10 Tips for Photography Students

10 Tips for Photography Students


dover-middle-school-click.pngOne of the exciting things about editing Digital Photography School lately is some of the email that I get from readers. One type of email that I’ve been getting increasingly lately is from teachers and students of schools who are using DPS as a resource for their studies.

One such email came recently from Sharla Hartzell, the teacher of an 8th grade photography class at Dover Middle School. Sharla thanked me for DPS and told me about how her class (pictured right – image by Eric Hartzell) had been reading it.

I emailed back and asked her if perhaps her class might be interested in writing a short guest post for DPS – summarizing some of the lessons that they’d been learning about digital photography.

The class was divided into groups and each group came up with a list of photography tips. They then came together to come up with their Top 10 tips for photography students. Here it is!

Dover Middle School’s 10 Tips for Photography Students

1. Hold the camera steady with your elbows close to your body, or propped on something stable (table, bench, etc.) OR use a tripod.

2. Don’t be afraid of angles or changing your orientation (portrait or landscape).

3. Before pressing the shutter button, check your focus points. Is your photo focused on the subject or on something in the foreground or background?

4. Check your camera settings before shooting photos…Are they correct for the current conditions? ie: ISO, Shutter Speed, White Balance, etc.

5. Listen to your teacher (if in a classroom situation) AND use great resources such as DPS!

6. Listen to experienced photographers. Also, view and study works of other photographers. This helps provide different perspectives and inspiration.

7. Learn how to use the Macro settings (or Macro lens) for your camera. Give the smallest details of nature great importance!

8. Use the continuous shooting mode to capture movement.

9. Take LOTS and LOTS of pictures!

10. Have FUN!

You can see some of the work of the class who put this list together here.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • Peter Kilcommon April 19, 2013 09:03 pm

    Its good to see that there are classes for the young however there are some of us who at the ripe old age of 69 are just taking up photography as a hobby. Personally i have not got a clue at what i am doing and i find this site to be a Godsend so it would be nice if sometimes the oldies might be taken into consideration. I have just bought my self a nice DSLR ( is that how you put it) i have now got a Nikon D3200 with the kit lens and i have bought a 55-200mm VR lens as well. Any comments and guidance would be gratefully received. Regards Pete.

  • mamka April 7, 2013 05:07 pm

    i am a newbie here, hope that tips can make me learn photography easily.

  • Suzy March 28, 2012 09:07 pm

    Great tips,
    We, at Cambridge Middle School, New Zealand are just starting up our phtography group.We have just visited Michael Jeans exhibition in our local town and students are enthusiastic. We have a lovely local photographer leading us and joining this forum will help us all.

  • Blackledge July 7, 2010 07:54 am

    cool picsxxx

  • Bottenfield March 22, 2010 09:26 pm

    nice post, nice blog! :)

  • CALVIN September 30, 2009 03:57 am

    great tips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Danny November 16, 2008 09:32 am

    i think this a wonderful article^^. i especially agree with #2. not to be afraid of trying different angles, personally i found this one a real eye opener for me.

    i would also like to agree with Bob when he mentioned 'There is more than objects in nature to photograph with a macro lens'... i would like to add a little tidbit of info and personal experience...there are a lot of photographer who shoot macro and who are good at it. i saw in one of my photography books something about is and i had to try shoot macro. i bought a lens and tripod and went on major hunt for insects (as i thought this may be a good starting point in my "macro experience"). after about a week of taking about 1000 pictures of insects and bugs (of all shapes and sizes) i took the pictures to a friend who mentioned that all my "insect" pictures turned out only average and i had nothing spectacular - like the 'real' macro photographer. i was upset at this comment as i had/have a major phobia of bugs in general. so i tried something completely different. i ended up doing a whole portfolio on just peoples EYES!

    maybe another rule to add...

    #12: try new things (something completely different). try photographing something or someone in the rain, or try underwater pictures...ect

  • sanket November 10, 2008 09:25 pm

    I am one of the enthusiastic, always hunt for more information about photography, I found this tips are really useful, really thanks for sharing your knowledge

  • ladybug706 November 9, 2008 03:32 am

    I really wish that some of the local middle and high schools had a photography classes or clubs. I love that the next generation is really interested.

  • Kristin November 9, 2008 03:16 am

    Thanks for the guest post, guys! I hope you keep shooting and learning. The pictures on the student website show great potential. I hope you keep it up. :)

  • fromBrandon November 9, 2008 01:05 am

    Good stuff, and great idea for a post. I am jealous hearing about kids getting to take digital photography classes in school nowadays. We had photography, but it was a lot more complicated and expensive to be into it back then. Digital has helped me discover my love for the art.


  • Bob Stothfang November 9, 2008 12:59 am

    Great guest article. Glad to see the class is using the resources here on DPS. I wish there would have been a photography class and DPS available to me when I was in the eighth grade in 1957-58.

    I would like to expand on #7...
    There is more than objects in nature to photograph with a macro lens.

    While nature provides an abundance of objects to photograph, get your macro lens up close and personal with small man made objects too. Photograph the inner workings of an old watch, jewelry, circuit boards, small instruments etc.

    I enjoy nature photography as much as the next person, but if I see one more photo of the itsy bitsy spider with the beady eyes...well you get the idea.

    For Jim Fitzsimmons #11 in the comments; If you use shade then a bit of fill flash does wonders for the image if you also have objects illuminated by the sun in the frame too.

  • Bryan November 8, 2008 06:34 am

    Great advice, especially #9. You learn best by doing!

  • Jim Fitzsimmons November 8, 2008 05:41 am

    They missed one....

    11. Get your subjects out of the shade! Yikes! or at very least, photoshop it a bit before sending it to DPS. If I'm ever that cyan, call an ambulance!! :)

  • Saralonde November 8, 2008 05:30 am

    I LOVE knowing there is a new generation of young photographers out there! That's a great list for new photographers and for more experienced photographers that need to be reminded.

  • Rosh November 8, 2008 01:59 am

    Good list.

    I can't resist throwing in my favorite. The triangle method. Shooting wide, medium and close up. This helps to create lots of variety in the photographs.


  • Nathan November 8, 2008 01:16 am

    It's great to see the next generation of competition. ;)

    Kidding aside, I hope the kids at Dover Middle School are inspired to continue making great photographs! Kudos to their teacher for piquing their interest in such a great art.

  • cristiano007 November 8, 2008 01:14 am

    Very good tips for any level photographers.I would love to read some professionals commenting these!