How can I teach myself photography?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    It is undeniable that photography is the art form of the modern era because nearly everyone has access to a camera, and the proliferation of user-friendly, professional-grade editing software has caused the medium to flourish.

    Because of all of these factors, a new generation of amateur photographers has emerged, and their numbers are greater than they have ever been before. But for those who want to move beyond the realm of beginners, is going to photography school necessary?

    If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

    When it comes to people's values and bank accounts, teaching any kind of creative discipline can be a minefield. Do you need formal training to compete with the millions of images that are uploaded to sites like Instagram and Flickr? This question arises in a time and place where many professional photographers have difficulty finding paid work. To begin, it is necessary to determine the reasons behind your interest in acquiring the skills.

    This is the guide for you, whether you want to photograph weddings, families, seniors, landscapes, or nature. It does not matter what kind of photography you want to shoot. No matter what they want to photograph, beginners should have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of how a camera works and sees the light. This is true regardless of the subject matter. This is exactly the reason why I decided to write this guide. In order for you to gain knowledge and comprehension of the fundamentals and get better at taking photos!

    This will be the ideal beginner's companion for you if you have ever wondered how to learn photography on your own online and how to become proficient with your camera.

    Why learn photography? 

    Because of the internet and social media, there is a growing demand for photo content. This demand comes on top of the fact that photographing some of life's most significant moments allows us to relive them and share them with others many years later. The world desires to view more photographs, and specifically, the world desires to view photographs taken by you.

    However, not just any photos will do! It is essential that you develop the skills to see a scene with your eyes through consistent practise in order to be successful. Will it be a simple process? No, but the reason you're here is so that I can teach you the fundamentals of photography so that you can improve the story-telling capabilities of your camera.

    What's the purpose of your photography?

    It's not possible for everyone to turn their pastime into a paying job, and some people don't even want to try. When deciding whether or not to enrol in classes, one must first consider whether or not doing so represents a worthwhile financial investment. They are not inexpensive, as any person who has earned a degree can attest to for you. There is a plethora of ways to develop your skills, and we will get to those in a moment if you are interested in taking good photographs but do not wish to spend a significant amount of money on becoming qualified.

    The pros and cons of photography school

    You're aware of the cost but want to look further into the study – let's lay out the major pros and cons of photography school.

    Pros:

    • a deeper comprehension of the art's development, history, and context.
    • Hone your innate talents and absorb knowledge from industry leaders.
    • Learn all there is to know about lighting and composition.
    • Establish relationships throughout your degree programme that might be useful in your professional life.

    Cons:

    • Due to high tuition costs and low average yearly salaries, it may take decades for you to repay your debt.
    • It can be challenging to strike a balance between the cost of study and the cost of lenses, cameras, and accessories due to the equipment's exorbitant price.
    • Despite the fact that degrees in art and photography are restricted, employment isn't guaranteed.
    • Having to return to school to pursue further education is a possibility if your photography career doesn't take off.

    Can you learn photography on your own?

    Absolutely! The internet has gathered in one location the most brilliant minds and talented photographers from all over the world. You can find the answer to any photography-related question, regardless of its nature, by searching the internet. Do you have an interest in learning more about the inverse square law and why it is so important to become skilled in flash photography? You can look up the solution on the internet. Do you want to learn the fundamentals of how to adjust your settings when taking pictures of a newborn? You can look up the solution on the internet. Learning photography is accessible to everyone!

    Passion, Patience and hustle

    If you follow your interests and try to make a living out of them, is it possible to be successful without the structure of a classroom? Is it possible to acquire skills, money, and connections with nothing more than drive, a thick skin, and persistence? Yes, in the case of some.

    Take Chris Ozer for example; in 2010, he decided to pursue a career in photography and quit his 9 to 5 job. After seven years, the photographer, who taught himself photography on his own, now has over 600,000 followers on Instagram and some pretty impressive clients, such as Apple, Target, and The New York Times.

    Regardless of what you want to achieve with your photography, here are some sure-fire ways to improve your skills without a degree. Our exclusive range of Melbourne wedding photography will help you not miss a thing on your wedding day.

    Where to start with photography

    Get familiar with your camera.

    I am well aware of what you are thinking; there is no way that I will be reading the camera's manual. However, it is an excellent tool to have when attempting to master the model of your choice. It is not to say that you have to read all 300 pages in their entirety; of course, you can skim over areas that you already know about or save certain sections for later, but the seemingly insignificant camera manual has more significance than you might think. Spending some time familiarising yourself with your gear is essential for a few different reasons:

    It is imperative that you are familiar with every facet of your camera. The people who actually made the camera have the most intimate knowledge of how it works.

    It's possible that you feel you don't need to read the user's manual anymore. However, allow me to tell you that reading the manual that came with your device is absolutely necessary for a few reasons:

    • You need to become familiar with every aspect of your camera.
    • The more familiar you are with your camera, the sooner it will get out of your way.

    When taking photographs, the last thing you want to do is fiddle around with your camera when you should be composing your shot or analysing your subject instead. Not only will you make a fool of yourself, but you will almost certainly ruin your photo before you have even had the chance to take it.

    Watch online tutorials

    You can also learn from the internet, despite the fact that most people now consider books to be antiquated artefacts brought about by the advent of the internet. There are countless videos and blogs that explain how to use the model you've selected, which is especially helpful if you find reading to be challenging or uninspiring.

    When looking for reviews from people who have used the rig for some time, this is a great resource to have. The video-sharing website YouTube in particular is loaded with comments, advice, and cautionary statements from photographers. Don't forget to put what you've seen in the video into practise!

    Hit the books (and online portfolios)

    Reading a good book or perusing an online portfolio will help you take in information in a way that is more imaginative, colourful, and exciting. They will serve as a source of motivation for you and provide assistance in determining specific areas of interest in which you might want to experiment.

    However, your learning portfolios can also be a source of a great deal of frustration, especially when you consider what others have accomplished and find it difficult to do the same. But don't let that get you down; just like any other worthwhile art form, it takes practise to become skilled at it.

    Find something to shoot.

    If you don't have anything interesting to photograph, there's no point in even owning a camera. If you don't have a subject to photograph, you will end up wasting a lot of time and effort attempting to make sense of the hundreds of dollars you spent on your fancy new camera.

    The allure of photography lies in the fact that it is inextricably linked to a sense of time pressure. No photograph is ever taken unless there is a specific purpose for doing so. The opportunity presents itself, you are armed with your camera, and you make the choice to depress the shutter release button. That is just how things are with photography. The photograph will only be provided if there is a requirement for it.

    Even if you create the need (for example, by staging fashion shoots, photographing food, or actively going out into the world to take photographs), what you are really doing is actively developing the conditions in which photographs need to be taken. You are the one who brings about those conditions. The photographer makes a deliberate choice in this regard.

    The process of determining what your subject will be is very important. Your choice of topic reveals more about you than you probably realise.

    Your subject informs viewers that you were present, that this is what you observed, and that this is the element of the scene that you chose to photograph. As a photographer, you are responsible for recording moments both within a narrative and within your own personal account. Your photographs locate you in a particular place and time, and in some ways, you even become the subject of your own work.

    Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

    Practice, practice and practice!

    Nothing will be of more use to you than experience, so make sure to bring a camera with you everywhere and photograph anything that even seems remotely interesting. You can take fifty different photography classes, read every book ever written about lighting and exposure, and talk about it all day long, but the only thing that will allow you to discover your own unique style and natural skill is actually taking photographs.

    As you take more and more pictures and store them on your memory card, you'll become aware of areas in which you can improve as well as those in which you excel. It is important to keep some early evidence of your experiments and failures so that you can look back on them and see how far you've come!

    The camera is just a camera.

    How can I teach myself photography?

    Magnesium, glass, and even plastic are just some of the extremely cutting-edge components that went into its construction. It has a plethora of buttons, dials, and other gizmos and gizmos to boot. It may appear that your camera is some sort of super-gadget that is ready to be launched into space and is capable of doing magnificent and unfathomable things, but in reality, it is just a light-proof box with a hole on the front of it. It doesn't matter how technologically advanced a camera is; in order for it to take a photograph, it still requires a photographer to adjust the dials, press the buttons, and point the camera at something interesting.

    When I think about it, NASA did launch two different spacecraft equipped with cameras, and they were called Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. Despite the fact that they were technologically advanced enough to be sent into play, they needed instructions from people on Earth.

    The implication here is that the photographer is more important than the camera they use. It makes no difference if you use a plastic toy camera that you found in the discount bin at your local store or if you use a super expensive professional-grade, nuclear-powered DSLR that also works as a beacon for your mothership; both types of cameras will produce the same results.

    The fact of the matter is that when someone looks at a picture and then decides whether that picture is good or bad, they are not judging the equipment that was used to take the picture. They are going to think about the photographer who took the picture.

    Since its inception in the 1860s, photography has undergone relatively little transformation in terms of its fundamental principles. The amount of light that is allowed to pass through a lens and onto a recording medium is still something that needs to be controlled. However, there is still the widespread belief that advanced technology is the primary factor in producing high-quality photographs. The technology served merely as the impetus. The photographer is responsible for maintaining the flame.

    Expand your network

    It is important to familiarise yourself with the works and words of photographers by reading, studying, and googling them, but you also need to get out there and network. If you want to make money, you need to acquire valuable skills and find clients, and the best way to do that is through contacts and referrals. Networking is all about figuring out who you need to know and how you're going to build long-term relationships with them. The key to successful networking is to know who you need to know.

    • Photography is a very personal business; networking lets you get to know people.
    • You are your brand; making yourself known as a person and not just a photographer helps you repeat customers.
    • Networking is cheap in comparison to other marketing strategies.
    • Without good relationships – no business will succeed.

    Get a mentor or apprenticeship.

    It is surprising how little attention is paid to the importance of having a guide or an apprenticeship when beginning a career in photography. If you ask a number of highly successful self-taught professionals how they learned the ropes, a good number of them will credit working their way up the ladder during an internship.

    One important piece of advice, though: before starting a new job, investigate the company for which you will be working. It would be helpful if you connected with someone who was encouraging in their tone and generous with the information that they possessed. If you get the wrong kind of experience, you might end up spending all day behind a desk, doing nothing but answering phones and filing papers. We have the best wedding photographer in Yarra Valley to capture your beautiful moments on your wedding day.

    Learn About Exposure

    Exposure, simply speaking, is the combination of three main variables that control the amount of light allowed to interact with your camera's sensor or film. These are:

    • Shutter speed
    • Aperture
    • Film speed (or ISO)

    Each and every photograph that has ever been taken relied on the skilful manipulation of a specific set of variables in order to achieve the desired effect. Despite its apparent straightforwardness, the topic of exposure actually contains an infinite number of nuances. Disclosure is a topic that has been the subject of numerous books, entire libraries' worth of books, and even more books are being registered on the subject as you read this.

    This is due to the fact that the vast majority of photographers who have even a modicum of experience will have their own thoughts and ideas regarding the topic, and every one of those ideas will be correct (or wrong, depending on whom you ask).

    Find a way to understand the fundamentals of correct exposure, and learn them on your own terms, until you are able to apply them to the way you take photographs.

    Learn it by reading a book, enrolling in a class, or working on it with a friend. In any event, you need to acquire the skills necessary to correctly expose information before you can determine which rules to break and how best to do so given your objectives.

    The "artistry" and the aesthetics of photography are separated from the technical aspects of photography, which are a vast body of knowledge filled with numbers and metres, measurements, as well as science and rules. These technical aspects of photography are also known as the "science" of photography. And despite the fact that all of that information serves a purpose, it does not necessarily follow that all of it will be applicable to the work that you do as a photographer.

    Learn Composition

    How can I teach myself photography?

    Learning how to compose a shot involves more than just positioning your subject so that it fits within the viewfinder's four corners (although it is that also). Emotion, motion, feel, colour, and a wide variety of other factors all play a significant role in composition, at least in my opinion.

    You are free to enrol in any and all photography classes offered anywhere in the world. You are capable of doing everything correctly. You can take a picture by adhering to all of the guidelines for doing so. On the other hand, if your image is off in some way, then something is definitely off. If the picture turns out well, then everything should be fine. The photo doesn't embellish the truth.

    Discover the fundamentals of composition, such as the rule of thirds and other techniques, and then figure out how to apply them to your own work. Learn it, make sure you comprehend it, and then put what you need to use to make your work stand out to others.

    Attend a workshop

    In continuation with the previous point, attending a workshop is yet another productive method of education. People who are interested in photography but don't want to go to school full-time for at least three years or spend a significant amount of money are the ideal candidates for workshops. However, this does not mean that workshops are not expensive; in fact, some of them can be quite eye-wateringly pricey.

    However, when compared to the cost of a degree, workshops are a steal. Workshops are a fantastic way to make connections with other people, find internships, and learn about styles and niches that you really enjoy. They tie into many of the topics that we have already covered.

    Turn around

    One of the drawbacks of photography (or a charming quality, depending on how you look at it) is that it compels the photographer to view the limitless, three-dimensional world we live in through the lens of a somewhat restricted, two-dimensional box. Because of the difficulty of this task, there are times when we are solely focused on completing it, and as a result, we miss out on everything else.

    Take a break from looking through the viewfinder of your camera and itching to snap the perfect picture so that you can look around you and take in your surroundings. You never know what kind of treasures you might uncover.

    Smile

    When you stop and give it some thought, many people view a camera as an extremely menacing piece of equipment. This is due to the fact that cameras are capable of constituting an invasion of personal space.

    People's actions, candid moments, and other things that they might not always want recorded are caught on camera. The camera captures all of these things. People have a tendency to feel vulnerable and exposed when they are photographed or when they are in the presence of a camera. The camera doesn't discriminate. It does not exercise self-censorship. Everything that you put in front of its lens will be captured by it. Because of this, it is the responsibility of the photographer to put his or her subjects and the people around him at ease when they are in the presence of the photographer's camera.

    One method for accomplishing this is to give genuine smiles to the people you are speaking to as well as the people around you.

    One can get very far with just a smile. It demonstrates that you are friendly and that you will not take advantage of the privilege of taking pictures of other people. Even on photo shoots with paid models whose job it is to be in front of a camera, a smile and making sure they are comfortable are helpful in having a more relaxed and enjoyable photoshoot.

    Join a photography forum

    Photographers are always eager to discuss their craft, but where can they feel free to do so? Forums. If you have a question about your camera, want some honest feedback on your work, or are interested in learning more about a specific style of photography, forums are usually the best place to find the answer. However, you shouldn't always take what someone has said on a platform as unquestionable truth; it's still a good idea to back up claims with additional research.

    When it comes to photography, each of us has a unique set of experiences; conversing with another photographer about those experiences can be very enriching and rewarding for both parties. When we interact with other people and discuss our experiences, we frequently pick up more information than we would have if we had simply studied on our own. Starting to think about hiring a wedding photographer? Check out our range of Mornington Peninsula wedding photography here.

    Set yourself a photography bucket list

    Is there any other experience that can compare to writing down a list of obstacles and overcoming them one by one until there are none left? It doesn't seem likely to me. Your journey in photography can also benefit from this, on the other hand. You might find that you have more motivation to go out and take photographs if you make a list of photography-related goals for yourself or create a "bucket list" for photography.

    Experience is unrivalled by anything else. You can participate in as many photography classes as you like, read as many photography books as you want, discuss the subject, and read as many wordy articles about photography as you want. Nevertheless, the only thing that will help you take better photographs is getting out there and practising so that you can learn from your mistakes. The more pictures you take, the better you'll get at taking them, and the more you'll understand about how you can improve as a photographer as a result.

    Make an online photography portfolio.

    Once you start building up a catalogue of work, you need a place to present it.

    Here's why:

    • Use it as a resume: show off your expertise and past clients as a way to lock down more work
    • Use it as a marketing tool: gain visibility of your brand by giving your social media posts a call to action
    • Use it to look back on your work: it's a great way to see how far you've come with each photography project

    Here's how:

    • Organise your work into themes: it'll allow potential clients to quickly and easily navigate your site to see if you're a photographer they'd want to work with
    • Show your best work: don't make people go through hundreds of average pictures – highlight the good stuff.
    • Get your head around SEO (search engine optimisation): your site won't get a lot of action without it.
    • Use a website builder instead of a custom website: website builders like WordPress and Squarespace make it easy for you to design your layout—and they still look beautiful.

    Find your style.

    When you are learning how to take photographs, one thing that is essential to keep in mind is this: seek inspiration, but do not copy. It is possible to view the work of another person and think, "That is exactly the type of photo I want to take," but no two photographs will ever be identical; therefore, there is no point in making the effort to imitate the work of others down to the smallest detail. Keep taking photos; shoot as much as you can, whenever you can, until you figure out how to develop your own personal style. This is the best way to achieve this.

    Experiment and make mistakes

    If you want to become a film photographer, then this piece of advice might be a bit pricey for you, but for those of you who use digital cameras, the advantage of a memory card is that you can take hundreds of photos that don't turn out and it doesn't matter. Take pictures from every conceivable vantage point, play around with the light, and don't be afraid to move around and improvise with your subject. When you are first getting started, it's possible that you will only find one good picture out of dozens, but it's important to look back and figure out what works and what doesn't for you.

    Put your heart into it.

    Use the passion you've got and apply it to every photo you take, every book you read, every video you watch and every program you learn. Photography is art, and the best art comes from a place of passion. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

    There are, without a doubt, fundamentals involved in photography. Being an influential photographer requires following certain standards and regulations. However, the only way to truly master them is to actually go out and practise shooting. And once you have those fundamentals in your possession and have a good understanding of them, you will be better prepared to bend or break them when you find yourself in a situation where you need to create something that is truly unique and useful.

    FAQs About Photography