Photography Tips for beginners
Don’t be scared to bring your camera with you on your next vacation whether it is near or far. I’m here to share a few key tips to help challenge yourself, experiment, and develop your own photography style so that you can capture those key moments on your trip.
#1: Look through the Viewfinder and not on your screen.
I know a lot of camera’s today have a screen in the DSLR body. This is a great feature and I’m not suggesting to never use it. But honestly one of the best tips that I got from a professional photographer when I was starting out was to always look through the view finder when you are taking your photos.
This simple step causes you to really focus on what you are looking at. You are literally drawing your eye close to your equipment and really looking at the frame of the composition. Are all your subjects in frame? Is your portrait’s arm getting cut off weirdly? Is your camera level? Are your fingers blocking any of the frame?
I also have one camera body that does not automatically find and focuses on peoples’ faces. I love working with this camera we well because I can manually place where I want my focus in the photo to be. Maybe I don’t want everyone in focus but one specific area. This leads me to my next tip.
#2: Play with your depth of field and fixed lenses
One of the best investments that I ever made with my camera equipment was to purchase a fixed lens. There are so many options that are available for all DSLR camera types and also where you can purchase them that makes it easy.
What is a fixed lens? A fixed lens is a lens that does not zoom in or out. You can choose different types based on focal depth and speed for many DSLR cameras.
I love the depth of field that you are able to achieve with fixed lenses. I have captured some of my favorite moments and memories with my Nikkor 35mm fixed lens for my Nikon D7100. With a fixed lens, you are again forced to really pay attention to your composition. You need to know where you want your focus to be and set that when you are photographing.
Another reason is I love the ease of carrying my DSLR with a smaller lens when I go to events with my friends. I can easily carry it in a crossbody purse or backpack without any extra weight.
Photography Challenge: Play around with crowded bus/train stations. Go to a busy coffee shop and capture the people who are around you, studying. Photograph a 1 subject at different depths of field to see how the background changes.
A lot of people try to direct you on how you should compose your photographs, place your subjects, or light them. I believe that each photographer should develop their own style and own type of photographs that really excites them or inspires them. Photography is meant to be an exploration and want to cause you to experiment. Is everyone one of your photographs going to turn out perfect? No. Are they always going to turn out how you plan them, even when you enter in your data? Also no. But you learn from each photograph that you take. And some of my favorite photographs have ended up like a Bob Ross painting. A happy accident.
Don’t be afraid to zoom in close on a subject or vis versa. Make your subject small in comparison to the landscape, whether it’s natural or urban, and see how the composition changes. The rule of thirds is a good ‘rule-of-thumb’ to follow, especially if you are just starting out, but don’t let that dictate how every photograph should be styled. Create, experiment and make a style that’s all your own.
One of my good friends, Allan Sosa, has a very unique style to his own. He is able to capture some really great natural, candid shots. His photography is reminiscent of Anne Leibowitz but with a modern, hipster flair. His style inspires me to experiment with different angles and not be afraid to get close to my subjects. Check out his full profile here: https://www.instagram.com/allansosa/
Not sure where to get a new lens or other camera equipment? Here are some of my favorite places to get camera equipment or sell some of your old camera equipment:
It’s hard to beat Amazon’s prime delivery service. You can get almost anything within a few days time. Amazon is a great place to get new and slightly used camera equipment quickly and at great prices.
This store is a great place to get new and slightly used camera gear. They also have a great rating scale on what quality equipment you are getting.
Adorama is similar to KEH where you have a large variety of camera gear. They have a great catalog of reviews to also go through which have helped many of my purchases.
And for the Houston locals: Camera Exchange
This is one of my long time favorite places to walk into. They always have a great selection of quality, used camera equipment at great prices.
Hopefully these tips can inspire you to grab your camera and go experiment! I would love to see what you all come up with! If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a comment!