Begin Photography and Work Your Way Up to Pro...




Anybody can become a pro photographer, regardless of age. Photography is based on the three aspects of creativity, materials, and knowledge, all of which anybody can harness. Photography is a skill that takes time to develop, and while it does require dedication and money well spent, the final outcome is surely rewarding.

Below and within this Instructable you can see images that I have taken with these skills and tips!

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Step 1: Equipment

This is one of the aspects that I have talked about earlier. While you can see a difference between a point-and-shoot and SLR camera, if you do your research, you can spend much less than expected and still get a good result.

When you purchase a camera, you are making an investment. Always do your research before making a purchase. The camera that I own is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18K. I purchased it a Wolf Camera for $349.95. While you do not need such a nice camera, it does have its perks. Cheaper is not always better, and the same for more expensive, it's not always better. Should you go digital or film? Digital has a lot of advantages, and it still can be printed like film, but recently I have had my eye on Leica film cameras, yup, I am talking about the $1,000 cameras. So do your research and make a good choice.

Every photographer, amature or professional, should carry a good tri-pod. I own a Quantaray QSX 2001 UT Tripod ($19.99 from Ritz Camera). The qualities that you should look for in a tri-pod are
-3-way panhead
-tension adjustment
-height (good if above 3 feet, mine goes up to 49 inches)
-quick release attachment
-rubber non-marking feet
-durable and strong thread
-can hold 3 or more pounds
A tri-pod keeps the camera steady. A steady camera means a good shot.

Do not go cheap here. A cheap case means cheap protection. You want to protect your camera from any damage it could sustain. I have listed two cases that you should look into:
-Pelican GPS/Cell Phone Case ($19.99 from Ritz Camera). These cases are tough, waterproof, dust-proof, and inexpensive. Five stars.
-Pelican 0940 CF Memory Card Case ($19.99 from Ritz Camera). Protect and carry your memory cards with this inexpensive and strong case.

A good memory card with tons of storage means more shooting time. I recommend that you have one or more 2GB or 4GB memory card, and one 512MB or more back up card on hand at all times. Having a backup card means you can keep on shooting when your primary card gets filled up. Don't forget to store your photos onto the computer when you can!

All other equipment and accessories are optional. I have listed only the necessities.

Step 2: Everywhere You Go...

Bring your camera! You may see something that you would want to photograph, so don't miss the opportunity. Think creatively! Everyday object may produce a much better photo than you may think! Just look at the photo I took below, can you guess what it is?

Please view next step...

Step 3: It's Not That Easy...

Okay, so it's not as easy as just pointing and shooting. Lighting, exposure, focus, and position are all important aspects of a good photo. The following steps will outline this more in detail. While creativity is important, these are more important. Please pay special attention to them.

Step 4: Lighting and Exposure

Nothing can ruin a good photo more than lighting. A photo with too much or too little lighting can interfere with the exposure process and then produce a photo too dark or do bright. So always choose the proper setting for exposure and always properly light your subject.

Below are some examples.

Step 5: Focus

Blur or clarity. Your pick. Most of the times clarity wins over blurriness. Focusing is something they you will have to toy around with, changing your distance away from the object, or changing the zoom, can help you get in focus. When focusing an image, always use the view-finder, never wing-it. You want to have your image as clear as possible, and always try it from different angles. Check below for examples.

Step 6: Position

Position can change an image dramatically. When shooting an image, remember the following:
-2/3 or 1/3, not 1/2That means that you should not place the horizon at the direct center of a photo, but instead place it at the 1/3 or 2/3 mark of the page. It looks more natural and inviting. Also, getting a short from a low or high position can create a different feel. So change your position and create a new image.

Step 7: Use of Your Tri-pod

To use your tri-pod, screw on your camera to the thread. Now locate your subject and tighten the head of the tri-pod to hold the camera in place. Adjust the height accordingly. The use of your tri-pod is simple yet it produces marvelous images. Just see for yourself:

Step 8: "So Now I Took My Photos, What Should I Do?"

Okay, so you took your photos, they look great, but now your stuck. What should you do, you ask? First, upload your snapshots to your camera, for digital, and review them. The use of computer editing software can help with the editing of your images, but you should aim for a good photo at the start, because the use of the computer editing software creates "false" images, which do not show your natural creativity. You can have your images printed either off-line (i.e.:,,, etc.) or in-person (Ritz camera, Wolf camera, Target, etc.).

If you have film, you can send in your film by mail to companies, like, to have it digitally saved online and printed, or go to your local pharmacy and photo store to have it printed, and in most cases, also put digitally on a CD.

Step 9: So in Conclusion...

Anybody can be a great photographer. Photography is a skill that requires attention and dedication. It is also a fun and creative hobby. So go out and shoot some photos, and don't forget to vote/rate this Instructable in the Photojojo contest!

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    15 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    There really are much better sources of information for how to begin taking photographs. This was not written by a professional photographer (which would be the only source of information on how to become a pro, in my opinion).

    On top of that, none of your photographs inspired me to listen to your opinions.

    Maybe change the name of this article to "Beginning Photography..." and leave it at that.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    great "ible" very informative here are some of my photos :

    The first picture is looking vertically up a building with a sign on it. All of the small "things" poking out of the surface are bulbs. Great use of angles!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I thought this was great!!! its a quick way to take what photography means right in.  Its now almost Valentines, and so flowers are a major photography subject!!


    My PIX below :)



    10 years ago on Introduction

    Im guessing the one picture is a reflective surface with beads on it


    11 years ago on Introduction

    So was it an april fool's joke or not? For those who want to go more in depth try, they have some really good photography tutorials.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I really thought you were trying to be serious until I saw the date. Good April Fool joke. BTW It's tripod, not tri-pod. You are missing a major element here. Professional photography implies that you are running a business. All of the technical issues are meaningless without an understanding of marketing, accounting, pricing, licensing, legal aspects and the ability to write in standard English. Work on those skills.

    As a professional photographer who went through an intense BA program to be able to call myself a professional I find it insulting to say that the information in this Instructable can turn you from an amature into a professional. There is so much more to it that hardly anyone realizes. If you want this to be an instructable on how to shoot then include more information such as aperture and shutter controls, ISO, white balance, flash, depth of field, etc. Digital editing in Photoshop does not create a false image. It can be used to create an image that cannot exist in reality yes. But most of the time it is used to perfect an image. That is not to say that you should not try to get the shot right in camera. Photoshop is a tool of photography the same as a tripod or flash. If you do not utilize it you are not creating the best images you can. Please include more information in this instructable to be accurate.

    2 replies

    I totally understand what you are talking about. The trouble that I had was when I was trying to explain the aperature, shutter, ISO, w/b, flash, depth of field, color balance, denisty, etc. was that with each camera being different it would be hard to explain, yet I could try to skim over it and encourage the people to learn more about it. Thanks for the notice.

    All of those things are not a matter of on camera things. You can still explain in detail what each of those properties is, only leaving finding it on the camera (which the manual can be used for) for the reader to discover.

    See this instructable for an example on how to explain some of the things.

    Also, your definition of macro is not correct. The blurred background is called bokeh. Macro is the term for close up photography.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Its nice that you put this out for the community and all but i will have to agree with wannabeharleyguy. There really isn't any information in there. And saying this will turn you from a am to a pro is just not right. I have spent thousands on cameras and i get paid to shoot, but i still don't consider myself a pro. Right now i have a D200, D0 and D50. As you can tell im a Nikon guy. If someone wants to take better quality pictures and they don't want to learn how to shoot manually i would tell them to go buy a Nikon D40 and just leave it on auto. They will get great results just from that, great camera for the average person wanting great quality.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    great instructable +1 and is the image in step 2 an led letter/sign???