Photography is one of the most beautiful hobbies in the world. Do you see it that way? Great, then we would have clarified that already. Nevertheless, many ambitious photography beginners simply don’t succeed in getting into photography.
The first camera is bought and the first photos are taken quickly, but after that many get stuck and it just doesn’t go on.
Of all the people who buy a camera, maybe 5 percent manage to really get into photography and take breathtaking photos.
It doesn’t have to be!
In this article we show you the 10 steps from the bloody photography beginner to the ambitious amateur photographer and give you tips on how you can also go this way successfully.
We want you to be one of the successful 5 percent in the end and we are sure that you can do it!
We have gone through all 10 phases ourselves and therefore know what we are talking about. For us, the process took many years.
So that it does not take so long with you, we have written this contribution. So, and now don’t lose any time, let’s go.
#1 Buy a Camera
100 percent of photography beginners reach this level.
To start taking pictures, you need a camera. We assume that you have already bought a camera and have now come across our article because you want to take the first steps in photography. Great, then you can jump directly to point 2.
If you don’t have a camera yet, you have to take that step. The good news: You don’t have to spend a lot of money on your first camera. From about 300 to 400 Euro you get a decent entry-level camera including lens.
If the huge camera market at the beginning overtaxes you a bit, that is not bad at all. You’re not alone in that. Just have a look at our camera purchase advice. We will explain the different types of cameras to you and show you recommended models for getting started.
#2 Shooting in Auto Mode
100 percent of photography beginners reach this level.
The camera is there and unpacked. Now it’s time to start taking pictures. Probably each photography beginner will go its first steps in the automatic mode. That’s not bad at all and it’s not just for you.
So turn your mode dial to “Auto” and get out. Make your first steps with your camera. You’ll probably make a lot of typical beginner mistakes at first, but that’s part of the learning process.
By the way, we’ve heard many times that photography beginners have set their mode dial to A and then wonder why their images don’t turn out the way they want them to.
A doesn’t stand for automatic, but for aperture and is already a somewhat advanced mode. So make sure that your wheel is set to either Auto or P (which means Program Auto).
#3 Want more
80 percent of photography beginners reach this level.
At step #2, even the first photography beginners get stuck. The pictures from the automatic mode are also quite decent and there is simply no motivation to deal even more deeply with the subject.
No problem. If you are happy with your automatic photos and have no greater ambitions, then we don’t want to persuade you to do anything.
Or do you ask yourself questions like how: What are all the cogs and buttons for? How can I take such great photos with a blurred background? How can I take pictures in the dark?
Great, your fingers seem to tingling and you finally want to make the most of your camera’s capabilities.
The automatic mode clearly has its limits and many photography beginners want to overcome these limits. You too? Great, then you belong to the 80 percent who have made it this far.
#4 Absorb photography knowledge
70 percent of photography beginners reach this level.
As is always the case, some photographers will stick to their good intentions, be it due to lack of time, laziness or lack of motivation. So even at step #3, some will fall by the wayside.
We simply assume that you belong to the 70 percent who are still there. Otherwise you probably wouldn’t be here. Looking at the Internet for simple explanations is the next step for many, others buy photography books and try to fathom the secrets of photography.
What many budding photographers neglect is the camera manual. We strongly recommend that you don’t leave your camera manual out in the cold, but actually use it.
Unlike the instructions for a coffee machine, many camera manuals are really comprehensive and helpful. Try it out! #5 Practice, practice, practice
50 percent of photography beginners reach this level.
Also at step #4 many photography beginners will get stuck again. Internet pages will be rolled out and books bought full of motivation, only to forget the most important thing in photography in the end: Practicing!
It became really still no photographer better, only because he read a book or a guidance in the Internet through-read itself. You can only make progress by reading a book: Practice, practice, practice. And practice!
Up to this stage, perhaps half of all people who once bought a camera with great intentions still manage to do so. Are you there? Yes? Yay-hoo!
#6 The Photography Depression
50 percent of photography beginners reach this level.
If you made it to step #5, then you’ve really come a long way. Unfortunately, you will almost inevitably end up at level #6: in photo depression.
The symptoms are always the same: The initial euphoria disappears when practicing and the camera stops more and more often.
The reasons are different: for many, it’s lack of time, others lack real progress, and they don’t see any real improvement compared to automatic mode.
We don’t know of any photographer who hasn’t gone through this phase at least once.
When you get here, you are at a crossroads. Many photography beginners who are full of motivation and good intentions get out here. They simply shoot in automatic mode again and the camera is only unpacked on holiday, if at all.
That’s a shame, because if you’ve made it this far, the road to success isn’t that far. Don’t let the photography depression take you by surprise and continue your journey!
#7 Finding the way to photographic success
20 percent of photography beginners reach this level.
To outsmart photography depression, step #7 in photography learning for beginners is the most important step.
You’ve probably already tried a few things, browsed your camera manual a little, maybe read a book or various tutorials on the Internet. Maybe you already know how aperture, shutter speed and ISO work and what you can do with them.
But to get ahead now, you have to choose a path and follow it consistently. There are three main ways to success in photography and we will introduce them to you briefly.
1: Reading photographic knowledge and learning to photograph in self-study
Can you motivate yourself very well? That’s great, because then self-learning is the right way for you. Whether you just do it with your camera manual or buy photography books is a matter of taste.
However, only very few people are able to follow this path consistently. We have tried this path ourselves and failed terribly.
It looked something like this: We bought a book and tried it out with our cameras. The book ended up in the closet and so did the camera. A few months later we bought a new book and took some pictures again. Until the next book landed in the closet and so on.
In the end we had a lot of books on the shelf, but we didn’t really get any further with the photography. You see, this method is really only something if you are disciplined and can motivate yourself.
2: Attend photo courses
This method has already worked much better for us. In our early days as photographers we attended various photography courses at the adult education centre. The prices for such courses are reasonable. We paid about 100 Euro each for a course with about 8 dates.
By these courses we were forced to deal really regularly with the photography. This is really important if you want to learn to take pictures. So these two courses really took us a few steps in the right direction.
Of course, VHS courses are quite old-fashioned and often difficult to reconcile with professional life. Nevertheless, we can recommend such a course to you with a clear conscience.
If money doesn’t play a big role, you can of course also book private courses. There are many photo trainers who offer their services. However, this is not very cheap.
3: An online photo course
We always missed dates during the photo courses we attended, because we had to work longer or were out of town.
And somehow this classroom atmosphere in the adult education centre with the retired photographer as teacher didn’t really fit to us. Learning from books didn’t work either.
Back then, we wanted a photo course that we enjoyed, that was unlimited in time and that communicated knowledge not in the old-fashioned way, but in a modern way. We didn’t find what we were looking for back then, but after hard work we still managed to become photographers.
So far, so good. But since we are not the only ones with this problem, we took it into our own hands and developed our online photo course the way we would have liked it to be. So, and now there is another possibility for photographic success, the 22places online photo course.
In our course you learn in 59 lessons, 40 videos and many practical tasks the complete basic knowledge of photography: technical basics, image design, light and image processing. Enjoying learning and easy to understand explanations are a matter close to our heart and this is how the course is designed.
Could this also be your way to photographic success? You can find more information here: 22places online photo course.
#8 Going the way
15 percent of photography beginners reach this level.
If you have decided on one of the ways, then go it also consistently. If you buy a book, don’t put it away after a few hours.
If you book a course, go to every appointment if possible and register for the next one before the first course is over. And if you decide to take our online course, log in regularly and check out a new lesson!
Go the way and don’t give up at the first stumbling blocks. Don’t try another path until you realize that your chosen path is really not the right one for you.
#9 Practice, practice, practice
10 percent of photography beginners reach this level.
None of the paths will lead you to your destination without diligence. Whether you’re learning with books, attending VHS courses, or taking our online photo course, you can only progress by applying what you’ve learned over and over again.
Go out as often as you can with your camera and try out your new knowledge.
You will notice how you get better and better. At some point you’ll be able to make manual adjustments on your own, which may take a long time to think about.
It’s best to look for comrades-in-arms, too. It is always easiest to learn with two or three people.
You can motivate each other and pursue a common goal.
It’s also fun to travel with friends and share a common hobby.
#10 Setting goals and rocking photography
5 percent of photography beginners reach this level.
When you get to step #9, you’ve really done it! Congratulations!
Step #10 is the icing on the cake. Set goals and start your own photo projects. In the meantime, certain motifs have probably already crystallized out, which you especially like to photograph.
What would you rather do? Do you like to photograph architecture or landscapes? Or are you more interested in portrait photography or documentary photography? No matter what it is: Once you have found your passion, follow it on. Show your photos and get better and better.
Photography is the most beautiful hobby in the world. Or is it not?
Photography for beginners: Tell us about your experiences?
In which phase are you at the moment? Do you think that you belong to the 5 percent who make it into the world of photography in the end? Do you have any questions for us? We are looking forward to your comment!