9 Tips Photographers Wish They Knew When Starting

Photography like many things in life is a learning experience. It’s a craft that takes time and practice to get better and better at. If some people are lucky enough to have a good mentor they may learn a little faster or get a couple of tips that really help make better photographers out of them. Not everyone is so lucky though, and that’s what this article is for. I posed a question in a photography forum to ask photographers what they wish they knew when they first started, and here is what they said:

9 Things Photographers Wish They Knew When They Started


1) I wish I knew how much of a difference a flash made. When I bought my speedlight, my life changed. Also, I always heard “ISO makes your photos grainy.” so I did everything I possible could to avoid a high ISO. I lost so many great opportunities because of this.

This is incredible, because it is quite often frowned upon to use a flash in your photo in your photography, but that’s usually in reference to innate flashes on cameras and phones that are too harsh and create glares and overexposure oftentimes. The point is that flash is a very powerful tool and when used appropriately it greatly increases the beauty of your images.


2) It seems the simplest of things…but it takes most photographers a while to really realize what photography is…..and that is drawing with lightIt’s right there in the name. Photo means light, graphy means drawing. If you go into photography with the idea that you are drawing with light, and not just pointing your camera at stuff…it opens up a whole new world.

This quote is great because it’s really about understanding that Photography is a craft and a skill. Something to be honed, and when you recognize that you’re not just pointing cameras at things and taking pictures but setting up subjects in correct lighting (whether that be creating your own or moving around in natural light), you’re on the path to creating really stunning images.

3) How awful I was at it. I’m not saying I’m good now, but I now know what I didn’t know. I look back and I can’t believe I was brave enough to share the photos I did.

I think this quote really signifies how much growth takes place during a journey as a photographer, and while old photos might make you cringe, they can also show your improvement.

4) The only thing I really regret is not shooting in RAW + JPEG from the beginning. Back then I wouldn’t know what to do with the RAW files and use jpegs anyways. But in my first year or two there were some lucky good shots, that I wished I had RAW files for.

Even starting out, you should use RAW or JPEG, you may simply take a photo that means a lot to you, and in that case you want it in a higher quality.


5) Start with one lens and master it. Don’t focus on equipment like bodies, etc.

Photography equipment can be incredibly overwhelming to a new person, but mastering one aspect and piece of equipment usually helps the learning process for the rest.

6) Proper Composition.

Composition often makes the difference between dynamic photography and just a picture.



If you’re not enjoying your subjects yourself, then why even do it?

8) Take criticism in stride. If you want to argue “that wasn’t what I was going for” that’s fine, but DO have some kind of direction. 

Every single person doing photography is still learning. Everyone. Even people who are perceived masters of photography are always learning. And if a criticism is truly off base, argue logically and with rationale.


9) You need to look at other people’s work. Nothing comes out of a vacuum. It’s not uncreative to look at or even borrow from other people’s work. We can see farther because we stand on the shoulders of giants.

I’ve highlighted and displayed some incredible work on the iPiccy blog before, and this is why. I find it inspires my own work when I look at other photographers. I try and work through their thought process.

So go! Use these tips, and bring back your pictures to edit in iPiccy photo editor!

If you’re interested in writing a guest spot for iPiccy you can check out this guide. If you’re simply interested in submitting some of your work, contact us on any of our social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest)   with a link to your work and a short blurb about yourself.