If you are a beginner photographer, everything may seem overwhelming, as there’s a lot to learn at once. But there are still some things tutorials or course books won’t teach you, and photographer Toma Bonciu has created a list of seven lessons like this.
These are the things you need to know before you start the wonderful journey of photography. They aren’t the tips about gear, composition and the like. They are useful and essential advice to prepare you for the process of learning and growing as a photographer.
1. Expensive gear doesn’t mean good photos
If you’ve been shooting with your phone and you like it, you’re probably thinking of upgrading your gear. If your budget is limited, you don’t need to be desperate about it. Switching from phone camera to a high-end DSLR won’t make your photography better.
So, invest in yourself instead. Keep in mind that skill doesn’t come with expensive gear, but with learning and practicing constantly. And for this, even an entry level camera will do.
2. Knowing the place doesn’t mean you know how to photograph it
The way our eyes see the scene differs from the way camera sees it. So, even if you know a certain place and you’ve been there a hundred times, this doesn’t mean you’ll instantly be able to capture it as you want. Try it with a sunset and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Of course, don’t give up on learning, practicing and exploring. With your camera in hands, you will learn how to properly capture the place you know so well. And even better – you can also see the familiar place with new eyes.
3. Subject is the king
In other words, when you take the photo, you need to know who or what your subject is. Pick it wisely, and let your viewer know where to focus their eyes.
You can achieve it in a number of ways: shallow depth of field, complementary background, composition… But you will learn this as you read the theory and practice what you’ve learned.
4. Light is king’s sister
I’m not sure I agree with this, as there would be no photography if there weren’t for the light. But anyway, keep in mind that light is everything. Follow the light, explore it, and of course – learn about it. It’s an essential component of photography, and you must know how to use it.
5. Mistakes will happen, learn from them
Before you begin, you need to have in mind that mistakes and fails will happen – a lot! Don’t let this discourage you. Move on, keep growing, and cherish your mistakes, because they give you valuable lessons. See what you can learn from them and how you can improve.
6. You will never know everything
No matter how fast you learn and how much you’ve learned – you’ll never know everything. Photography is a vast area for learning and exploring, and there’ll always be something new to learn or something old to learn better.
7. Haters will come – ignore them
As you learn and grow, you’ll start gaining the audience. And with the attention, haters will come. Have this in mind and ignore them. Learn to separate constructive criticism from meaningless negative comments. Then use the criticism to learn and improve, and ignore the hate, it will bring you nothing good.
If you are a beginner, these are only some of the things you should know. But, I believe they are all important lessons you should remember, in addition to all the other things you’re learning and discovering. And if any of you readers is an experienced photographer, tell us – what’s your piece of advice for newbies? What would you tell to someone who’s just starting out? Share your thoughts in the comments.