Quick Photography Tips for Newbies

cupcake-love-in-111-bwBag: UNDFIND One Bag / Camera strap: Bloom Theory

I remember when I first started photography back in 2009 and how much I had to learn.  It took time, but I was on the fast track of learning with the photography careers peeking, the culture was so much different back then than it is today.  Of course, I am in a different place in my career but I so hope that it’s just as exciting, welcoming, into networking as it was when I started.

Things that clean images up:

  • Toss images that are blurry
  • Toss images where eyes are not in focus (ie blurry)
  • Not overexpose images which shows loss of detail
  • Not post/blog about sessions or shots that are not your style
  • Correct/straighten lines in shots (stairs, doorways, horizons)
  • Pay attention to composition

You should know:

  • Back button focus
  • Understand lens options
  • Know the difference between AI Servo and AI Focus and One Shot and when to use
  • What to do in low lighting situations
  • Be an expert in Photoshop
  • Read your manual on your camera so you know how to use it (there are additional guides out there)
  • Don’t tilt your head when you take pictures, keep it straight.  A battery grip can help with portraits.

Things you should be doing:

  • Take workshops, concept shoots are great too
  • Learn marketing and how to network
  • Make your business an LLC
  • Insure your equipment ($500 yearly)
  • Reading photography blogs and learning tips
  • Don’t forget I teach online workshops at your convenience! ;)


  • You should have peers in the same stage of business as yourself – to bounce questions off of, to grow with, to depend on.
  • If you need, pay for mentorship with a more experienced photographer – respect their limited time and their wisdom they paid money to have.
  • Go to WPPI or another photography convention

On a side note, you may be wondering what to photograph for free and what to pass.  Read this post for tips.

As with anything, if you truly love it, and you want to succeed and make it your living, you need to give your time into it.  This also depends on how much you want to get into it – you might be comfortable with where you are and that’s completely fine!  There’s no pressure to be the most sought after photographer if you don’t want to be, or don’t have the time.  Be realistic about your goals helps you decide how much time and money to put into it.

Diana Elizabeth was thinking about how she wants to be a good knitter, but she’s not quite sure if she wants to be an expert knitter.  Does she ever have the desire to knit a sweater?  Perhaps not, so that will determine how much learning time she gives.  But talk to her again come summer, she might be bored and will want to advance.

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next creative themed party. She continues to blog weekly.


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