Where to start to becoming a better photographer at any level:


adult blur camera dirt road
Photo by David Bartus on


I remember when I worked at a photo store.  I saw a lot of photos every day.  I mean a lot of photos, because we did our own photo processing, and we did a good job in processing and our customers knew that.  So, we had the good photographers as well as those who thought they were good.  Sometimes, though, I remember thinking that there were people who just shouldn’t be taking pictures.  I think they thought if they bought expensive camera equipment that their photography would change.  They just kept trying to take good pictures, but, just couldn’t do it.  Did they ever get good at taking pictures?  I am not sure, because either I got transferred to another store, or they gave up, I am not sure.  I can think of several people who just gave up, I think.  There are those people who just don’t get it.  I am not sure why, but, I think it’s because they did not follow the rules.  The basic rules.  There are a few basic rules that should be followed in photography to get good pictures, and most people, if they want to become good, can, and will become good photographers, if they follow the rules.  There are rules of composition, there are rules of how to get started, and there are rules of how to get better.  What the purpose of this blog today is:  

  • have every photographer learn something from this blog, even the “good photographer”
  • Realize that if you want to become a good photographer, that it will take time.
  • Also realize that photography can become an art, and you should learn from other photographers in order to “see” the art in photography.


photo of man using camera
Photo by Min An on


People who are not professional photographers have different ideas about their photography gifts and abilities. Many are of the opinion that it’s easy to be a photographer, but, on the other side of the coin, there are those who have taken really bad photos and consider themselves bad photographers.  I remember the many people who bought new equipment at my photo store, and paid a lot of money and when they brought their photos for me to look at, they were bad, and they knew it.  I was glad they knew it.   Why did they know it?  Because they were looking at other’s photos.  Magazines, other photos in the store, blogs like this one where good photos are shown.  They could see their photos were not good.  They spent thousands of dollars on equipment and still thought that by buying this expensive equipment that their photos would come out better.  They needed to learn how to work their camera controls, learn what shutter speeds, and aperture settings could do for them, and then composition before the pictures would turn out good.  It was the “ART OF BECOMING”  that they needed to learn.

Here are the basic steps in learning as you get your new camera:

  1. First, get to know your camera. It really doesn’t matter if you have one of the least expensive digital point and shoot cameras or an extremely expensive DSLR camera. If you aren’t familiar with the camera’s capabilities and settings, you will be unable to take advantage of that camera’s best qualities. Read the manual. Practice getting shots with your camera. You don’t need National Geographic type settings to practice; your living room, backyard, or a local parking lot will do. Just get familiar with that wonderful image recording device.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the most basic photography concepts, such as composition and light. Even a little knowledge about composition and lighting will give you a huge advantage when it comes to taking pictures that have interest.
  3. Use your camera at every opportunity. Having the best equipment available will not help if it’s sitting at home in the closet. Get used to carrying the camera with you at all times. If you have the resources, you can have more than one camera, a small camera that fits into your pocket and a larger “more professional” camera that you take for special photo ops. Even a cell phone can produce great images these days if you are aware of its capabilities.
  4. Above all, do some soul searching and convince yourself that you can do this thing called photography. You can take better pictures, no matter what your previous pictures look like.
adult attractive beautiful beauty
Photo by Pixabay on


Now here is something that all photographers need to think about:



  • I am not a good photographer, so why try? This one thought will paralyze your future in photography. Change your thinking now. Even if you have not been happy with your pictures, you can get better.
  • There’s too much to learn about cameras and software. Not true. Yes, there is a boatload of software and camera equipment available, but you are not required to either have it all or learn it all in order to become a good photographer.
  • It takes too much time to become a good photographer. Again, this is not true. Of course, you will get better as time goes on and you become more familiar with how to take photos and use your camera, but if you learn a few basics, it will make a world of difference in your picture quality.
people riding parachutes during sunset
Photo by Pixabay on

So, what does it take to become a good photographer?  Tenacity !  The will to do it !  And realizing that YOU can do it.  If you just try, and don’t give up.  There are a lot of people out there doing photography.  I see a lot of my photo friends taking photos out there, and it amazes me to see the photos they take.  But, you know what?  I often amaze myself with what I know and how my photos come out too.  I asked one of my photo friends if he ever takes bad photos, and he said:  “more that you will ever know”.  You only show your good ones.  But you take a lot of photos to find the good ones to show.

adventure boy girl idyllic
Photo by Nandhu Kumar on


Coming soon:  There have been over 425 great blogs on this website.  So much great information about how to take great photos.  Soon, the book to have it all in one easy place will be available for sale, complete with great illustrations, photos, and interesting information about how to become a great photographer.  Learn how to start from the beginning…. how to buy a camera, and learn all the functions of your camera.  Learn all the basics of composition,  and becoming an artist yourself.  All available soon on the Amazon Kindle.  Watch for details here soon.




The above article written by:  Lanny Cottrell for 123PhotoGo




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