What To Do When You Get a new Camera {New Photographer Advice}

Rangefinder CameraSometimes when you buy your camera and if you don’t have a specific goal (i.e.: I’m going to be a wedding photographer or I’m going to take pictures of my new baby), knowing the path to move forward and become a better photographer is sometimes hard. There is a lot of advice out there on what to do with your new camera and I thought I’d come up with a bit of a simpler list.  If the list feels like it was written with a bit of passion it’s because it was.

  • Take lots of pictures
  • Move from green mode to Av early (have your images defined by the depth of field)
  • Then shoot in manual mode
  • Understand manual mode
  • Shoot more pictures
  • Read the manual
  • Yes, it’s boring and isn’t a shiny new toy but read it anyway
  • Take pictures of your friends, your family, your pets
  • Make silhouettes of your friends and family
  • Make high key images of your friends and family
  • Read on the internet how do high key, then low key
  • Notice how a well lit image looks awesome
  • Start looking at light. Every day. Every where. Look at how shadows look on a cloudy day and a bright day. Look at how people’s faces look in shadows and light, and remember that.
  • Realize that the best camera in the world with the best gear will take a shitty picture if you don’t know what you’re doing (case in point: the tons of photographers out there with $10k rigs using it to take pictures that you can take on your iPhone)
  • Notice the light when you see a random scene and think how gorgeous it looks
  • Realize (hopefully before you’ve been taking pictures for 10 years) that IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LIGHT
  • Take more pictures
  • Bring your camera with you everywhere
  • EVERYWHERE
  • Read the manual again
  • Start to figure out what you want to take pictures of
  • Take more pictures of that thing
  • Reject an offer to shoot a wedding for $100 “because you have a good camera”
  • Take more pictures of the things you love
  • Realize it’s about capturing moments

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