Becoming a photographer from amateur to a professional! is it too hard? From where to start? What to use, how to apply, how much money do I need? Well, there are lots of questions about becoming a photographer. How to become a photographer, how to become a professional photographer? These are also significant questions for a new camera user with interest for becoming a photographer or becoming a professional photographer.
How to Become a Photographer?
In this article, I shall try to cover all these questions’ answers and gradually discuss the ways step by step for becoming a photographer. Becoming a photographer is easy when you start with all knowledge. Otherwise, it will become a difficult one. Just taking a camera and capturing some photos do not make you a photographer. So, what are the things for becoming a photographer? Let’s see all those from the beginning.
Is Becoming A Photographer Easy or Difficult?
I am sure that you will agree with me that all the photographers are human. So it is possible to become a photographer because the person who is reading this article is a human. Now the question is, is it difficult or easy? If you know, then it is easy, and if not then tough. So, you have to start understanding, and this article will guide you for becoming a photographer.
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From where to Start?
You have to start from the introduction. I hope you already have a camera. If you don’t have a camera and planning to buy one after you get interested in learning photography, then I must say that you should have one camera. Because you have to start with a camera in becoming a photographer. I am not going to discuss for those photographers who have a good smartphone with an excellent camera attached to that. However, some of the tips will also help mobile photographers. So, don’t be disappointed and continue reading.
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1. Start With ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed
After becoming the owner of a camera you should first learn the pillars of photography. Photography has got three pillars. If you do not know those, then you are dreaming of writing a paragraph without knowing the alphabets. Those pillars are ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. You should have a distinct idea about these three and learn the relation among them. Let’s see what they are:
Most of the camera has ISO range from 100 or lower to 6400 or higher. What is this and why do we need this for becoming a photographer? ISO is the range of sensitivity of the image sensor to the light which was allowed through the lens. The field is selected either by the camera’s artificial intelligence (AI) or by the photographer manually.
Firstly it is done for the necessity, i.e., to take the required amount of light and secondly, it is done for enhancing the presence of light on the image if needed. For making an image, you need a certain amount of light. You have to select the range of ISO according to the light present around you. You have to keep in mind that higher the ISO more is the amount of noise in the photo and lower the ISO, less is the noise.
In this photo, we can see that the light is intense. So the sensor is getting enough lights on it for making a picture. As a result, we have to select a lower or minimum ISO. The image which will be formed in this case will have minimum possible noise.
In this photo, we can see that the light is less than the previous one. So the sensor is getting less light than the previous situation. As a result, we have to select a bigger or more ISO. The image which will be formed in this case will have more noise than the previous one.
In this photo, we can see that the light is very less. So the sensor is getting very less light. As a result, we have to select a bigger or more ISO than the previous situation. The image which will be formed in this case will have colossal noise and will be easily identified.
There was a question that why do we need to know about ISO for becoming a photographer. If you ask how to become a photographer then you must know ISO otherwise you will see that you are capturing all photos with the same ISO setting everywhere and getting either too bright or too dark images. Remember, ISO range is inversely proportional to the intensity of light and directly proportional to the noise.
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Aperture is another essential pillar of photography. It is a hole for the allowance of light through the lens to hit the image sensor. According to optics, an aperture is a hole that allows a particular portion of the cone of light through it. Aperture also effects on selecting ISO and shutter speed. The depth of field also depends on the aperture size.
For becoming a photographer, you should have explicit knowledge on aperture. I have written an article Everything You Need To Know About Aperture Size for Better Photography which shall clear your all queries on aperture. You can not start photography without knowing about selecting aperture size. So, if you ask how to become a photographer or how to become a professional photographer, then I should say, understand aperture correctly.
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In between the lens and the image sensor, there is one important object which allows the light passed by the lens to meet the sensor. This remarkable object is the shutter. The shutter always keeps the sensor out of light by remaining close. Once the trigger is pressed, it opens and closes after allowing certain light to hit the sensor. As the shutter opens and closes, it does it with a certain speed.
So, the speed at which the shutter opens and closes is called the shutter speed. In another way, shutter speed is the is the time allowed to the light and image sensor to contact each other. Faster the shutter speed, sharper is the photo. Answering how to be a photographer or how to be a professional photographer should not miss this point, and the learner must learn this properly. Learn Things To Know Before Choosing Slow and Fast Shutter Speed.
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2. ISO+ Aperture+ Shutter Speed= Exposure-triangle
hope you are now well introduced with ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. Please read the articles linked with them to get details of those. Now, we should know the relationship within them. From the three pillars, we got few pieces of information about them. Those are:
- Low ISO= Low Noise; Higher ISO= High Noise
- Small Aperture= Deep Focus, Big Aperture= Shallow Focus
- Slow Shutter speed= Blurred Motion, Fast Shutter Speed= Freeze Motion
Now, these three points can make a triangle showing their relation which is called Exposure Triangle. The diagram is shown below.
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3. Exposure Compensation
For becoming a photographer, Exposure Compensation is another important thing to know. The answers of How to become a photographer or how to become a photographer contain many points, and Exposure Compensation is one of the prime tips or points among them. Already we have discussed ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed including their relations. Now it will be straightforward to understand exposure compensation.
Exposure compensation is the process of maintaining the exposure of the image to an optimum level or the desired level. It is done by controlling Shutter Speed or Aperture. However, the controlling depends on the mode you have selected. Exposure Compensation is another subject to know correctly and is a matter to understand with a more extended discussion. You are recommended to read the article 10 Striking Questions and Answers about Exposure Compensation for the explanation on the topic.
4. Learn Composition
Composition is the placement of the visual objects in your frame. For some photographs, you need to set the composition by placing your camera using your ideas and in some photographs, you have to make a composition. The composition is very important to know about becoming a photographer. There are lots of tutorials and tips available on many websites and youtube for learning composition. You must not forget to learn it if you want to be a photographer.
5. The Depth of Field
The depth of field is the amount on the subject which is focused. In some photos, you have seen that only the main subject is focused and the background is blurred. This is known as bokeh. Here the depth of field is less and that’s why only the main subject is focused and the rest is not. If you want everything focused then you need to increase the depth of field. This is done by changing the aperture of the lens.
Read Everything You Need To Know About Aperture Size for Better Photography so that you get the desired depth of field.
6. Start with Auto Mode and Study Your Clicks
Your camera will have many modes like Auto, Av, Tv, Manual, etc. Now, which mode to select at the beginning for becoming a photographer? I suggest you start with auto mode. The artificial intelligence (AI) of your camera will automatically make a setup of all the fields before you click for a photo. You should start capturing with this mode and check the configuration of good photographs later which will give you an idea about everything.
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7. Switch to Manual
I have suggested starting with auto mode. Yes, but that should be the starting and as a learning purpose only. The learnings from the auto mode should be utilized in the manual mode. Once you do this in manual mode should be followed by rechecking of the photos. You should see the outcome of your implementation. After that, you must change some settings and go for the experiment to see how the things work.
8. Use the Focusing Mode Properly
What focusing mode should be used while shooting photographs? Well, manual is always recommended. But at the early stage of becoming a photographer, you should start with the auto mode. Now, there are three modes in the camera depending on the motion of the subject. Those are AI Servo, AI Focus and One Shot. If the subject is moving then select AI Servo and for static select One Shot. If you are confused about the movement, then keep it on AI Focus.
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9. Make A Habit of Using Tripod
According to me, a tripod should be like a body extension for the photographer while going out for photography and must be used unless not possible or suitable. Never have trust in your hand because we are not that much rigid to stop hand shaking while shooting a photo. As a new beginner in photography, using tripod should be a must. I recommend you to buy a good quality tripod even if you are an amateur photographer.
10. Subject Around The Frame
Try not to keep the main subject at the middle of your frame. Human eyes usually revolve around the sides of a frame, thereby your subject should be around those points so that it catches the eyes. Keeping those around the frame have a good name called The Rule of the Thirds. If you trisect your frame both horizontally and vertically, then those lines will meet at four points. Those are the points where you should keep your subjects.
However, this is not mandatory always but recommended. You must know details about the rule of the third. Read my article Top 25 Best Landscape Photography Tips That Will Make You A Pro Photographer where you will get details about The Rule of Thirds. For becoming a professional photographer, you must know this point carefully.
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11. Shoot RAW
This is not always recommended to shoot in RAW format. But for becoming a photographer, practicing with good things will make you better in the future. The RAW form takes more space in your drive, but it contains maximum details which will help you in post-processing of images. At the initial stage of photography, you may not need this, but you should start with this so that it becomes a good habit for the future.
12. The Magic Hour
The magic hour is a magical term in photography. It is a time for photography and often chosen by the photographer for most of the photography category. It comes twice a day, once just at the beginning of the day and another is just before the ending of the day. It happens due to the position of the sun in a certain angle to the horizon. I have written a separate article on this. Please read the article An Easy Guide on The Magic Hour Photography for The Newbie for knowing in details which will help you in becoming a photographer.
13. The golden Hour
As the magic hour, the golden hour is another important time for photography. It is a time within the magic hour. It also appears twice a day like the magic hour. There are two hours in the magic hour, one is the blue hour, and another is the golden hour. A photographer must know about the golden hour and the utilization of the time. Please read the article An Ultimate Guide For Shooting The Golden Hour Photography enriching your knowledge about the golden hour.
14. Store Carefully
Sometimes, I go through my old photographs and find something new. Some of my pictures appear as very lovely later on when I understand the gravity of those photos. It will also happen to you. However, there will be many good photographs taken by you which should be stored as well. While saving, you must keep backup and ensure that your store is secured enough from being deleted or lost. Maintain nomenclature and date for each of them.
15. Edit Artistically
Edit adds artistic mind of yours in your photographs. So, you must edit your pictures artistically. For editing your images, you need some photo editor. There are many photo editors both in mobile and desktop. Many good photo editing software is there; many photographers thoroughly recommend some of them.
You should follow those and must know the proper use of them. However, if you find any photo editor not suggested by others but you are comfortable with, should be used without any doubt.
16. Select a Category
In the vast area of photography; there are lots of categories of photography. All the classes are very high demanding and beautiful in their field. But not all the types will suit with you. It is not due to your incapacity but for the lack of place around you or lack of appropriate apparatus with you. So, you should select a category which will be very easy for you in the primary stage. Gradually you become master on that and switch to the new one after that.
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17. Select a Lens
Lens selection is very important for becoming a professional photographer or even a photographer. In many cases, people will recommend some specific lens for any particular category of photography, but you should know the capability of your lens accurately because your lens may also fulfill your demand. However, if you have the ability for the specific lens, then you must go for that. Or else, select your category of photography depending on the lens you have.
18. Know Your Camera
Be, a master of your camera. Most of the amateur photographers do not explore their camera. Never do this mistake while you want to be a photographer. Just go to youtube and search for different options for your camera or you may take the camera manual on hand and start reading. It will tell you the capabilities of your camera.
Besides, you should always use different options of your camera after knowing those from manual or any other means. Photography is not theoretical; instead, it is the application of the theoretical knowledge through the camera. Frequent use of your camera will make muscle memory on the parts of your camera and will help you in shooting all the photos by saving time and increasing the quality of the picture.
19. Know Your Lens
Besides, knowing your camera; you should see the behavior and capabilities of your lens. While taking photographs, you will need to zoom in or out, change the aperture, focus or refocus. If you do not become very acquainted with the behavior of your lens, then it will kill your time, and thereby you will not get the desired photo. It will also affect the quality of your picture.
20. Have a Budget Plan
I must say, Photography is an expensive hobby or profession. While selecting a camera or lens, you must choose those after enough study. Consult with others and check their review. After that, you should decide that which one is suitable for you. Do not always think of a costly camera or lens. Start with medium range and gradually you make a plan for buying further accessories or for upgrading your camera.
21. Do Experiment
The experiment of photography will never cost you because you don’t need to spoil camera films or money. You need to change the settings and recharge the batteries. Always go for the experiment. See different tips of different photographs or see different suggestions on the category you are interested. Your trial will teach you a lot showing the mistakes you are making and good thing you are doing.
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22. Share Your Photographs
Share your photographs in social networks and photography websites. Sharing will make you feel good about your creations. Sharing will bring the result of your pictures. Sharing in some photography groups will let you know whether your photographs have any wrong sides or right sides. Many people will talk about your views and those will become a learning session for you. While sharing, you must mention the settings for that specific photo.
23. Accept the Critics
I have suggested that sharing will bring critics for your photographs. For becoming a photographer, you must accept those positively and correct accordingly. Even if you become an outstanding photographer someday, don’t deny the critics of another photographer or any viewer.
Because photography is an art so people will see in their artistic vision. Again, don’t get demoralized with the critics, have faith that your one is also good. But, there is no end of goodness.
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24. Never Shy to Ask
On the process of becoming a photographer, you must not feel shy for asking anything you need to know. Remember, it is better to become fool once rather than becoming fool many a time. If anything arises in your mind about any photography or anything you have doubt, ask someone who knows better or more than you. Also, consult about your photography, maybe the person whom you are consulting with knows better about it.
25. Love Your Items
You should love camera, lens and other items used for your photography. This loving should not be only by using them correctly; you should take care of them adequately as well. You must clean your items regularly and when necessary. Store your equipment properly. Most of the elements of photography are vulnerable to moisture. So, store them in a dry place, preferably in Dry Cabinet or in an airtight box with silica gel. Use good cleaning kit to clean them.
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Last Words for Becoming A Photographer
Photography is an art. There is no limitation in this area. But, for becoming a photographer, you need to know the rules and all the answers of how to become a photographer or how to become a professional photographer. You need to know all the rules before you break the rules. I hope the tips as mentioned above will help you in becoming a photographer.
In all the tips I have given a short description, but you must know details about all those. Please read the linked articles for knowing full of them. I have just given the things you need to know about becoming a photographer. You have to go in details of them and follow accordingly. I hope these will help you in becoming a professional photographer.