19 Best Ways To Learn Photography Without Going To Photography School Update 10/2021

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We all love to learn new things and improve ourselves. Photography is no exception. There are so many different aspects of photography to learn and master, but it is very easy to get overwhelmed and feel like there is no way out of it. This is why in this article I will show you some of the best ways to learn photography and to get started on your journey towards becoming a professional photographer.

What’s The Purpose Of Your Photography ?

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The ability and desire to turn a hobby into a career are two separate things. Studying is a big commitment, so ask yourself if it’s worth it before you commit to it. Degrees aren’t cheap, as anyone with one knows. The average cost of tuition in the United States is $33,000 per year. Spending that much money on a pastime is extravagant.

Even if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on certification, there are many free or low-cost ways to improve your photography skills. We’ll get to those in a minute.

The Pros And Cons Of Photography School

You’re well aware of the expense, but you’re still interested in learning more. Let’s go over the major advantages and disadvantages of photography school.

Pros:

+ More in-depth knowledge of art, including its origins, development, and current state.

+ Hone your natural talents and take advice from those who have already found success in the industry.

+ Become well-versed in lighting and compositional methods.

+ Keep in touch with people throughout your studies who can be helpful in your future career.

Cons:

+ Due to high tuition costs and low average yearly salaries, it may take decades to pay off your debt.

+ Lenses, cameras, and accessories are extremely expensive, making it difficult to balance the cost of lenses, cameras, and accessories with the cost of study.

+ Employment isn’t guaranteed, especially because art and photography degrees are restricted.

+ If your photography career doesn’t flourish, you may have to return to school to pursue additional education.

Whose point of view do you hold the most value?

01. Get Familiar With Your Camera

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No way am I going to read the camera manual, I know you’re thinking. When learning a new model, it’s an invaluable tool. It’s not to say you have to read 300 pages cover to cover; of course, you can skip over sections you already know about or save them for later. However, the camera manual is more important than you may realize. There are a couple of reasons why you should spend some time researching your gear:

+ You must be well-versed in your camera’s workings.

+ No one knows the camera as well as the designers and engineers who built it.

02. Watch Online Tutorials

Since the advent of the internet, many people now regard manuals as historical artifacts, so you can learn anything on the internet. Even if you dislike reading, there will be a plethora of videos and blogs explaining how to use the model you’ve chosen. For those interested in hearing from people who have actually used the equipment, this feature is especially useful. Check out popular channels like Mango Street or Peter McKinnon for how-to videos on YouTube, which are full of reviews, tips, and warnings for photographers. Lastly, put what you’ve learned into practice!

03. Hit The Books (and online portfolios)

Reading a good book or browsing an online portfolio can help you take in information in a more creative, colorful, and interesting way than if you were just studying. They’ll give you motivation and point you in the direction of interesting niches to explore. Even as you learn, portfolios can be a source of frustration as you see what others have accomplished and find it difficult to achieve the same level of achievement on your own Though it may seem discouraging at first, keep in mind that mastery takes time.

04. Practice, Practice And Practice !

Bring your camera everywhere you go and shoot anything that looks remotely interesting. Nothing will help you more than experience. You can take fifty photography courses, read every book on lighting and exposure, and talk about it all day – but taking photos is what will allow you to unlock your personal style and natural talent. The more photos you take, the more you’ll learn about your strengths and weaknesses. To see how far you’ve come, look back on your early mistakes and keep a record of them.

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05. Expand Your Network

Studying, reading, and admiring the work and words of photographers is important, but you must also go out and network. When you have contacts and referrals, you can learn new skills and, if you want to make money, you can find customers. Making long-term connections is all about figuring out who you should know and how you can connect with them.

+ As a photographer, networking allows you to meet new people and build relationships.

+ You are your brand; establishing yourself as more than just a photographer will help you get repeat business.

+ Compared to other forms of marketing, networking is incredibly low-cost.

+ No company can succeed without strong interpersonal ties.

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06. Get A Mentor Or Apprenticeship

There are surprisingly few photographers who have taken advantage of mentors and apprenticeships as a launching pad into the field. How did many successful self-taught professionals learn the ropes? Many will say it was through an internship where they worked their way up.

Do your homework on the company before you start working for them, however. You must establish a relationship with someone who is willing to share their knowledge and who is supportive in their demeanor. Bad work experience can lead to a job where your entire day will be spent sifting through paperwork and taking phone calls.

07. Attend A Workshop

To build on what was said previously, attending a workshop is an excellent way to gain knowledge. For those who are considering attending photography school but do not want to commit to 3+ years of study or spend a significant amount of money, workshops are a great alternative option. Not to say workshops aren’t expensive. Some can be eye-wateringly expensive. However, compared to the cost of a degree, they represent a significant savings. In addition to all of the previously mentioned benefits, workshops are a great way to meet people, find an internship, and discover new interests.

08. Join A Photography Forum

It’s no secret that photographers enjoy talking shop about their craft. Forums. No matter what questions you have about photography or your camera, forums are the best place to get honest feedback on your work and learn about different styles of photography. While what someone says on a forum may seem gospel to some, it’s always a good idea to verify claims made by others.

09. Set Yourself A Photography Bucket list

Is there anything better than making a list of goals and working your way through them until there aren’t any more?! Honestly, I don’t believe so. This can also help you on your journey as a photographer. Setting goals or creating a photography ‘bucket list’ can help motivate you to get out and shoot more.

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10. Enter A Photography Competition

If you’re having trouble getting feedback on your photography from other sources, enter a photography competition. It’s possible to win a lot of money in photography contests, so if you’re interested in making money from your photos, enter one of these competitions. There are many photography competitions that are simply a way for the host to make money rather than a way to recognize and reward talent. Do your research before entering any competition and don’t pay more than $30 or $40.

11. Make An Online Photography Portfolio

As soon as you start accumulating a body of work, you’ll need to put together a portfolio.

Here’s why:

+ As a resume tool, highlight your experience and previous clients to land new work.

+ As a marketing tool, use social media to build your personal brand by encouraging people to take action.

+ When looking back at your work, use this to gauge how far you’ve come with each new project in photography.

Here’s how:

+ It will help potential clients quickly and easily determine if you’re a photographer they’d like to work with by organizing your work into themes.

+ Rather than making viewers sift through dozens of mediocre images, focus on your best work.

+ Get your head around SEO (search engine optimization) because without it, your site will get little attention.

+ Instead of building a custom website, use a website builder like WordPress or Squarespace. These platforms make it simple to design your layout while still looking great.

12. Present Your Photos To Your Friends

If you’re trying to learn a new skill on your own, get some honest feedback from friends by showing them your work. Remember that they may not be familiar with photography techniques or styles, but ask them which ones they like and which ones they dislike so you can narrow down your search. Some of their opinions may be insightful, and you can use this as an opportunity to discuss how your potential customers, who aren’t necessarily experts in photography, might perceive your work.

13. Find Your Own Style

When learning how to take pictures, it’s critical to remember to be inspired rather than to copy your inspiration. It’s possible to be inspired by the photos of others and think, “That’s exactly the kind of photo I want to take.” However, no two photographs will ever be the same, so don’t waste your time trying to mimic the styles of others. The best way to discover your personal style is to keep taking photos until you find it. Shoot as much as you can, whenever you can.

14. Follow Lots Of Photographers On Social Media

Instagram, in particular, is a powerful tool for photographers because it rewards aesthetics. You already waste a lot of time scrolling through feeds, so why not have them present you with content that is truly inspiring? Check out these five Instagram accounts to get your creative juices flowing!

15. Travel

Traveling forces you to step outside of your comfort zone, which can be incredibly beneficial to your creative output. Traveling soon? Pack your camera and capture everything that piques your interest—fill your memory card with mementos and lessons learned. Models and moving objects are difficult to photograph, especially when you’re just getting started. Instead, start by looking for beautiful landscapes to photograph.

16. Learn To Use Post Production Tools

There are two parts to taking a photo: taking and editing. To really take your images to the next level, watch tutorials and experiment with the photo editor and post-production programs you use. This will help you get the most out of your investment in Lightroom and Photoshop.

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17. Experiment And Make Mistakes

A film photographer might find this advice prohibitively expensive, but digital photographers will appreciate the fact that they can take hundreds of lousy photos and have no regrets. Experiment with light and composition, and don’t be afraid to move your subject around to get different looks. There will be dozens of bad photos when you first start, but what matters is that you look back and see what works and what doesn’t.

18. Photograph What Excites You

Nothing makes photography more enjoyable or fulfilling than capturing the things that excite or fascinate you. Those who adore dogs should capture images of them, while those who adore flowers should capture images of them. When you’re motivated by your favorite things, you’re more likely to keep shooting and learning about photography.

19. Put Your Heart Into It

Don’t be afraid to put your heart and soul into everything you do, from taking photos to reading books to watching videos to learning new programs. Photography is an art form, and the best works of art come from artists who are passionate about what they are doing.

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Conclusion

There are many ways that you can learn how to take good pictures.
You can use your camera to take pictures of people, places, or objects that you like. You can also use it to take pictures of your friends, family, pets, or even landscapes.
We hope that this article above will help you learn more about the different types of photography and how to take good pictures.