the puzzle pieces fit together to create beautiful images. Ready to explore?

The Rule of Thirds

Ever wonder what makes a photo look balanced or well-composed? Often, it's the Rule of Thirds at work. This simple technique involves dividing your frame into nine equal sections with two horizontal and two vertical lines. The idea is to place your subject along these lines or at their intersections for a more pleasing composition. It's a simple but effective way to boost your photos' appeal.

Understanding Light

Photography is all about light. The word itself comes from the Greek words for "light" and "drawing." So, understanding light is a key step in mastering photography. Here are some basics:

  • Natural Light: This is the light produced by the sun. It changes throughout the day, affecting the mood and feel of your photos.
  • Artificial Light: This includes any non-natural light sources, like lamps or overhead lights. You can control artificial light more than natural light, which can be handy.
  • Direction of Light: Light can come from different directions—front, back, side—and each direction creates a different effect. Front light illuminates your subject evenly, back light creates a silhouette effect, and side light highlights textures and depth.

Mastering Exposure

Exposure is how light or dark an image is. It's determined by three factors: aperture (how wide the lens opens), shutter speed (how long the sensor is exposed to light), and ISO (how sensitive the sensor is to light). Together, these are known as the Exposure Triangle. Each component affects the other, so it's a balancing act to get the right exposure. But don't worry—with practice, you'll get the hang of it!

So, now you've got some basic techniques under your belt. Remember, the aim is not just to learn these techniques, but to understand them well enough to use them creatively. As you continue figuring out how to learn photography in six months, these techniques will serve as your foundation, so keep practicing!

Practice Different Styles of Photography

Now that you've mastered some basic techniques, it's time to start experimenting with different styles of photography. You see, photography is like ice cream—it comes in a variety of flavors, and everyone has their favorites. By trying out different styles, you'll not only sharpen your skills but also discover what you enjoy most. So, where should you start?

Landscape Photography

Ever felt awestruck by a sunset or a dramatic mountain range? That's the power of landscape photography. It captures the beauty of nature in all its glory. To excel in this style, you'll need to pay close attention to light, composition, and scenery. And remember, patience is key—sometimes, you'll need to wait for just the right moment to capture that perfect shot.

Portrait Photography

If you enjoy connecting with people, you might love portrait photography. This style focuses on capturing the personality and emotion of your subject. Whether it's a formal headshot or a casual lifestyle photo, the goal is to make the person in front of the lens shine. So, engage with your subject, make them feel comfortable, and let their character come to life.

Street Photography

For those intrigued by everyday life and human interaction, street photography might be your jam. This style involves capturing candid moments in public spaces. It's all about timing, observation, and a bit of stealth. Remember, the goal is to document life as it happens, not to interfere with it.

Of course, these are just a few styles to get you started. There's also wildlife photography, sports photography, food photography—the list goes on. As you continue on your journey of learning photography in six months, don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. After all, variety is the spice of life, right?

Edit Your Photographs

After capturing those stunning shots, it's time to move on to the next step—editing your photographs. Yes, you heard me right. Despite what you may have heard, editing is a fundamental part of photography. It's like adding the final touches to your masterpiece. But how do you navigate this process?

Understand the Basics

The first step is understanding the basics. This includes cropping, adjusting exposure, tweaking contrast, and refining colors. Each of these elements plays a crucial role in your final image. For example, cropping can help you emphasize your subject, while adjusting exposure can help you achieve the perfect light balance.

Select the Right Software

The second step involves selecting the right software. There are plenty of options out there, from Adobe Lightroom to Snapseed. Each tool has its own strengths and features. Your choice will depend on your specific needs and budget. So, do your research and choose wisely!

Practice, Practice, Practice

The final step, as with any skill, is practice. Don't be discouraged if your first few edits don't turn out as expected. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day! As you continue to experiment and learn, you'll gradually get better. So, keep practicing and don't give up.

Editing is a powerful tool in your photography toolkit. It can transform your photos from good to great, making them stand out in the crowd. So, as you learn photography in six months, don't neglect this important step. Happy editing!

Create a Photography Portfolio

Now that you've got a handle on shooting and editing your photos, it's time to share them with the world. What better way to do this than by creating a photography portfolio? This is your chance to show off your skills and progress as you learn photography in six months. But where do you start?

Choose Your Best Work

First things first: you need to select your best photos. This might be a challenging task, especially if you've taken hundreds of shots. But remember, a portfolio should showcase your best work—not all your work. Aim for quality over quantity. Your portfolio should make a strong impression and represent your unique style.

Organize Your Photos

Next, you need to organize your photos. Group them by theme, style, or project—whatever makes sense for your work. This helps to give your portfolio a sense of coherence and progression. For instance, you might have a section for portraits, another for landscapes, and so on.

Build Your Portfolio Website

Finally, it's time to build your portfolio website. There are many platforms out there, such as Wix or Squarespace, which offer easy-to-use tools for building a professional-looking website. Make sure your site is easy to navigate, and don't forget to include an 'About Me' section where you can share your story.

Creating a photography portfolio is a fantastic way to showcase your work, track your progress, and attract potential clients. So, take your time, make it personal, and let your passion for photography shine through!

Connect with Other Photographers

As you continue on your journey to learn photography in six months, connecting with other photographers can be a game-changer. It opens up opportunities for learning, collaboration, and even mentorship. But how exactly do you go about this?

Join Photography Groups

One of the easiest ways to meet other photographers is by joining photography groups. These could be local clubs, online forums, or social media groups. Participate in discussions, ask questions, and share your own experiences. Not only will you learn from others, but you'll also start to build your own network within the photography community.

Attend Photography Workshops

Another great way to connect is by attending photography workshops. These are not only educational, but they also provide an excellent platform for meeting other photographers. You can exchange ideas, ask for feedback, and learn new techniques.

Participate in Photo Walks

Photo walks are another fun and social way to meet other photographers. These are organized events where a group of photographers walk around a specific location, taking photos and sharing tips along the way. It's a great way to practice your skills while enjoying the company of others who share your passion.

Remember, photography isn't just about taking great photos—it's also about being part of a creative community. So, don't be shy. Reach out, make connections, and learn from those around you. Who knows? You might even make some lifelong friends along the way.

If you're ready to take your photography skills to the next level, we highly recommend checking out Benedetta Ristori's workshop, 'Beginning Your Photography Project.' This workshop will provide you with practical tips and guidance to help you kickstart your photography journey and achieve your goals within six months.