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21 Readers Tell What they Wish They’d Known about Photography

Over the weekend I asked our Facebook page (please ‘like us and share it with your network) a quick question about what they wish they’d known when they first started out in photography. I gave them a 50 word limit an over the next 48 hours hundreds of great tips came in.

Image: Image by JOHN CORVERA


Here are 21 tips that were ‘liked’ by others most.

  1. “You can’t please everyone!” – Tonya Holsey
  2. “Learn Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO first. Stay on Manual. Shoot Raw.” – Alfredo Avila
  3. “Don’t Buy the Kit Lens!” – Shari Schoeman
  4. “Don’t be afraid of taking bad pictures.” – John Ireland
  5. “Practice, practice, practice. Art is interpreted individually. But have fun experimenting!” – Jonathan McGill
  6. “Don’t think you need the best camera or equipment. You only need inspiration and a dream” – Julie Williams
  7. “Practice until using the various settings becomes an automatic skill and then relax into the ‘art’ of photography. Lighting is your friend and your enemy, stay on its good side at all times.” – Donna Seen
  8. “Take a film class so you have to learn iso, shutter speed, and aperture really well! Practice, practice, practice! Change your perspective. When looking at other people’s work don’t just think “that’s a cool shot!” Ask yourself WHY you like it and then try to apply that to your own shots.” – Annie Richardson
  9. “A 50mm f/1.8 lens will change your life.” – Enrique Villarreal
  10. “Take your camera with you. Everywhere. “Almost” all the time.” – Mike Smith
  11. “Just because the vintage effect looks “nice,” doesn’t mean you have to use it on every. Single. Picture.” – Kaylene Morgan Pinkham
  12. “Take a picture everday, challenge yourself. Read your manual. Learn your camera settings.” – Lori Granquist Day
  13. “They are not all keepers, and just as a hammer doesn’t build an amazing house a camera doesn’t take an amazing photo. They are tools. Think outside the box.” – Brad Beavers
  14. “You can’t fix everything in Photoshop. Pay attention to the background.” – Beverly Everson
  15. “Don’t show people the bad stuff. Shoot 300, show 1.” – Matthew Rubel
  16. “Just because you love photography, doesn’t mean you have to make it your PROFESSION. If it’s your passion + you are ready to dedicate yourself to the art, never give up and go for it!” – Tiffany Kay
  17. “My Photography teacher always said When you see Action, Turn around. Meaning watch the people who are watching a event happen.” – David Counts
  18. “Find the light, but don’t be afraid of shadows.” – Amber Oman
  19. “Leave your camera at home, walk around for 4 weeks and learn to SEE first. Collect pictures in your head until you really hate, that you don’t have the camera with you.” – Manuel Dorn
  20. “Get inspiration from other photographers work but never copy. Make your photos a reflection of what’s in your heart.” – Céline Allano

Here’s one more from Karen Rader who went a little over 50 words but whose words seemed to resonate with a lot of our readers:

“Master ISO, aperture and shutter speed. Shoot everyday. Study your results (including what shutter speed, ISO and aperture settings you used for your favorite shots).

Anytime you feel that your equipment is inadequate, it just means you need to master the basics better. The master photographers from 50-100 years ago didn’t have anything as fancy as you are holding in your hot little paws, so claiming inadequate equipment isn’t a good excuse. Work on your skills.

Composition is everything. Study the master painters (Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, etc) for inspiration in composition. Start to see things as a painter.

Hit us over the head with your subject. Make it obvious what we are supposed to be seeing. Remove the clutter.”

What do YOU wish you’d known about photography when you first started out?

The tips above only scratch the surface of what was submitted – you can see the full range of responses here.

I’d also love to hear what tips you wish you’d known when you started out. Feel free to either add them on Facebook or in comments below!

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Darren Rowse
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+.

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