Its exciting getting your very first digital camera. Whether you have a DSLR, Mirrorless or even a point and shoot, learning it can be overwhelming. At times, its okay to put it in auto mode. As long as you are taking pictures, you are going to keep getting better. In fact, as I was learning my camera, I would set it to auto mode and see what settings the camera picked. Then I would switch to manual and set those exact settings and eventually learned to adjust what I felt was better.

Heres a few tips on how you can learn more about taking pictures and getting to know your camera even better:

  • Take a local (non major) digital photography class at an extension of the local university. For me, it was perfect as I needed the class room setting and assignments to push me in learning my camera. Six weeks of focused homework and getting myself out to shoot was the best step towards my career in learning a camera. It also inspired me to take more photography classes.
  • I also played and podcasts in the background while I worked. Everyday I picked up a new skill. In fact, learning the exposure triangle took a few times hearing it. It wasn’t until one day at work and I was listening to photography instructor, Zack Arias discuss the exposure triangle when finally everything clicked. I think at that point I had heard a lesson on the exposure triangle at least three or four times before lightbulbs went off. Its okay if you don’t understand certain things right away.
  • Online there are so many resources to learn from. Obviously, here at we have articles on just about everything related to growing as a photographer. All of us here that write and contribute to photofocus love teaching photography and giving back our knowledge that we are continuing learning ourselves. Be sure to check out Photofocus partner as well. The classes taught on Lynda are a huge value to enrich your learning.
  • Check out your local Facebook photographer groups in your area. Many post local workshops and meetups where you can take pictures and get to know the local community. I often find myself growing the most when I go out and shoot with other photographers.
  • Kelby One does mini photo workshops around the country as well as the yearly Photoshop World in Vegas. In fact, its PSW that changed and shaped how my camera plays a role in my life. I learned more about Photoshop and taking pictures in three days then I ever did during a semester of college.

Don’t get me wrong, my time as a photography student in college was great. I learned more about art, light, history then I would have on my own. The best part of being a photographer is that you are always learning. Life is more meaningful with hobbies and interests. Invest in yourself to be happy and you will find its worth it.

The Bottom Line

There are many more resources that I haven’t even mentioned but I hope that this helps get you started on finding what will work best for you and your journey of being a photographer even if its just to take better pictures of your family. Have fun and enjoy your new camera.