If you’re curious about how to get into photography, there are several things you need to know. Photography is a great hobby, but it can also be a lucrative career.
There are also plenty of photographers who consider themselves somewhere into between hobbyists and careerists when it comes to photography.
They love taking photos and they’ve honed their skill enough that people call on them when they need someone to take professional quality pictures. No matter where you fall on the hobby or career spectrum of photography, if you’re just getting started, it’s important to understand a few things.
4 Simple Steps to Get Started in Photography
Here are the four simple steps you need to follow if you want to learn how to get into photography:
1. Invest in a Camera and Other Equipment
There isn’t a single photographer out there who’s able to practice their new hobby or career endeavor without a camera.
If you are starting out as a beginner photographer it might be possible to rent a camera, but if you’re serious about taking photographs, you are always better off buying.
In the long-run, this is going to be the more affordable option.
So what kind of camera should you buy?
It all depends on your goals. As a new photographer, you might want to invest in a used camera. This way you’ll get a feel for what you like and don’t like without spending what you’d spend on something brand new.
Of course, even a used camera can set you back a few hundred dollars. It’s best to consider how you’ll use your camera and visit a few local camera shops that can help you decide.
There’s also plenty of resources online to help you make your decision.
In addition to the camera itself, there is also plenty of equipment you’ll be able to invest in, such as a tripod, a zoom lens, or a wide angle lens etc.
t’s probably best to choose your camera first before making any decisions about equipment. This way you’ll get a feel for things and know what you like and don’t like, and what you can buy to make things easier or more effective for you.
2. Learn to Use Your Equipment
Once you’ve purchased your camera and any equipment you think you’ll need immediately, it’s time to learn to use everything.
It might come as a surprise to a new photographer, but this is a step skipped by many. The just start snapping away and years later they’re left with plenty of so-so photos, but they never really learned to use what they had.
Newer cameras, especially digital ones, have a lot of features that can vastly improve your photos. Knowing what they are and how to use them can elevate your photographs from basic and beginner to professional quality.
It is important to know how to use the shutter speed, aperture, and the ISO setting effectively and efficiently.
There’s a range of courses available online that can help you learn to use your camera. Many are specific to a certain brand or type of camera, while others are about photography in general.
Photography courses are also popular offerings at local community colleges, education centers, and photography stores. Check out your local area if you think in-person learning might be better for you.
3. Hone Your Skills
At this point, you’ve figured out how to get into photography, you’ve invest in a camera, and you’ve learned a few things about the type of photography you want to practice (our guide to photography niches can help if you are still unsure).
Now it’s time to really hone your skillset. The best way to do this is to practice.
As you learn more about photography and you take a variety of different photos, you’ll learn what you like and don’t like.
Some people love photographing families while others would rather work with objects. Some people like to take pictures of food while other prefer pets. Still others are fans of all kinds of nature photography.
The list of types of photography is practically endless and will have a major impact on what you do once you’ve got the basics down.
Honing your skills is important regardless of whether you ever turn your hobby into a career. It means you’ll learn more about your craft and be able to grow as a photographer.
Don’t be nervous about trying new things and be patient with yourself. You will not be an expert photographer right from the start, but over time you’ll see improvement and be proud of the photographs you take.
4. Consider Turning Your Hobby into a Business
Last but not least, as you get into photography, you’ll learn how to transition from hobbyist to professional photographer. Keep in mind, this doesn’t have to mean working as a photographer full-time.
There are plenty of photography enthusiasts out there who have turned doing something they love into a side gig. As long as you are good at it and you take a professional approach, it’s possible to get paid for taking photographs.
Should you get into photography for the benefit of making money? Maybe. There’s nothing wrong with learning a fun new skill with the intention of eventually earning some money from it.
But it’s also important to have a passion for photography.
No matter your approach, photography is an art and to be successful at it, you need to take a creative and passionate perspective. You can’t just learn the basic skills and expect to earn a living off of snapping photos.
For long-term success, you really must consider yourself an artist and appreciate the medium in which you work.
It’s also important if you intend to turn your photography hobby into a business to learn about the various aspects of running a photography business.
You might be a fantastic photographer, but if you aren’t any good at business management, chances are you should keep what you’re doing a hobby.
This is another reason why it’s so important to make sure you’ve established yourself as a non-professional photographer before making the leap into getting paid.
You don’t want to lose your love for the art just because your business doesn’t take off.
Learning how to get into photography is fun and easy when you follow these four simple steps.