5 Photography Tips for Beginners

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Photographer Tips, Photography Tips


Being a seasoned photographer with years of professional experience is not necessarily a prerequisite to capturing beautiful, professional looking photos. Even the newest of photographers can capture breathtaking, award-winning photographs. Photography is a hands-on learning experience and practice makes perfect, but a few tips from the experts cannot hurt either. Here are a few photography tips for beginners who are looking to advance their camera knowledge and take the best photographs possible.

1. Equipment

There are limitless amounts of photography equipment you can use. Finding the right one for you depends upon the type of photos you plan to shoot. You do not have to buy all of the top of the line equipment at the start. Buy the essentials: a camera body, 50mm lens, zoom lens and external flash. These will help you get started and you can always upgrade and add to your equipment as your photography skills improve.

2. Know the Terms

To help you better understand how to use your new DSLR, it is important for you to know the different terms related to the camera’s manual settings. ISO, aperture, shutter speed and other terms can sometimes confuse a beginner who is unfamiliar with these settings. Let’s take a look at some terms you will regularly come in contact when shooting photos.

female photographer on blue backdrop

ISO ISO is the adjustment you use depending upon the amount of light you are working with. For example, the lower the ISO number you set, the less sensitive the camera is to the light. You can use a low ISO when shooting outdoors on a sunny day and a higher ISO when it is cloudy or when shooting indoors.


The aperture is measured in F-Stops and relates to the size of the lens opening. Using a lower F-Stop will focus on a single item in your picture making the photo background appear blurry. A higher F-Stop will ensure more of your photo is in focus.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed refers to how long the shutter stays open when shooting a picture. Slower shutter speeds are used to allow more light in through the lens when there is an absence of light. Faster shutter speeds work great in bright situations and when shooting moving objects.

3. Use a Tripod

Don’t ever think you can hold the camera still long enough to capture a photo without causing camera shake. Even some of the most seasoned photographers use tripods to eliminate the slightest effects of camera shake.

4. Learn From Others

Watch and listen to other photographers; they are a great resource when looking for photo tips. Remember what they do and what they say about their experiences when on a photo shoot. You can also check out photo books or online sites and study photographs taken by professionals. Then, take what you have learned and try to replicate what they do. As mentioned above, photography is a hands-on learning experience. So play with your camera and the settings until you get shoot the photographs you are looking for. Another thing to consider is taking a photography class at a local college or attending a photography workshop at a local gallery. Learning as much as you can will make experimenting with your camera much easier and fun.

models on photography background

5. Experiment

The only way you are going to learn how to operate your camera in manual mode is to play around and experiment with different settings. In addition to playing with the settings, try shooting in different situations, indoors and outdoors, from different angles and a variety of subjects. Ask family members to be your guinea pigs and experiment shooting portraits of them using different lighting equipment and photography backgrounds. The more you practice, the less you will feel like a beginner. Do not let the fear of trying something new stop you from improving your photography skills. Even the most seasoned photographers have to practice and experiment. Remember, we are all beginners at one time or another. One final tip: carry your camera with you everywhere because you never know when the perfect photographic opportunity will arise.

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

Want to learn more photographer tips? Check out Steps to Becoming a Photographer!

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Comments (3)

  • Alex


    I would love to print this article on my magazine. Please let me know if I can and what credits to add.




    • Backdrop Express Photography Team


      Hi Alex! That sounds great. We will email you for more information.
      -Backdrop Express Photography Team


  • alan leclerc


    Good stuff to know……


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