5 Essential Photography Tips and Tricks for Beginners

By: The Art Institutes Filed under: Marketing

January 16, 2019

When you’re new to the field of photography, figuring out what you need to know and how to start refining your skills can be overwhelming. Don’t let that stop you. Every photographer starts somewhere. If you’re a beginner, these five essential photography tips and tricks can help you level up your photography fast.

1. Dedicate Yourself to the Craft

Bring your camera everywhere you go. If you leave it behind, at the very least, you can use your phone’s camera to note a place you’d like to revisit to photograph properly. If you’re hoping to recapture the lighting, note things like weather and time of day as well.

Take photographs every day. Critique your work and learn from it. When photos turn out badly, ask yourself why. Was it a camera setting? Composition? Lighting? Mistakes are valuable teaching opportunities.

If you want to pursue a photography career, consider going to photography school , where you can learn photography tips and techniques from experts in the field. You can dig into understanding the equipment, techniques, and software used by professional photographers, while building the knowledge and skills to impress potential employers and clients.

2. Learn the Basics of Exposure

Fixing poor exposure (how light or dark your shot appears) in post-production is no easy task. It’s best to get it right the first time around. You can manually find the right exposure by adjusting your camera’s shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings (all settings you should take the time to learn about). If you’re shooting in automatic mode, adjust the exposure compensation by using the “+/-” symbol.

3. Find Your Focus

Focus is another thing you can’t truly fix in post-production, so make sure your photography subject is crisp and in focus. You can use a wider aperture to blur the background and bring more attention to your subject. What exactly you choose to focus on, depends on what you’re shooting. The most important of photography tips for people and pets is to focus on the eyes.

4. Take Advantage of Good Lighting

Photography’s golden hour is the one-hour window after sunrise or before sunset, when the light is diffused and particularly flattering. You can also often get good light beside windows, using thin curtains to experiment with diffusing the light. When outdoors, avoid having the sun behind your subject. And always be careful about using your flash, especially when you’re close to the subject.

5. Consider Composition

There are many photography tips and tricks related to composition. However, the rule of thirds is one of the simplest and best-known photography tips. When you look in your camera, imagine lines dividing the image into thirds horizontally and vertically. This results in a grid of nine equal rectangles. Where the lines intersect is where your subject should be. This places your subject slightly off center, adding more interest to your shot.

Another way to improve your shots is to change your perspective. Stand on something or crouch down low to see your subject in a new way. Even something as basic as turning your camera vertical instead of horizontal can help your composition.

Take Digital Photography Classes Online

At The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division , we offer certificate, associate degree, and bachelor degree Digital Photography programs , available 100% online, on your schedule. You can learn and share your work in an interactive, engaging online classroom, getting critiques from your fellow creatives and faculty* with years of experience in the photography field. You’ll learn and practice the photography tips, tricks, and techniques mentioned above along with many, many more. Request information today to speak with an Admission Representative about finding the right program for you.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Learn more about our programs.

Get Brochure