6 minute read

Top Photography Tips for Beginners

Here are our best beginner photography tips to help you make consistent progress in the world of image making

When starting in photography, there can be all kinds of hurdles, from tackling technique to struggling with inspiration. But mastering the basics of photography and learning to break down those barriers are all part of the process – and every successful photographer has gone through this at some point.

To help with those early stages of the image-making journey, we’ve compiled five of the best photography tips and tricks for beginners.

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like anything worth doing, becoming a skilled photographer takes time and effort. You probably already knew this, but it’s worth laboring the point – that’s why this is one of our top photography tips for beginners.

Want to start making better images? Approach photography like any other art. Ensure you maintain a conscientious attitude to reviewing your own images and experiment with various techniques.

If an aspect of photography intimidates you, meet it head-on! The only way to clear those mental obstacles is to go out and make images. Set yourself a target of photographing a whole day in manual exposure mode or ask ten strangers if you can make their portrait.

If you don’t like the photos you create, it doesn’t matter – use them to create a catalog of reference images to review and understand where you might be going wrong.

Photo 2023 © Ryan Tuttle

2. Learn From the Greats

Creators should seek inspiration not just in their surroundings and their medium, but also by observing others’ work. This is as true for photography as any other art form.

Familiarize yourself with some of the foundational photographers of a genre – learn your craft by learning about your craft.

Again, don’t be intimidated. It’s likely these photographers use high-end equipment and post-processing software – not to mention professional models, sets, and scenery – so with the resources you have at hand it’s unlikely you’ll be able to recreate their images exactly.

That being said, given that even entry-level modern mirrorless digital cameras now rival the professional cameras of just a few years ago, you’ll be amazed at how close you can get.

Focus on specific aspects. How does this photographer compose their images? How does this differ from your technique? How have they used the light to tell their story? Find something you want to try out – and let that inspire you to go out and create.

Photo 2023 © Michael Clark | FUJIFILM GFX100 II and FUJINON GF80mmF1.7 R WR, 1/10 sec at F11, ISO 40

3. Research and Use the Right Gear

While you shouldn’t let a lack of equipment deter you, attempting certain styles without the right kit can lead to a dead end. Before recreating an image or specific effect, research what professionals typically use to make it. This can save a lot of frustration down the line, as you don’t want to force your kit beyond its capability.

For example, a tripod is a necessity for creating long exposures. Macro photography won’t be possible without a lens that has a short minimum focusing distance and a decent magnification ratio. And if you’re trying to achieve a creative bokeh effect, a lens with a wide aperture is a must. So, get online and find out what’s needed for the specific style of photography you want to achieve.

Similarly, take some time to get properly acquainted with your camera. Read the manual to understand the features – you need to know what it can do to use it properly. All Fujifilm cameras have their very own Quick Start Guides, perfect for getting you up to speed with the cameras key features.

Photo 2023 © Karen Hutton | FUJIFILM X-H2 and FUJINON XF80mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro, 1/105 sec at F8, ISO 640

4. Set Yourself a Challenge

Many image makers struggle with motivation. This is an issue that can keep rearing its head long after you’ve mastered basic photography. Somebody with all the technical know-how in the world will often find it hard to give themselves a reason to go out and make photos.

What’s the solution? Try setting yourself a challenge. It could be anything, from making one photo every day to getting to grips with an entirely new style of photography.

Another great idea is to take on a photography project. Rather than simply going out and making images of whatever you happen across, give yourself a theme to work to, or start a series documenting one subject.

This is a photography tip that can not only revitalize your creativity, but also provide a roadmap to navigate the ebb and flow of motivation on your photography journey.

Photo 2023 © Karen Hutton | FUJIFILM GFX100S and FUJINON GF100-200mmF5.6 R LM OIS WR, 1/450 sec at F11, ISO 500

5. Find a Community

One of the best tips for photography beginners is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. The internet is an amazing resource for learning about photography – you can find everything from in-depth articles to fully fledged photography courses, all for free online. But this should be augmented with an in-person community of creatives.

Many cities and towns have their own photographic societies and camera clubs, consisting of both amateur and professional members. That makes them fantastic places to meet experienced image makers and pick up tips on photography. If you’re a student, your school or college might also have its own photography club. These societies usually run regular events, classes, and competitions, so they’re brilliant for education and inspiration – not to mention getting into a routine with your image making.

There are also many associations and groups welcoming those who possess a passion for image-making but may not be blessed with the opportunity to pursue it. Check out some of our partner organizations and read about the work they have been doing on the Create Forever website.

Photo 2023 © Matthew Weintritt | FUJIFILM X-H2S and FUJINON XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR, 1/500 sec at F2.8, ISO 400

Photography is often thought of as a solitary venture, but that doesn’t have to be the case – all creative outlets benefit from community. For instance, events like photowalks make for delightful social occasions, as well as providing a chance to spend a day honing your craft.

It’s only when you go out and start creating with others that you see the myriad approaches different photographers have for the same subject. That’s what makes it so important to find your own creative community. By building connections with fellow image makers, you can start to look at the process of photography in an entirely new way.

Photo 2023 © Derek Fahsbender | FUJIFILM GFX100S and FUJINON GF55mmF1.7 R WR, 1/2500 sec at F5, ISO 500

Learn more by exploring the rest of our Fundamentals of Photography series, or browse all the content on Exposure Center for education, inspiration, and insight from the world of photography.