stormy sea and cloudy sky at sunset


What does it really take to be a good photographer?

So you want to pursue a career in photography? What will it really take to be a good photographer? Can I ever sell photos? Are they good enough to sell? What is the real key to becoming a good photographer?

woman leaning back on tree trunk using black dslr camera during day
Photo by David Bartus on

So many questions to think about if you want to become a good photographer. Let me go over some things that happen to people that want to get started in photography, and what to avoid:

You took, what you thought, was a good photo. Is it good”?

The biggest trap you will run into is getting advice from someone who is not a good photographer. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings in this tutorial, but, when someone says “that photo is amazing! You should be a photographer”. Really? How do they know anything about photography? That person may not know anything about photography. Are they an expert? Bag that idea that your “good photo” is a “good photo”.

Learn to study photographer’s photos.
Find a place that has incredible photos, and learn from the phogographer.

First, before you get all excited, and call yourself a professional photographer, you need to really study what makes a great photo, a really great photo. Where is the best place to see amazing photos? INSTAGRAM ! This is where great photographers post their photos, in hopes to get their name out there. But, if just anyone posts their everyday photos, you won’t get noticed on Instagram until you have perfected your skills.

Where is the best place to learn photography?

As long as I have been a photographer, here are the places I like to go, to see “good” photos, and to study them. And along with this list, here are places to go to get the “Proper” instruction on photography:

  • A website that you can go to that provides FREE instruction on photography. Who would do that? That’s crazy that photographers are willing to give of their talents to help people become good photographer!
  • INSTAGRAM. Because professional photographers post their photos on Instagram, that is one place to see good photos. I think you may run into people trying to sell their “photo courses” and make some money that way, but, really, you can do this by studying these photos you find on INSTAGRAM.
  • This website has over 1500 articles on photography, ranging all the way from basic instructions on how to work your camera, to posing techniques, rules of composition, etc.
  • This is another website that has been around a long time and publishes some training on photography every day. All the way from beginning photographer to the advanced photographer. A great website.
  • Another place to learn photography. They have a bunch of good photographers that have become the tutors of photography courses. A great place to learn, with amazing photos.
  • Of course there are websites that you can go to, that will charge you money to learn photography. They are all good. The choice is yours if you want to spend some money. I went on google and typed in “free Photo courses”, and it still brought up places that want you to buy their courses.

There are probably several other websites that are good, and dedicated to the person learning photography, but, these I know to be good.

close up of canon camera
Photo by Pixabay on
Next step: be willing to have your photos criticized by a photographer, not your friend.

I recently saw some photos from someone who is attempting to teach photography, but, doesn’t really take good photos himself. And his skills don’t prove he should be doing this. Can you take honest criticism? If you can do that, you are going to make great strides in your success.

Find the type of photography you like and seem to succeed in.

Are you good with landscapes?

time lapse photography of waterfalls during sunset
Photo by Pixabay on

I love a photographer who makes ordinary landscapes gorgeous. How do they do it? First of all, just so you know, there are more photographers taking landscape photos than any other type of photography. So, you really have to learn from the pros to be good.

Are you good with portraits?

woman wearing sunhat
Photo by Tuấn Kiệt Jr. on

Portraits is where good photographers make money. They bring out the best in people by the way they take a person’s photo. That is an art, and needs to be studied well.

Close-up photography?

Photo by Lanny Cottrell Photography

Good close-up photography, or macro photography is more than just snapping photos of bugs and flowers. Study that one through so you can have amazing photos.

Sports Photography?

motorcycle rider doing stunts in midair
Photo by Web Donut on

Good sports photography is tougher than you think. Have you ever noticed the photographers down on the football field with their cameras? Any idea of how much those lenses cost?

Photo by Digital Trends

There are many other types of photography. These seem to be the more popular. Once you find the niche you want to go after, then learn it well. You will most likely pick up skills along the way that will help you in other types of photography.

Learn how to “see” a photo:

If you were to just walk down the street, how many things could you see to take pictures of?

Photo by Lanny Cottrell – Photo taken at night time, just going for a walk. My instincts of the rules of photography were right in front of me.

Once you know and learn the basic rules of photography, you can walk down your own street and really “see” a photo. But, if you don’t know the rules of photography, you will miss it.


It’s ok to ask for criticism about your photos. How will you learn? And also, practice, practice and learn the rules of photography. I have heard it said that you won’t be good at photography until you shoot 10,000 photos.

Good luck!

Do you personally have a question about photography? I have a “Question” E-mail to help photographers. If I don’t know the answer, I will find it for you. If you have a question about photography, go to:

More amazing photos:

green grass field and green tress during day time
Photo by André Cook on
vibrant fireworks reflecting from surface of lake
Photo by Sami Anas on
stormy sea and cloudy sky at sunset
Photo by Kammeran Gonzalez-Keola on
man standing in front of woman in white wedding dress
Photo by Jonathan Borba on

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