It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re just starting to learn the basics of photography. Taking impressive pictures isn’t as simple as choosing a seemingly interesting subject, snapping a shot, and hoping for the best.
Don’t let this prevent you from improving your skills! It’s important to keep in mind that even professionals started out as amateurs. Few people have enough natural talent to master photography the moment they pick up a camera.
The following are some key beginner tips professional photographers have for beginners. They’ll help you stay motivated when you might otherwise assume you simply don’t have what it takes to succeed.
Photography Tips from Professionals for Frustrated Beginners
“The rule of thirds works 99% of the time.”
-Eric Kim, popular street photographer
Choosing an interesting subject doesn’t guarantee interesting photos. You’ve probably noticed a skilled photographer and an amateur can both take pictures of the same subject, yet only one picture will come out looking good.
This is often because amateurs aren’t familiar with the basics of shot composition. Luckily, a simple shot composition concept, the rule of thirds, can help you improve the pictures you take the vast majority of the time. Read more about it in our guide to the rule of thirds.
“Keep your photos simple.”
-Emil Pakarklis, founder of iPhone Photography School
It’s a common beginner’s mistake that’s luckily easy to avoid. Many budding photographers feel the urge to include as many elements in their photos as possible. This results in a composition that looks cluttered and lacks focus. It’s much better to keep it simple, choosing a single subject and photographing it in a variety of different ways.
“Perhaps try to change the distance to include the detail that can balance the composition.”
-Caio Guatelli, professional photographer
Even some amateur photographers know that choosing a different angle when photographing a subject can improve shots. However, sometimes a different angle doesn’t result in major improvements. It’s important to remember that shooting a subject from a different distance can also be helpful.
For example, perhaps you’re shooting a landscape shot, but every time you take a picture, the result looks cluttered. You might instead back up or move forward and find something to include in the foreground as the primary focus of the shot, such as a sign or a tree. This can give the shot a greater sense of compositional balance.
“With so much of the discourse around photography focused on tools, techniques, and visual gimmickry, and so little attention given to topics relating to creative expression, many end up seeking their style in obvious visual effects or feats of technology, rather than in expressing their own sensibilities—the very thing that makes them unique human beings—in their work.”
-Guy Tal, professional outdoor photographer
This may not be a technical tip, but it’s an important one. Getting so caught up in using the right equipment or apps can prevent you from remembering why you started pursuing photography in the first place. Thus, this might just be the best professional photographer’s tip for beginners on this list. You’ll always stay motivated to become a better photographer if you remember why you’re passionate about doing so.