How Do I Get Started with Photography?
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


Photography is a rewarding and exciting hobby that anyone can take up. Regardless of skill level, there are some basic concepts that all beginners should grasp before they begin their photographic journey. In this article, we will provide practical tips and advice on starting with photography, from understanding camera settings to building a portfolio.

Understanding the Basics of Photography

Before you begin taking photos, it's essential to understand the fundamental principles of photography. Light is the foundation of all photography, and without it, you will not be able to capture any images. Understanding how light interacts with your camera is crucial to taking successful photographs.

Light comes in different intensities, colors, and directions. The time of day, weather conditions, and location can all affect the quality and direction of light. As a photographer, you need to be aware of these factors and adjust your camera settings accordingly. For example, if you're shooting in low light, you may need to increase your ISO or use a slower shutter speed to capture enough light.

Another important aspect of light is its quality. Soft light, such as that on a cloudy day, can create a more flattering and even light on your subject, while harsh light, such as that in direct sunlight, can create harsh shadows and highlights. Understanding how to manipulate light can help you create more visually stunning images.

Types of Cameras

There are many types of cameras available, ranging from smartphones to professional-grade cameras. As a beginner, selecting a camera can be overwhelming, and it can be tempting to purchase the most expensive camera available. However, it's important to choose a camera that is right for your skill level and budget.

Smartphone cameras have come a long way in recent years and can produce high-quality images. They are also convenient and easy to use, making them a great option for beginners. Point-and-shoot cameras are also a good choice for beginners as they are affordable and easy to use. However, if you want more control over your camera settings and the ability to change lenses, a DSLR or mirrorless camera may be a better option.

When selecting a camera, it's also important to consider the size and weight of the camera. If you plan on traveling or carrying your camera around with you, a smaller and lighter camera may be more practical.

Essential Camera Settings

Once you have selected a camera, it's essential to understand the different camera settings, such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. These settings are essential to capturing well-exposed and sharp photographs. By mastering these settings, you can have full control over the look and feel of your images.

Aperture refers to the size of the opening in the lens through which light enters the camera. A wider aperture (lower f-number) will let in more light and create a shallower depth of field, while a narrower aperture (higher f-number) will let in less light and create a deeper depth of field.

Shutter speed refers to the amount of time the camera's shutter is open, allowing light to enter the camera. A faster shutter speed will freeze motion and create a sharper image, while a slower shutter speed will create motion blur and a softer image.

ISO measures the camera's sensitivity to light. A higher ISO will allow you to shoot in low light conditions but can also create more digital noise in your image.

Composition Techniques

Composition is the process of arranging elements in your image to create a visually compelling photograph. By understanding composition techniques, such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing, you can create more visually appealing photographs.

The rule of thirds is a composition technique where you divide the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically, creating a grid. The points where the lines intersect are called the "points of interest," and placing your subject at these points can create a more balanced and visually pleasing image.

Leading lines are lines within the image that draw the viewer's eye towards the subject. These lines can be natural, such as a road or river, or created, such as a row of trees or buildings.

Framing is the technique of using elements within the image to frame the subject. This can create a sense of depth and draw the viewer's eye towards the subject.

By understanding these fundamental principles of photography, you can take your photography to the next level and create stunning images that capture the beauty of the world around you.

Choosing the Right Equipment

Once you've mastered the basics of photography, you'll want to start thinking about what equipment you need to take your skills to the next level. Here are some essential tools that every beginner should have in their camera bag.

Camera Selection Guide

Choosing the right camera can be a daunting task, especially if you're new to photography. There are many factors to consider, including your skill level, budget, and needs. Mirrorless cameras are a popular choice for beginners as they offer a lightweight and portable option. They're also known for their fast autofocus and high-quality video capabilities. However, if you're looking for more manual controls and better image quality, a DSLR camera may be the way to go. DSLRs offer a wider range of lenses and accessories, making them ideal for those looking to take their photography to the next level.

When selecting a camera, it's important to consider the type of photography you'll be doing. If you're interested in landscape photography, you may want a camera with a high megapixel count and a wide-angle lens. If you're interested in portrait photography, you may want a camera with a fast lens and a full-frame sensor.

Must-Have Lenses for Beginners

Lenses are essential tools for photographers, and selecting the right lens can make all the difference in your images' quality. A basic kit lens is a good place to start, but investing in a prime lens or telephoto lens can expand your photography capabilities.

A prime lens is a lens with a fixed focal length, meaning it cannot zoom in or out. These lenses are known for their sharpness and low-light capabilities, making them ideal for portrait and street photography. A telephoto lens, on the other hand, allows you to zoom in on your subject from a distance. These lenses are great for wildlife and sports photography.

Useful Accessories for Photography

While a camera and lens are the most important tools in a photographer's kit, there are many accessories available that can help improve the quality of your photographs and expand your photographic abilities.

A tripod is a must-have accessory for any photographer. It allows you to stabilize your camera and take sharp photos in low-light situations. A remote shutter release is also a useful accessory that can help reduce camera shake when taking long exposures.

Filters are another accessory that can help improve the quality of your photographs. A polarizing filter can reduce glare and increase contrast, while a neutral density filter can allow you to use slower shutter speeds in bright light.

Finally, a camera bag is an essential accessory for any photographer. It allows you to safely transport your camera and accessories, while also keeping them organized and easily accessible.

Developing Your Photography Skills

Photography is an ongoing learning process, and there is always room to grow and develop your skills. Here are some tips to help you master your photography skills.

Mastering Manual Mode

Manual mode is the most powerful setting on your camera, and it puts you in full control of your images. By mastering manual mode, you can take complete control of your photography and capture the exact image you envision.

Learning to Shoot in Different Lighting Conditions

Lighting is one of the most crucial elements of photography, and learning to shoot in different lighting conditions can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Whether you're shooting in low light or direct sunlight, understanding how to manipulate light can help you create more interesting and dynamic images.

Experimenting with Different Photography Styles

Photography is a diverse art form with many styles, from landscape to portrait photography. Experimenting with different styles can help you find your niche and expand your artistic abilities.

Building Your Portfolio

Building a portfolio is an essential step in becoming a successful photographer. A portfolio showcases your best work and highlights your unique style and vision. Here are some tips for building your photography portfolio.

Selecting Your Best Work

When selecting images for your portfolio, choose the images that showcase your unique style and vision. Focus on quality over quantity and only include your best work.

Organizing and Presenting Your Photos

Organizing your images in a cohesive and visually appealing way can make all the difference in how your portfolio is received. Choose a layout that highlights your images' strengths and presents them in a clean and professional way.

Creating an Online Portfolio

With the rise of the internet, having an online portfolio has become more important than ever. By creating an online portfolio, you can reach a global audience and showcase your work to potential clients and collaborators.

By following these tips and techniques, you can begin your photographic journey with confidence and create images that showcase your unique style and vision.

If you're eager to dive into the world of photography and don't know where to begin, check out the workshop 'Photography for Beginniners - How to Create Your Brand' by Wesley Verhoeve. This workshop will provide you with essential tips, techniques, and guidance to help you get started with photography and develop your skills as a budding photographer.