What were the First Rules and Lessons of Photography that You Learned?
Image by Jason Rust
Someone asked me this morning to give them a few tips on how to teach their child photography. They wanted to know what rules and tips they should be teaching their kids about how to use a camera.
The tips I gave were similar to this post I’ve written on lessons to teach kids about photography but his question also reminded me of some of the early lessons I was taught.
- Probably the first thing I remember my parents telling me about the camera was ‘don’t take too many pictures’. This was of course in the days of film and there was a real cost involved in each frame that I took.
- Other lessons/rules accompanied that advice – “hold the camera still” was one (I remember this one because it came after my parents had a whole role of blurry pictures developed).
- Another that came out of another roll of bad shots was “get close to the person you’re taking a picture of” (36 shots of people that you could barely recognise due to them being like dots on a horizon).
- And then there was the role of shots I’d taken on a beach holiday where all my landscapes had the horizon sloping down to either the right or left – “hold your camera straight” being the rule I learned.
- Then in high school I remember learning some more ‘formal’ rules in a photography class I took. The Rule of Thirds was probably the one that I remembered and used the most.
It turns out that most of these ‘rules’ have stayed with me and did help me improve my images.
What about you? What were the early Rules and Lessons You learned when you were just starting out taking pictures – perhaps even childhood lessons?
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