Learn your equipment.
“The more you know about a camera, the more you can take advantage of it, and you can change things on the fly,” explains photographer Jeff Carlson. If you take a picture of a sunset with a DSLR camera, you need to know how to quickly adjust your aperture and shutter speed to work with changing light. It’s important to get to know your camera, so you don’t miss that perfect shot of the sun slanting through trees and clouds.
“It’s not all about the equipment, it’s how you use it. Learn how to use what you have. Even if you just have an iPhone, you can still get creative with that,” says photography Sarah Marcella. Smartphone cameras and digital cameras of all kinds have come a long way, and with post-processing photo editing tools like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, you can easily, and professionally, edit your photos anytime.
Take lots of pictures.
“My number one piece of advice is to practice. I learn something new every time I shoot. Every environment and every photoshoot is unique,” says photographer Jenn Byrne. Practice doesn’t just mean you go to a photo studio and take lots of photos. You also have to capture images in the moment and hone your artistic vision. Bring your camera with you when you’re out in the world and take photos of the things that interest you. Take close-up pictures of plants while on a walk, or take candid portraits of your family.
“Shoot a lot of photos and recognize that you’re going to make a lot of really bad photos and that’s okay,” says Carlson. Every image you capture won’t be beautiful. Even professional photographers take bad photos. It’s through trial and error that you get better and find the style and approach that interests you. Try, fail, and try again.