When I first started out on my photography journey I was overwhelmed. There is so much information out there that I honestly didn’t know what was right, what was wrong, or even where to begin. There are a ton of posts on Pinterest telling you everything you need to know about your new camera and how to start using it correctly, and it was hard to figure out (at the beginning) which ones were helpful and which ones weren’t. At the time I really wished I had a short but helpful list of resources for a newbie like me. And because of that, I decided to put a list together just for you!
My absolute favorite photography book to date is Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. I bought this book right after I purchased my camera and I cannot say how much I learned from it and enjoyed it. There is so much valuable information inside it’s pages and you’ll feel so confident to go out and start shooting after finishing it. When I first got my camera I was so frustrated with how my photos were turning out. I was shooting solely in manual mode and blindly stumbling my way through the settings to try to get the “perfect” picture. To be honest, what I got was a load of crap. My pictures were horrible (completely overexposed) and I was a wreck thinking that I was never going to be able to capture good photos with it. So, on a plane ride out to California for Christmas I spent the entire five hours pouring over that book. There were a ton of ah-ha! moments and I came away more knowledgeable and ready to tackle the manual settings on my camera. And let me tell you, my pictures improved so much just after reading through the book once.
The great thing about Understanding Exposure is that it’s not meant for a specific camera. So, whether you have a Nikon, Canon, Sony, or some other type of camera you will find this book useful!
If you love the blogosphere as much as I do, you’ve probably come across a few websites you are obsessed with. When I first started using my camera I sought out the advice of professional photographers, and I found that there were quite a few that had amazing blogs and loved sharing all the things they had learned with newbies like me. I was forever grateful for their knowledge and expertise, and I always came away from their posts ready to take my camera out and get to practicing. My top three photography websites are Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke, Click it Up a Notch, and Sixth Bloom. They all have a little something for everyone from beginner tutorials to how to start a photography business!
Free Online Classes
If you know where to look you can usually find a few great photography classes (for free!) on the web. In March of last year I stumbled across No Bad Foto (I couldn’t even tell you how I found it honestly) and decided to try out their online photography class. I loved it! Since I already had a general idea of the basic pillars of photography (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) and what I needed to use them for, this course was a refresher for me, but it was one I really needed. I also learned a few new things from this class (like how to read histograms) and noticed an improvement in my photography after completing the course. I highly recommend looking into it if you just received your camera and want to learn how to shoot in manual mode!
Another resource I like to take advantage of are the free mini-classes from Craftsy! Of course they have classes that you pay for as well, but from time to time they update their Free Mimi-Classes and you can find a few good photography ones available! I’ve taken the Professional Family Portraits class and really enjoyed it, so if you’re into portrait photography you should definitely check that one out!
What other resources do you turn to to improve your photography?