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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Hagen


Updated: Jun 2, 2019

Okay, so I admit, I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to photography.

Literally none. Now, is this going to stop me from taking lots of pictures and posting them on Instagram? Nope. Not even close. I am an amateur photographer that loves capturing beautiful things. I love the idea of being able to capture a moment and keep that moment forever. I love that you can click a button, have a million little things happen behind the scenes, and literally tell a whole story in just seconds. That’s crazy to me. So, not having the best equipment or not knowing what every button does or even not understanding everything about angles and lighting isn’t going to make me give up my love for photography. I will continue to capture and share these moments, these memories, because, well because it just feels right. There is something really satisfying about being able to keep a moment in time where I felt comfort, or happiness, or I felt brave, or at peace. So, if I can click a button and keep that feeling forever, you better believe I’m going to keep doing it. (So, I might as well get better at it right?)

Here are 5 tips for the amateur photographer from the pro-amateur photographer herself.

1. Be creative

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Work with lighting. Work with angles. Work with props. Work in different settings. Experiment things. There are no boring photos, but if there were, they’d probably be taken by the photographers that were scared to get creative.

2. Shoot your shot (with any camera)

So, I had an intro to photography class, and literally the first thing my professor said to me was DO NOT go out and buy a fancy expensive camera. I was like okay, you’re right I’m a broke college student, and probably shouldn’t do that anyways, buuut I also want to take really good pictures and one of those fancy expensive cameras can do that for me, right? Wrong. You could go out right now and buy the best camera there is on the market, but that is not going to make you the best photographer. What good is the equipment if you don’t know how to use it? You can’t put a high-quality camera on auto and expect it to shoot the perfect shot every single time. So, I guess what I am trying to say is that the camera does not matter as much as the shot does. You can take really great photos with your iPhone camera. So, pick up whatever it is you got and go shoot.

3. Keep composition in mind

We all know what the definition of composition is (and if you don’t well I’m about to tell you). Composition is the nature of something; what makes something whole. For instance, the ingredients in a recipe makes that recipe whole. So, what exactly is composition in photography? I’m sorry, but google it. There are so many rules of composition that I could sit here and type out for you, but that is not what this post is about. Maybe I’ll save that topic for a whole other post, I don’t know. But what I do know, and what I want you to know, it that it is important to keep composition in mind when shooting a picture. What is going to be in that picture you’re about to take? Are there any distractions? Is there a better way I could portion that photo to make it more appealing? Is there anything leading up to the subject that could help make this picture even better? Is there a way I could somehow frame my subject to make it more noticeable? Ask yourself what is the best way to capture this moment, and go for it.

4. Tell a story

I told you to go for it. Which brings us to tip #5, make sure whatever it is you are capturing tells a story. I don’t care what that story is, if it means something to you, then that picture was so worth taking. Capture that raw emotion, that moment, that memory, and let that picture speak a story into whoever sees it.

5. Take a class

My last tip for all of you amateur photographers is to just take a class, read a book, PRACTICE. If photography is something you are really passionate about, then photography is something worth pursuing. And I believe anything worth doing is worth doing your best at. My intro to photography class taught me a lot, and I still have a lot to learn. Do I want to be a professional photographer? Nope. But I do love photography and I love learning about photography. Therefore, I am going to keep on shooting and learning and pursuing this passion, because well, because it just feels right.

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