How To Improve Your Skill As A Beginner Photographer

I mentioned taking photography seriously this year in my memoir, right? If you don’t know all about that check it out here. Well, it hasn’t been easy at all but I think I’ve come a long way and I have learned a lot. (It’s belated I know but we are still in August so Happy world photography day! and if you’d like to see how I celebrated it, click here)

I love to tell stories and well this is a story, sort of, where I tell you how far I have come as a beginner photographer and how I’ve improved my skills. I hope you find it helpful if you are interested in jumping into photography or just taking it as a hobby.

Here’s an update on what I’ve been up to

  • I finished a 6month photography internship (I started late last year and finished sometime around March).
  • I was retained and have since worked as an assistant photographer.
  • Joined an online photography class.

If you are a beginner photographer and want to improve your skills, you shouldn’t be thinking of what gear to buy or how to get 1000 likes on Instagram. I’ll share with you the basic thing you need to know to start as a beginner photographer.

Start from where you are

As a beginner photographer, start from where you are. When I first started photography I used my phone, Samsung Galaxy GT18552 and I remember this because I loved that smartphone. My selfie camera was a mess but the main/back camera worked quite fine. After the first introductory class which I had during my final year in school, I was ready to take pictures everywhere I went. I was like Dora the Explorer without the backpack and monkey. I’ve discovered something new and exciting, and I wanted everyone around me to be aware of it. You can use your phone and if you can afford a DSLR camera, then go for it. The most important thing is to start and then you can build up from there.

Teddy bear sitting on a bus’s dashboard photographed using my phone

Use YouTube

Youtube is a great resource to learn a lot about photography for free. Yes! You can’t always know everything. Me? I don’t know everything. What I know about Snapseed and editing when I first started with my phone, I learned from those wonderful people on YouTube. Today I still use it to learn about lighting, focus, camera body and settings, exposure triangle, composition, photoshop, lightroom, and so on. It’s amazing for a beginner. There’s knowledge for anyone interested in learning and improving their skills. Fantastic❤️

Gallery shot of Leisure Mall, Lagos.

Be patient

Be patient with yourself. I am lucky to have people around who encourage me, and not because I am a pro or genius or anything close. With time I’ve come to realize that growth is a process. The child is the father of a man, is an expression by William Wordsworth which indicates that childhood traits and experiences impact the life of a man. So also as a beginner photographer, with years comes experience and improvement. I know so much more now than I ever did when I first started photography.

Three little bridesmaids

Believe in yourself

From phone photography to using a camera, it’s wonderful to see that I can chart a map from my early beginnings as a photographer to now. The journey has not always been easy like I said, sometimes excruciating. What stood out for me is how much believing in myself goes a long way. Not that getting support from people around me doesn’t count (it does), but I stand a better chance of accomplishing my best when I believe in myself. As a beginner photographer that’s like your super power.

Beach front with rocks photographed with a phone

Try new things

Don’t be scared to do shake things up. Move out of your comfort zone; pack your bags. You’ll find opportunities to explore your creativity as a photographer. Sure you may not take those images that will make people want to lick their screen as a beginner but you’ll learn a thing or two. Use the internet to find prompts or just walk around the house and look for something to shoot.

Street photography of a bustling street as the sunset

Keep Practicing

That’s the golden rule in my opinion. All the books, online classes, YouTube videos etcetera, won’t make a lot of sense if you don’t practice as a beginner photographer. I mean even the professionals do a lot of practice. Whether you are using a camera or a phone, don’t skip on practicing. It can be anywhere; on the bus, at a park, inside the house, at the mall, and so on.

Engagement shoot for couples

Have fun

What’s the point if you are feeling sad and awful all the time. You should be having fun even though as a beginner it won’t be easy. I know, I know, you are saying, ‘what if I miss the moment.’ Well, you missed it. Now focus on having fun, and keep an eye out for the next moment. Easy peasy😌😁. I’m still hoping from one place to the other looking for a niche, but I’m having a ton of fun and you should too.

My sister smiling and looking lovely

My biggest challenge so far

I find myself battling imposter syndrome often.

My greatest achievement

I’m able to celebrate small wins, no matter how insignificant it may seem. This has helped me come a long way.

Awesome Resources

Practice, Practice and Finding the Time For Photography

Get Better At Photography With Practice (Photo Tips, Tricks, and Your Questions Answered)

9 Photography Techniques That Every Beginner Should Practice