15 Essential Beginner Photography tips

If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you're not out there, you'll only hear about it.

If you clicked on this post it's because you want to learn more about photography, so that above quote is super important. You have to get out there and capture the moments you want. Here are 15 beginner friendly tips that  can help you get out this week and start taking photos.

1. Envision, Plan, and then Create

The fun thing about photography is that your creativity is unlimited. Nothing is wrong with finding inspiration from other photography. If you want to get creative, get inspired first. Make a list of shots you'd like to get. Spend some time thinking about what type of photos you want to create and how you can do it. Then get to work! If you find inspiration from someone else, make it your own. Find the perfect angle, lighting, composition, and really make it personal to you.

2. Try out new angles!

Speaking of angles get funky with it! Try getting on your knees to take photos. Take images at hip level. Go high with chairs or stools(literally me all the time haha)  Capturing different perspectives diversifies your images because the point of view is so different. You'll see this alot in stock photos. It's a great way to vary images and make them look different!

3. Photograph what you love

Focusing on what you love will make photographing a subject so much easier! Say for instance you love babies well take pictures of babies! Find out what you are passionate about whether it's people, nature, pets, or objects. You won't know unless you just try.  This will help you overcome obstacles and keep you interested in photography.

4. Watch your lighting, especially the golden hour

Sometimes sun can be too harsh. The best rule of thumb is to work with lighting in the early parts and later parts of the day when lighting is still prevalent but not to extreme. The best time to shoot is during the golden hour. That's when the subtle golden light from the low-hanging sun cast a warm glow, and shadows become long and dramatic, but not harsh. These are best done following sunrise and leading up to sunset!

5. Play with the rule of thirds

While framing your shot, visualize 4 lines, two lying across the image and 2 lying vertically across the subject creating 9 equal squares, that is your grid. Cameras and phones have this type grid on there which saves tons of time! Play around, don't just put your subject in the center. Putting objects off center creates an aesthetically composed photograph.

6. Candid photos are the best photos!

Personal touch is always good and as a new photographer this could be the first step to creating photos you love. Catch subjects enjoying the moment. Move around and be discreet almost like a fly on the wall (taking awesome pics).

7. Don't use the built in flash as the primary source.

Built in flash causes shadows and highlights that are unflattering. It should only be used for fill in light under harsh sunlight or if it's simply no light available.

8. Ditched the heavy editing

Sometimes simple is better. Don't go heavy on vignette, saturation, contrast, etc. unless you have a certain image in mind.

9. Be aware of your subject and it's background

Number 1 rule of composition. Look at your surroundings. You don't want a dog taking a big poop "emoji" in a picture where your subject is the bride and groom. Make sure you are looking at the whole picture. Move things around, get dogs out of the way haha, and make sure the subject is the main focus.

10. Play with ordinary objects

Don't be afraid to play with ordinary objects. I do this alot in my flat lay images and stock photos. The most basic items can do so much to an image so don't overlook the mundane things. Look at objects and scenes with  fresh eyes, you may catch an interesting trick of the light or find unexpected items hiding like wallflowers!

11. Fill up the frame

To make your subject look bigger zoom in  or move in closer on the subject, fill up space. This puts greater emphasis on the subject at hand.

12. Create Leading Lines

Use architectural lines like walls, fences, road lines etc. to lead the eye through the photography and draw attention toward the main subject.

13. Don't use flash inside

If you can keep flash off inside, do it. Like my previous tip, flash creates harsh unflattering shadows and highlights. Basically it makes your image look unnatural. With dslr cameras you can prevent this by boosting up the ISO to 800-1600 then use the widest aperture(allows more light to enter and creates a gorgeous blurred background) possible. But that also requires a steady hand!

14. Avoid Camera or Phone Shake

One of my biggest pet peeves is a  blurry image. To avoid camera shake use both hands and hold it close to your body. If you are using a camera make with one hand you are holding the body and with the other hand you are holding the lens. Use a camera or phone tripod for steady photos.

15. Experiment and take chances!

Your first couple of pictures aren't going to be the best but that doesn't mean you need to give up! Experiment, research, find inspiration, and just start. Enjoy the learning process and don't get stressed if it's taking you awhile to figure it out. We all start from somewhere.

Did you learn something new? What are you struggling with in terms of photography?

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  1. Thanks for the tips! I am starting to experiment more with photography because I want to grow my Instagram following and create better blog content. I struggle with getting the right lighting for my photos, but have tried to plan times during the day when lighting is best!

  2. Great tips, and even if i am blogging for some time, there are so many new things i should learn. Thanks for sharing xo


  3. I've been teaching myself photography for the last couple years - lots of good points here, I had to learn them the hard way!

  4. These tips are gold. Thank you for sharing, I'm blogging for almost a year now and I love photography but never really got into it. Will use all the tips for a shooting today. xxxxx

  5. I've just taken an introductory photography course, and your post was such a great summary of it. I'm still working on practising these things and it's good to have a resource that summarizes them for me. :)

  6. You are so right about the golden hour! My favorite pictures are always taken then. The lighting so pretty but not too harsh. I love all these tips!

    xoxo, Nicole | www.blondeintheburbs.com

  7. These are great tips. And I agree that the less editing the better! Thanks for sharing!

  8. #4 is SO important! I don't even bother shooting at the wrong time

  9. These are great tips! Thank you for sharing.

  10. These are awesome tips - many of which are beyond the obvious ones that you see on many blogs. Thank you so much for gathering these together!

  11. I love trying out different angles and just experimenting with my photography in general, taking more chances is what I'm all about lately!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode