Photography advice #1 — the only one you'll ever need

Photography advice #1 — the only one you'll ever need

There are a lot of photography tips out there — "use these camera settings", "light your photos in this way", "use this colour grading technique". It might feel overwhelming. You will never have time to read it all. And you might be wondering what tips or rules you should really be listening to. I have one answer to that question: None.

Kind of. I mean, it is a simplified answer. There are certainly photography tips that can be useful sometimes. But in my opinion, those tips are not the right place to start. So if I were to give you another piece of advice instead, it would be this:

Learn by doing. By practicing. Not by letting people on YouTube tell you what the right way to photograph is. Because there is no "right" way to do photography. There is no right way to light family portraits or colourgrade in Lightroom. Photography is an art form. And what makes a good photograph is all about personal preferences.

So instead of spending those countless of hours on YouTube, pick up your camera and just start shooting. Do it again and again and again and again and again. Do it in new ways. Try new angles, new compositions, new subjects. Do not be scared to experiment. Or be scared, but do it anyway. Because, like I said, photography is an art form – it is all about finding new ways of doing things. And you will be surprised at how much you can learn from just experimenting. That is a far more efficient way of learning how to take photographs that you like, rather than just having someone else tell you what you should and should not do.

Learning by practicing will help you grow an intuition for what makes a good photograph in your opinion. It will probably feel scary at first – like you do not have a single clue what you are really doing. But eventually you will start to trust yourself, your judgement, and your eye. And that trust and intuition will be one of your most important tools, because you can always fall back on it. There is not a single photography "rule" that works in every single situation. And if you become too reliant on them, you might feel helpless when you stumble upon a situation where your normal rules does not work. Your intuition however, will always be there to guide you.

I also believe that learning by practicing will make you enjoy the creative process more, because you will not get stuck by feeling forced to always follow to the (non-existent) rules.

And so, at last, a little disclaimer. I do not mean that you should never look up specific photography tips. There is a time and place for them as well. But seek them out if and when you want to learn a new specific skill instead of letting them dictate your entire process.