What I Have Learned by Teaching Photography for 8 Years

After being a photo instructor for 8 years, there are lessons I have learned over and over again. I would like to share a few of those lessons with you.

1. The best way to learn photography is by practicing.

Many students show up to class with their camera inside their camera bag. You’re probably thinking — well, duh- but this is the wrong approach. They should have their camera out and be actively taking photos. Taking lots of photos and experimenting with different techniques is the best way to get great photos. You will only get better with practice. Do not be afraid to make mistakes, as they can often lead to great learning opportunities.

2. Get to know your camera before taking any pictures.

Often times students will show up to class with a camera they know nothing about. Not even how to turn the camera on. You would be surprised how many people try to take photos without even knowing how to change the camera settings on their own camera.

3. Do not be afraid to experiment with different settings and techniques.

People are afraid of messing up or doing things wrong. That is the wrong mindset. Remember that photography should be enjoyable. Experimenting is one of the best ways to learn and improve your photography skills. Do not be afraid to try new things. Often times you will find that the results are much better than you expected.

4. Be patient.

Phones have changed photography expectations. I hear the all time “I can take better photos on my phone why would I buy a camera?” Phones are great. Cameras are great too. Pick whatever work best for you. Just remember the more camera you buy; the bigger the learning curve is. Photography is not an instant gratification art form. It takes time and practice to get good at it. Do not expect to take amazing photos from the first time you pick up a camera.

5. Take your time.

Learning is part of the journey and when is comes to photography there is a lot to learn. Slow it down and take your time.

Photo by Tristan Gassert on Unsplash

6. Stick with it.

There are so many online resources to help you learn photography it is overwhelming. My advice is to stick with one source and follow it through till the end before following another one. Also do not hoard information. I know it is tempting to gather as much information as possible but photography does not work like that. You must go out and take photos to get better.

Last remember that there is no one right way to take a photo. It is all about experimentation and finding what works best for you. I hope this article has helped you to understand photography a little better. If you have any questions put them in the comments below.

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