Level Up Your Photography Skills

by | Oct 28, 2021 | Other | 0 comments

Have you ever thought about taking your photos to the next level?

Yes, the pictures you take with your smartphone camera are great, but they’re not quite as good as photos taken with a dedicated camera. Why is that? For starters, dedicated cameras have a lot more versatility than a phone camera. For example, you can attach lenses of various specifications to a camera that you’d otherwise not be able to on a phone. Another reason why dedicated cameras produce superior images is because cameras have larger sensors, which means they produce images with higher resolution. Higher resolution images are essentially images with more captured digital information that you can later manipulate and alter with editing software. Dedicated cameras also give you way more creative control over the craft and exposure of your photos, i.e., shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc. Whereas with your phone camera, you’re limited to the functionality of the phone’s software. I like to use the analogy that using a dedicated camera is like driving a stick shift vehicle, while using a phone camera is like driving an automatic vehicle. You catch my drift? (Pun absolutely intended.)

So where do you even get started? If you’re a beginner and have no idea where to even begin, here are a few steps to help guide you in the right direction.

1. Familiarize Yourself with Photography Terminology

Learning the terminology will help you on your journey of becoming a hobbyist photographer and amateur photographer. You need to know these words to describe picture styles, camera parts, gear, settings, and editing techniques.

The folks over at creativelive.com have done a great job of listing the most important terms to help you master the basics. Click here to learn more https://www.creativelive.com/blog/common-photography-terms/

2. Research Cameras to Purchase

Once you’ve gotten a handle on the basic photography vocabulary, the next step is to actually purchase a camera. You’ve probably read or heard about all the different types of cameras that are now available to consumers. It used to be simpler when you were trying to decide on a camera to get, but advancing technology has introduced a plethora of options.

Photodoto.com did a good job of summarizing the most prominent options here https://photodoto.com/dslr-vs-mirrorless-vs-smartphone-vs-point-and-shoot/ 

*Hot Tip*

Rent a camera before purchasing it. If you’re hesitant to make a large purchase on a camera that you’ve never used before, I recommend renting it first. Think of it as a “test drive” before solidifying your decision. I’ve rented through lensrentals.com in the past and have had excellent experiences renting through them.

3. Research Editing Software

Many photographers choose to enhance their photos with editing software to achieve a certain signature “look” or “aesthetic.” There are many software options available. The most popular ones are the Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom programs, but these are paid subscription services. I recommend for beginners to look up some free editing programs online to get the hang of editing photos before jumping into any paid subscriptions.   

4. Practice, Practice, Practice!

The best way to get good at anything is to practice! So, grab your shiny new camera and hit the streets to snap some pics. It’s a fun activity to get into for anyone interested in this art form. Be patient with the learning process and don’t be afraid to experiment.

*Hot Tip*

Expensive cameras and equipment don’t guarantee exceptional photos. I believe that it’s the photographer that truly ~makes~ the photo.

Bottom line- there’s a ton of resources available to learn about this hobby. That’s how I first started a couple of years ago and I have been able to turn my hobby into a side hustle. I have even had the honor of having my photographs on display at a local art gallery, Galeria Lincoln, and one of my photos of local singer songwriter, Elia Esparza, was published as the cover of All In El Paso Magazine’s first issue. I hope you find these steps helpful if you’re an aspiring photographer!

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