You have a properly-curated Instagram feed and a stream of Snapchat stories that make everyone suffer from FOMO, but do you have what it takes to be a real photographer? Sure, you can purchase a top-of-the-line camera and start shooting friends and family, but at this point, you don’t quite have the experience or skill to feel (or look) like you know what you’re doing.
Don’t worry, though. Whether you’re just dabbling with photography for fun, or wanting to start a serious side hustle, here are 7 ways to improve your photography skills (even if you’re not a professional…yet).
1. Tap into the free tutorials
Beyond your camera’s instruction manual (which, by the way, you should reference), there are thousands of free online resources and videos available to you through the magic of Google. For example, here’s a great beginner video on YouTube that can help you!
2. Find and reference websites that can give you great behind-the-scenes advice
There are countless blogs and sites dedicated to helping photographers get started in their craft. Plenty of them offer free videos, tutorials, and downloadable resources, as well as paid memberships. If you’re looking to get started without spending too much, tap into the freebies. If you’re looking to get serious, and the cost isn’t too big of a factor, consider a paid subscription-based service or online class to help you dig deeper.
For example, here’s a husband and wife who use their blog to share everything they know about photography.
3. Sign up for Adobe Creative Cloud.
Not only is this something you’ll consistently use as you get more familiar and comfortable taking photos, but you’ll want to have it as a resource from the start, as Photoshop and other editing tools can help you sharpen, remove white balance, and alter the color or composition of your pictures.
4. Purchase a tripod or stand, and learn about stabilization
We’re human. Even when we try our best to stay absolutely still, we might have twitches, shakes, or movements that can alter our photos or cause them to blur. Regardless of whether this is an issue starting out, it’s a great idea to invest in a tripod to help keep your camera steady, as well as straight for all types of photography.
5. Look into PixieSet
On the business end of things, it’s important to have an easy way for you to share photos between you and your client. Even if you’re not using this tool for customers, it’s a great way to have your photos all in one place.
6. Take a local photography class
Search for photography classes in your area and sign up. These are often cheaper and more hands-on than an online class, and there’s the possibility of being close to home as well. These classes will also help you get acquainted with your camera in a more comfortable environment, letting you see what you’ve known in a new light.
7. Reach out to experts
Follow excellent photographers on social media, check out and save clippings from magazines or articles that contain photos that resonate with you. Ask questions. Reach out to people for help or idea. Don’t be afraid to sound inexperienced because you are, and that’s okay. We all start somewhere.