7 Practical Steps to Learn Photography in Just One Week
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Get to know your camera
  2. Learn the basics of exposure
  3. Practice composing photos
  4. Experiment with lighting
  5. Try different genres of photography
  6. Edit your photos
  7. Review and reflect on your work

Ever wondered how to learn photography in a week? Well, you're in the right spot. This quick and straightforward guide will help you get started. By following these seven practical steps, you'll be taking amazing photos in no time. Let's jump into it!

Get to know your camera

First things first, let's get familiar with your camera. Whether you're using a DSLR, a mirrorless model, or your smartphone, understanding how your camera works is the first step in your journey to learn photography in just a week.

  • Read the manual: This might sound boring, but trust me, it's worth it. Your camera's manual holds a ton of information that can help you take better photos. It explains all the buttons, dials, and settings, and shows you how to use them.
  • Play around: Don't be afraid to try different settings and modes. You're not going to break anything, so have fun and experiment. You'll learn a lot more this way than just reading about it.
  • Get to know the modes: Your camera has different modes like Manual, Aperture Priority, and Shutter Priority. Each mode gives you different levels of control over how your photos come out. Spend some time playing with each one to see which you prefer.
  • Understand the lens: If you're using a camera with an interchangeable lens, get to know how the lens affects your photos. Different lenses can create different effects and are better suited for different types of photography.

Remember, the goal here is to get comfortable with your camera. The more you understand it, the more effectively you can use it to take great photos. So, take your time and don't rush. This is the first step on your journey to learn photography in a week, and it's an important one.

Learn the basics of exposure

Now that you've started your friendship with your camera, let's dig into the nitty-gritty — exposure. It's like cooking; too much of any ingredient can spoil the dish. Similarly, in photography, the balance of light determines whether your photo is underexposed (too dark), overexposed (too bright), or just right.

  • Shutter Speed: Think of it as the blink of an eye. It's that quick moment when the camera's shutter opens and closes to let in light. A faster shutter speed lets in less light and is great for freezing action. A slower speed lets in more light but may blur motion. The trick is to balance it based on what you’re shooting.
  • Aperture: This is like the pupil of your camera's eye. A wider aperture (lower f-number) lets in more light and blurs the background, which is perfect for portraits. A narrower aperture (higher f-number) lets in less light but keeps more of the scene sharp — great for landscapes.
  • ISO: It's your camera's sensitivity to light. A lower ISO (like 100) means less sensitivity but also less "noise" or grain. A higher ISO (like 1600) increases sensitivity, useful in darker settings, but may add noise. It's a delicate balance, but don't worry — with practice, you'll get the hang of it.

Learning to manipulate these three elements — shutter speed, aperture, and ISO — will help you control the exposure of your photos. It might seem a bit complicated at first, but keep at it. You're now another step closer to mastering how to learn photography in a week!

Practice composing photos

Once we've made sense of exposure, it's time to talk about composition — the way elements are arranged in a photo. It's like setting the table for dinner; everything has a place, and the placement can make a big difference.

  • The Rule of Thirds: Imagine dividing your photo into nine equal parts with two horizontal and two vertical lines. The idea is to place the important parts of your photo along these lines or at their intersections. It's a simple rule, but it can dramatically improve your photos by adding balance and interest.
  • Leading Lines: Lines in your photo that lead the viewer's eye to the main subject are called leading lines. They can be anything: a road, a fence, or even a shadow. They help guide the viewer's attention where you want it to go.
  • Fill the Frame: Sometimes, getting closer to your subject and filling the frame can make for a more compelling photo. It eliminates distractions and allows the viewer to focus completely on the subject.

Remember, these are just guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Feel free to break them if it suits your creative vision. After all, photography is all about expressing yourself. So go ahead, practice composing your photos, and you'll be surprised at how quickly you're learning how to master photography in a week!

Experiment with lighting

Let's talk about light. It's the lifeblood of photography. Without it, we'd just be left with a black frame. So how can we best use light when learning photography in a week? Here are some tips:

  • Natural Light: The sun is a photographer's best friend — and sometimes, their biggest challenge. Morning and evening light (often called "golden hours") can cast a beautiful, warm glow on your subjects. Midday light can be harsh and cause strong shadows. So, get out there at different times of the day and see how the changing light affects your photos.
  • Artificial Light: Don't have the sun? No problem. Lamps, overhead lights, or even your phone's flashlight can work. Play around with different sources of artificial light to see the different effects they can create.
  • Shadows: Shadows aren't just absence of light. They're an element of composition you can use to add depth and drama to your photos.

Remember, the best way to learn is to experiment. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Even professional photographers didn't get everything right the first time. So, keep experimenting with light, and soon you'll be well on your way to figuring out how to learn photography in a week!

Try different genres of photography

Okay, we've played with light and understood its impact on our photos. Now what? Time to dip our toes into the vast ocean of photography genres. Yes, there's more to photography than just selfies and food shots. Exploring different genres is an excellent way to figure out how to learn photography in a week. Here's why:

  • Landscape Photography: Think mountains, rivers, and sunsets. Landscape photography helps you understand how to capture space, light, and perspective. Plus, it gives you an excuse to explore the beautiful outdoors. Win-win, right?
  • Portrait Photography: Now let's flip it. Instead of vast spaces, focus on individuals. Capture their expressions, their personality. The challenge here is to make the viewer feel a connection with the person in the photo. Trust me, it's not as easy as clicking a selfie!
  • Macro Photography: This genre is for the detail-oriented ones among you. Flowers, insects, dewdrops - macro photography is all about revealing the beauty in small things. It teaches you to pay attention to details and to handle your camera with precision.

Remember, there's no hard and fast rule to stick to one genre. The more you experiment, the more you learn. And who knows, you might even discover a new passion in the process of figuring out how to learn photography in a week!

Edit your photos

Clicking the photo is just the beginning. Editing plays a significant part in transforming a good photo into a great one. I promise you, it's not as daunting as it sounds, and it's a crucial step in discovering how to learn photography in a week.

First things first, make friends with editing software. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are popular choices among photographers. But don't worry, there are plenty of free alternatives such as GIMP and Paint.NET that do a pretty decent job too.

Here's a simple breakdown of the editing process:

  1. Crop and Straighten: Sometimes, you might find a stray object ruining the perfection of your shot, or perhaps your horizon looks more like a slope than a line. That's where cropping and straightening come in. They help you remove unwanted elements and align your photos properly.
  2. Adjust Exposure and Contrast: Ever clicked a photo that looked too dark or too bright? Or perhaps everything looked a bit 'flat'? Play around with the exposure and contrast settings. They can make a world of difference in how your photo looks.
  3. Play with Colors: This is where the fun begins. You can adjust the saturation for more vivid colors, tweak the temperature for warmer or cooler photos, and even change individual color hues. But remember, less is often more when it comes to color editing.

With each edit, you're not just improving your photos, but also your understanding of what makes a photo visually appealing. So go ahead, give editing a shot, and you will be one step closer to mastering how to learn photography in a week.

Review and reflect on your work

As we come to the final step of how to learn photography in a week, remember that the path to improvement is seldom a straight line. It's a series of trials, errors, and most importantly, reflections. So brace yourself for some self-evaluation!

Take a step back and look at the photos you've taken throughout the week. Do they tell a story? Do they make you feel something? Ask yourself these questions and more. The answers you find will not only help you understand your work better but also guide your future attempts at photography.

Here's a simple three-step process to evaluate your work:

  1. Identify: Start by identifying what you like about your photos. Maybe it's the way the light hits your subject, or perhaps it's the vibrant colors that stand out. Whatever it is, acknowledging what you did right will help you replicate it in future photos.
  2. Analyze: Now, turn your attention to areas where you think your photos could improve. Did your subject look blurry? Was the photo too dark or too bright? Analyzing your mistakes is the first step towards correcting them.
  3. Plan: Once you've identified and analyzed, it's time to plan. Make a note of what you need to work on in your next photography session. This could be anything from trying a new camera setting to experimenting with a different genre of photography.

Remember, photography is a journey, not a destination. So don't be too hard on yourself if you're not completely satisfied with your work. Instead, use it as a stepping stone to improve and evolve. Keep snapping, keep editing, and keep reflecting, and you'll find that learning photography in a week isn't as impossible as it sounds.

If you're eager to learn photography quickly and effectively, don't miss the '1 Hour Photography Challenge' workshop by Andrea Orejarena. This workshop will guide you through a fun and engaging challenge that will help improve your photography skills in just one hour. Dive in and start capturing stunning images in no time!