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Best Photography Tips for Beginners – The Top 5

In this post I will outline the best photography tips for beginners – the top 5. These photography basics can really help you to improve your photography, though they may not be what you were expecting……..

You Need These Photography Tips For Beginners!

You grab out your shiny new DSLR camera. Sling it over your shoulder, and head out the door. Your head swoons with an array of perfectly framed, colour-rich photographic masterpieces that you will no-doubt capture.

Reality however…..can be cruel.

Looking at your photos later that day on your computer, you are all but brought to tears. Instead of a host of perfectly framed, colour-rich masterpieces, you sit there staring at a hoard of blurry, over-exposed, awkwardly-framed images that just beg you to hit the delete key! Sound familiar?

Well, I have been there and I am here to help. Below is a list of my Top 5 Photography Tips for Beginners. They may not help you produce masterpieces but they will certainly help you stay away from the delete key.

My Top 5 Photography Tips For Beginners

1. Use Auto Mode

I’ll bet you didn’t expect that to be the first one right? Every photographer always dreams of mastering Manual Mode, don’t they?

I myself spent perhaps 20 minutes in Auto Mode when I first got my DSLR. As soon as I noticed how none of the photos were turning out how I’d pictured them in my head, I couldn’t wait to turn that dial to “M.” In hindsight, I wish I had spent more time in Auto Mode.

You can learn a lot from the settings your camera chooses in Auto Mode. You can learn about shutter speeds, ISO, Apertures, Focus Points, Metering Modes, and so many other things. All of this can help you choose better settings when do decide to turn that dial.

So use Auto Mode and study the camera settings for each shot. They are like a yellow brick road that leads to better shots.

You may also like my 6 Great Photography Tips post. Go there now for links to half-a-dozen really great blog posts for beginners about photography basics and more…

2. Hold the camera correctly

This may seem a bit obvious, but if you are holding the camera wrong it can really effect the quality of your photos. You will get less camera shake in your photos by having the right grip on your camera.

Firstly, hold it with both hands. Two is always better than one.

Your right hand should grip the hand-grip with three fingers, leaving your index finger free to press the shutter button. Your thumb will sit in the thumb grip on the back of the camera so it is free to work the controls back there.

You then cup the lens with your left hand and your fingers are right there to work the focus/zoom rings.

Keeping your elbows tight against your body will provide more stability and ensure you get sharper photos.

I have written another blog post about how to hold a camera correctly and you can read it here.

3. Learn your camera

I know that reading the manual is a task that belongs in the too-hard-basket for most of us, but it will help. Knowing at least the main functions of your camera is going to make taking photos a more enjoyable experience.

If you don’t want to read the manual, then watch some YouTube videos on your camera model, or Google the information.

  • Learn what all the buttons and dials do.
  • Learn what all the shooting modes do and how to dial them in.
  • Explore the camera’s menu and make sure you know where to find everything
best photography tips for beginners - man holding a camera with lines and question marks coming out of it indicating all the buttons and functions of the camera
Learn all the functions of your camera

Doing even just the 3 things above will make sure that you feel more comfortable and confident working your camera. This will be at least one less thing to worry about when you’re out shooting.

You don’t want to be at a your child’s birthday and miss out on them blowing out the candles because you were fumbling about trying to find Auto Mode, or how to make the flash work!

4. Take As Many Photos As You Can!

Photography is like anything else – the more you do it, the better you get at it.

best photography tips for beginners - rolls of camera film lined up with an olympus camera sitting on top
The days of film are long-gone

Digital cameras have given us the gift of being able to press that shutter button as much as we damn-well-like!

It’s not like we have to head off to the camera store anymore, with our roll of film and our hard-earned money; eager to see if our photos turned out or not. We can click away until we blister!

I suggest you take heaps of photos and learn-as-you-go. Put your camera on continuous shutter release mode and take multiples every time you click off a photo. This increases your chances of getting a great shot as you will move slightly during most shots, but there will likely be one in the bunch that will be tack-sharp.

Having a full SD card is something you should aim for when you start out taking photos. Deleting the bad ones is easy, but magically conjuring up the ones you missed is not.

5. Get Hungry For Photography.

best photography tips for beginners - a dslr camera on a white plate with a silver knife and fork next to it.
Get hungry for photography

I don’t mean food. Although, you may get a bit peckish if you’re out hiking miles for great photos every day. I mean get hungry for information about photography.

Consume YouTube videos; read photography blogs, flick through magazines and books, sign up for photography courses in your area. You will find so many photography tips for beginners online. All of these things will make you a better photographer. And……..some of them are free!

#shamelessplug My YouTube channel is packed with great photography tutorials for beginners that can help you improve. You can find some of those videos and more right here on the Skills page of my website.

Let’s Sum Up This Photography Tips For Beginners Post

So there are the best photography tips for beginners – the top 5 at least. Take what you like from them and use it and what doesn’t sit right with you, leave behind.

Just remember, there is a world of photography how tos out there to help you improve. So make use of as much of it as you can, and what you learn – teach to others.

What are some of your best photography tips? Please put them in the comments below, I’d love to hear them.

Make use of those social sharing buttons down there too and let others know about this blog. Thanks for reading.

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