When it comes to learning photography, people who have no background in art or photography often find it difficult to get started. Most of the students in Inspira Gallery come from such backgrounds. Most of them are professionals with very little to no background in art or photography.
After teaching photography to many of them, I’ve managed to compile the three simple steps that anyone can use to learn photography fast. Whatever your background is, you can follow the steps if you want to learn photography fast.
Here are the three steps you can do to learn photography much faster, especially if you are a total beginner.
Step #1: Decide SPECIFICALLY on What Kind of Photograph You’d Want to be Able to Create
Most people have a really vague goal when they first start learning photography. They often say, “I want to take a better photo.” It’s hard to describe and quantify what they mean by a “better photo.” It’s much better to say, “I want to take a beautiful portrait photo of my wife or kids with soft, blurred background” rather than “I just want to take better photos.”
Being able to describe what kind of photographs you want to take is important to give you the motivation and the momentum to start learning photography. It will also keep your focus.
So, be specific and have clarity on what kind of photos you’d want to be able to produce. The single-step will definitely accelerate your photography learning.
Step #2: Get a Mirrorless, Interchangeable Lens Camera
If you want to get serious about learning photography, you want to get the proper tools. You can’t learn to drive without getting a car first, and the same goes with photography. A mirrorless camera will let you get familiar with the photography world because it allows you to easily access and control the important variables of photography.
What are the important variables? Aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
Next, by using a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera, you’ll be able to change lenses. This allows you to learn about composition, compression, and dimension. You’ll be able to experiment with creating different photographs such as landscape, portraiture, and even macro (close focus, small object photography).
And finally, you’ll get a much better file quality output. I’m talking about RAW files. RAW files give you a much greater image information or data that you can use extensively when it comes to photo editing.
What about a smartphone camera?
Most people think they can use their smartphone camera to learn photography. Still, in my view, your photography learning experience will be minimal if you are only using a smartphone camera.
This is because a smartphone camera doesn’t allow you to access and control the important variables easily, is often not responsive enough (especially when you have too many apps open), and usually produces poor quality results in dim light.
What Mirrorless camera to get? The short answer is whatever fits your budget. I recommend you buy whatever camera you like along with 2 lenses. One for zoom lens for general use and one prime lens with a fast aperture for taking photos with nice, blurred background.
If you want my personal recommendation, read this article. The point here is not to over complicate the buying process. You want to have one, so you can start learning photography with your camera.
Either go with my personal recommendation or get one that fits your budget you can get started.
Step #3: Get a Good Photography Mentor
I confess that I watched countless free video tutorials on YouTube at first but was still confused by photography. Most of the students here said they experienced the same thing.
I often get comments like, “I watched 2 hours of YouTube videos but still don’t know what to do when it comes to photography!”
Watching free YouTube videos can be helpful for some of you but think about these questions:
“Can the videos tell you specifically how to start based on your specific situation?”
“Can the videos tell you about the mistakes that you’re making?”
“Can the videos tell you how you can improve upon it?”
The answer is simply no. But, a good mentor can answer all those questions for you.
Who is a mentor? A mentor is someone who you respect who’s been there and done that. It’s different from a teacher in the sense that he or she has accomplished what you want in real life.
For instance, if you want to learn about portrait photography, a potential mentor for you is an award-winning portrait photographer who works with international clients, not a college professor who teaches photography but lacks real world credentials.
Finding a good mentor is quite a time-consuming process, and you’ll have to spend a good amount of money to work with one. But in the end, if you find the right one, it will save you a tremendous amount of time, and you’ll be able to master photography quicker.
This is why most courses in Inspira Gallery comes with a mentorship program. We believe getting feedback from a credible source is very important for your learning growth. Instead of just offering video courses, as you see on many e-learning sites, we have assignments that you can do, and the mentor can give you feedback after you’ve done them.
This hybrid program works really great gives you flexibility and strong, credible support. You can see all are available courses on this link.
So, those are the 3 things that will jumpstart your photography learning. I would absolutely do them if I were to start learning photography again.
So, what’s the first step that you can do now? Find one specific kind of photo that you want to be able to take. It could be a portrait of a person with a soft, blurry background. It could be a product photo with white background. It could even be a waterfall with a soft, misty look. You can browse around in Google, Facebook, or Instagram to get some ideas. Be specific here and set a goal.
Next, check out some of the courses that we offer here and find the right ones for you. We look forward to helping you in your photography learning journey and wish you all the best!