photography tips for ‘beginners’ (and more)

I wanted to pass on some of the things I’ve learnt over the last 5 years.
yep. I’ve only been doing it (photoing) for 5 years.

1. the camera is not all that important these days. it’s the person (taking the photo) behind the camera that matters. cameras are pretty good these days. phones are also good. so use what ever you want.

2. take plenty of photos. if you wait for photos, you will end up with none or very little to work with.
sometimes I get photo-block. when that happens, I force myself to get the camera out and take photos.
it really works as it gets the mind into gear, and the creative juices flowing.

3. avoid hesitating. this is a big one, particularly if you want to take street shots. if you hesitate, you are sure to miss the opportunity(s). keep the camera a easy reach.
i use a shoulder strap.

shoulder strap

4. sometimes the biggest issue when you first start, can be: what do I want to take photos of?
one way to help with this block is to look at photo web sites. Flickr, Instagram, WordPress etc. etc. can really help one find a focus. these sites also offer feedback and can give you great ideas.
Flickr has really influenced what styles I trended towards.

5. do a course. they can be so helpful to understand all of the functions on your camera.
note: what may work for some one else, may not work for you.
so, there are no absolute rules with photography.

6. avoid taking yourself too seriously. this is a big one for beginners. if you are too hard on yourself/compare yourself to others/get too caught up on the ‘perfect’ photo. etc. you will end up unhappy.

there is an unbridled joy in taking and processing photos.

let yourself enjoy the experience.

7. processing. there are plenty of free software programs on the net like Gimp and they are all relatively easy to use and are great for beginners.

six tips for photoing people

# 1. i try to avoid sneaking around as this behavior draws attention to one.
u can be sneaky though i.e. i like to pretend to take a picture of something else, when i’m really taking a picture of a person.

# 2. even if u don’t feel confident, pretend that u r, as this stops others seeing u as a potential victim. often when i pretend, the confidence comes after a while.

# 3. have a coffee or a drink with caffeine in it. this helps so much. gives u nrg and the courage to get out there and snap snap.

# 4. when u can, get permission to take the photo. i do this animated thing by pointing to the camera and then pointing at the person. u can often get a nod yes. if u get into trouble, just delete the photo (while they are watching u delete it).

# 5. read people’s body language. this is relatively easy, with some practice. u can’t always get it right, but more often than not i do.

# 6. finally don’t run away once u have taken the photo. (this is very important). stand your ground, and act normal. this is this thing that has been crucial in taking street shots for me.