I remember looking around the web for the best advice for new photographers. There are literally thousands of tips for the best camera gear, lighting equipment, techniques, etc. It can be hard to wrap your head around everything and it can make you want to quit before you even get started. Here is the best advice for new photographers that I can think of for when you are just getting started.

1. Everyone has a camera, but your creativity will help you stand out

Cameras are now cheaper than 5-10 years ago, and technology has become more advanced in smaller packages. Millions of people are carrying smartphones with advanced cameras built into them. Everybody has a camera, but not everyone is a photographer. Your ability to frame a subject and get creative with post-production will always help you stand apart from the rest.

Don’t worry about the next photographer with a bigger and more expensive camera. Principles of photography are the same for everyone. It’s how you practice these principles that will make you more of a professional.

2. You don’t always have to buy the newest and most expensive gear

Speaking of bigger and better cameras. It seems like every few months, there is a new bigger and more expensive camera on the market. Yes, it is nice to have, but upgrading constantly can be an expensive habit. I shot with the same Sony a7 camera for 2 years before I upgraded. I even upgraded to an older version and not the newest. The best advice I was given when I started was to invest in good lenses. Camera bodies will be changing all the time, but good glass will always be a great investment.

Many people never outgrew their original camera, but always feel the need to upgrade. If your budget allows it, that’s great. If you’re like me and started with a limited budget, learn new photography skills, and not new cameras.

3. Keep shooting, and don’t give up

There were so many times I wanted to quit shooting. I felt like there were so many other people out there younger, and more creative than I was. I constantly searched social media for tips on how to shoot and learning what my favorite photographers were using. This really made me question my work and why I was shooting. After 2 years of shooting, the best thing I did was not quitting. I kept shooting, studying and kept getting better.

4. The key to becoming a professional is to start presenting yourself like one

Shooting great photos is a sure-fire way to become a professional, but it is not the only way. How you communicate with potential clients plays a big part in how you are perceived. Your brand also plays a huge role in how people see your business.

Take the time and make sure you are presenting yourself in the best light possible. (no pun intended) Another idea is to polish those business cards, and start a simple website or social media portfolio to showcase your best work. This will go a long way in helping you become a pro or start doing TFP portrait sessions.

Just keep making progress

Like any creative, you will find yourself learning with all new projects. Don’t get discouraged at the popularity of people online, as much of this is fake and very trivial. Learn new skills beyond the camera as you keep moving and learning. Best wishes and happy shooting!

More Photography Articles

If your interested in starting your own photography journey, I recommend checking out some of these great resources and gear!

Checking out new Gear

Great Sony Full-Frame Cameras for Portrait Photography:

My Sony A7riii Mirrorless Camera – High resolution Sony Mirrorless Camera
The Sony A7rii – High resolution Sony Mirrorless Camera (2nd Generation)
Sony a7iii Mirrorless Camera
– 3rd Generation Sony Mirrorless Camera
Sony a7ii Mirrorless Camera w/IBIS – 2nd Generation Sony Mirrorless Camera
The Sony A7 Mirrorless Camera – Great full-frame starter camera for beginners

Sony Full-Frame Lenses for Portraits: (e-mount)

Sony 85mm f1.4 G-Master – Best 85mm portrait lens
Batis 85mm f1.8 – Lightweight 85mm portrait lens
Sony 85mm f1.8 – Smallest 85mm portrait lens
Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8 – Small, sharp, lightweight portrait lens (my favorite lens)
The Sony 50mm f1.8 – Cheap starter nifty fifty
The Sony Zeiss 35mm f1.4 – Great wide option for portraits and lifestyle images
Sony 24-70 G-Master f2.8 – Sharp and versatile zoom lens
Sony 24-105 G Lens f4.0 – One of the best zooms for Sony
Wide Angle 16-35mm F2.8 – G-Master wide angle lens
The Sony 70-200 G-Master Lens f2.8 – Long range telephoto zoom

Great Sony Starter Cameras for Portraits: (crop-sensor)

Sony a6400 Mirrorless Camera – Amazing eye auto-focus detection
Sony a6300 Mirrorless Camera – Sony mirrorless camera (2nd generation)
The Sony a6000 Mirrorless Camera – Great affordable interchangeable lens camera
Sony a6500 Mirrorless Camera w/IBIS – Amazing photography and video camera

Affordable Crop Sensor Lenses for Portraits: (e-mount)

Sigma 30mm f1.4 – Great for blurry backgrounds
Sony 50mm f1.8 OSS – Made for crop sensors and shallow depth of field
Sigma 16mm f1.4 – Amazing lens for Vloggers and video
Sony 35mm f1.8 – Super walk around lens for travel

Recommended Accessories:

Godox Ving V860IIS Camera Flash – Speedlight Paired w/ X1T-S Wireless Trigger
Meike Grip Sony a7 – Camera extension grip
Meike Grip Sony a7ii – Camera extension grip

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