Former DigitalRev host and photo industry personality (do we have those?) Kai Wong is setting aside the gear reviews for a minute to help out the photography “noobs.” If you’re a beginner, he’s got some great tips, advice, and inspiration for you.
Kai squeezes a whole lot of advice into just 6 minutes for this video. In all, he covers about 10 tips, from the most basic (shoot at sunrise and sunset) to more nuanced advice (copy other photographers to learn faster). We picked our favorites below, but definitely check out the full video up top for even more.
Go Exploring – Online and IRL
Scouting is one of the most under-valued parts of being a photographer, especially when you’re a beginner. Even half an hour scouting through Google Earth or Street View or trolling Flickr for great locations nearby will make a huge difference.
Try to find the balance between “not enough gear” and “too much gear.” An iPhone and a good app with manual controls may or may not be “enough” gear depending on the photos you want to take an what you want to learn, but a decent DSLR or mirrorless camera and a good lens or two will serve most beginners just fine.
Repeat after me: I do not need to buy a 1DX Mark II as my first camera.
Copy Others to Learn Faster
As Picasso once said (or not): Good artists copy; great artists steal. For now, aim for good. Find photos you love and try to replicate them exactly. You’ll learn a lot.
Carry Your Camera Everywhere
Don’t buy a camera and then let it collect dust—that’s a lot of money to spend on a decorative accent or paper weight. You’ll discover new subjects you’re passionate about, and every opportunity to shoot is an opportunity to learn something.
Learn the Rules, Then Break Them
Before you can successfully break the so-called “rules” of photography composition, lighting, etc. you have to know what they are. Learn the rules, and you’ll soon learn when and why to break them… or not.
As we said above, there’s more where that came from. If you like these tips, click play on the full video at the top, and then head over to Kai’s rapidly-growing YouTube channel for more shenanigans, gear reviews, and photography advice.