When you’re just starting out as a photographer, it can feel like an entirely new world has been opened up to you. However, most new photographers start out by asking some of the wrong questions, including “What is the best lens?” and “Which is the right camera?”.
These are natural mistakes to make, because these questions seem logical when you first pick up a camera. While your gear does matter, it’s important to learn the essentials before worrying about getting your hands on the most expensive camera lens.
- Given the choice between paying for a new camera body or lens and a photography workshop, you should always choose the latter. Most novices make the mistake of paying for better gear before educating themselves adequately. Your gear won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use it, which is why you should direct your funds towards experiences and forget the rest temporarily.
- Don’t shoot with other people in mind or to get “likes”. Shoot things that you love; seek out things that inspire you.
- Limit yourself in terms of genre and gear in order to improve as a beginner. Limit yourself to one camera lens for a couple of months and watch your appreciation and understanding of that focal length increase.
- Explore and find your niche. You can’t master adventure, travel, street and wildlife all at once. Experiment with different types of photography, and once you find a variety that you like more than the others, make that your focus and start to improve within your specialty.
- Slow down. With digital photography, one of the things that many photographers have lost an appreciation for is slowing down. It’s easy to shoot a thousand images in a short period of time and pray that one or two turned out well. Try shooting as if you only have 36 photos at your disposal. Slowing down is worth it!
Being a novice photographer is an exciting time. Take advantage of your unconventional perspective, but be prepared to ask the right questions when you find yourself getting stuck.