This is, however, not the correct question in my opinion. It should be appreciated for one to try to improve his or her photography skills. But there is no fast track in photography. In fact, there is no fast track in building knowledge and experience in any domain.
If you are a beginner, be mindful that it will take years if not decades before you are recognised as a successful photographer. Plus, most of the people ended up not being recognised at all.
After reading these few paragraphs, if you are not discouraged – good. You are quite a dedicated photographer. Read on!
I am happy to share my story during my early years of photography, on how I started my photography journey. Here are my three tips for any photography beginner.
Beginner Tip 1 – Develop Your Photographic Eye
“That photo is stunning!”
Have you ever stopped by somewhere and just stared at a photo, because it was so great? I have.
Some of the photographs we see are so unique. They are so different from other, relatively ordinary photos. But have you asked yourself, why?
There could be lots of reasons. But I think the most important reason is that particular photographer sees things differently. Something that only he or she could see. Some details or facts that we have not realised before.
Or the photographer has developed his or her own style. A special technique was used.
As a beginner, it is very important to broaden your horizon by viewing as many photographs as possible. Try to learn from other photographers, interpret their works, or even attempt to make a critique. (Feel free to criticise my works here.) Do you like the work? What would you have done differently? Your aim is to build up your sense of creativeness and sense of photography.
Beginner Tip 2 – Build Your Social Network
Friends are important. Do you have any friends who love photography as well? Connect with them. Go on a photo trip together, or have a cup of tea talking about photography. It can be about anything.
No friends? You can join social groups online as well. Facebook, Reddit, whatever you like. The idea behind is to share views and opinions. Let them see your works. They may or may not like them. Ask them which part they like, and which part they don’t. Ask them for suggestions and ways to improve as well.
Of course, at the end of the day, you are you. You may choose to take those opinions, or not to take any at all. But having community support and social interaction will make you improve quickly.
Beginner Tip 3 – One Camera, One Lens
I always tell my friends: Don’t be the “all the gear, no idea” guy.
New photographers often have the temptation to “collect” gears. Big tele lenses, flashlights, just to name a few. I know it because I was like that too. But having a strong foundation in photography is much much more important than having fancy big cameras.
As a result, I would strongly suggest you start with just one camera, one lens. It can be a kit lens, or a 35mm/50mm fixed focal lens. Make full use of it before getting something new.
Or simply, use your mobile phone!
That is one of the core reason why I created this travel photography blog TraPhoner, with just photos taken with my iPhone. The idea here is you don’t need lots of expensive cameras and lenses and other accessories to take photographs. As a beginner, knowing your own equipment and bringing them to their limits are much more important than getting new ones.
The End of the Beginning
That was how I started my photography journey. I hope the three tips could be useful to any photography beginner. Again, different people have different stories, you may learn some other great tips from them! And honestly you should listen to more, like I said in the second tip!