Are you someone who loves to take photos? We all love snapping away with our camera but how do you take it to the next level? Whether you are just starting out or want to take your hobby to the next level, here are our 5 basic tips to help you get started. (and YES, this is Ray when he was starting out!)

1. Don’t spend silly money on equipment straight away. 
A lot of people that attend our courses come along with enough kit to open a studio and it really isn’t needed when you are starting out. Sure, it is lovely to have the latest camera, lights and accessories but it wont make you a better photographer. Take your time with what you have already and work out what you need slowly. Start with your camera – even the best compact cameras are good now. Do your research into the best camera for you as it all depends what you will be using it for. Then when you have gained some experience you will know what you need.

2. Make a list of the things you would like to Photograph. 
We see a lot of portfolios from students/work experience in the studio and you can bet there are flowers and animals included in it. Its great to get some experience by shooting what is available but if you make a list of the type of things you would like to take photos of, it gives you something to work towards. Landmarks, events, people, cars – anything that you have an interest in will be a great starting point and give you some direction.

3. Enjoy learning.
There are so many resources available for new photographers. Yes there are some great courses that you can pay to go on but there are a lot of FREE ways to learn photography too. The library will have a wealth of knowledge if you prefer books and the internet is full of video demonstrations showing you everything from how to use your camera properly to different lighting set ups. Take some time to sit and learn the area you are interested in and then get out and practice  - there is no better way to learn than that.

4. Take your camera everywhere. 
There are always photo opportunities when you least expect it so be prepared and carry your camera with you at all times. Even if you don’t have much time you can make a note (or snap) of what you want to photograph and return to it later when you have more time to experiment.

5. Getting feedback
Whether this is from your friends and family or a professional ask for some feedback on your images. It helps you take a step back from your passion and see what others see in your work. Photography forums and camera clubs are also worth researching as they will have like minded people who are also embarking on new challenges and ready to help each other out.

If you are a budding photographer and need any help, we are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Why not drop us an email to info@raylowestudios.co.uk  - we would love to hear from you.