So you’ve opened up your new camera and you’re excited to finally start shooting. While it might sound easy to point and click, every camera has unique settings and techniques to get used to. And that’s not even counting photo editing. For a brief guide on photo editing for beginners, click or tap here.
But taking photos is supposed to be a fun hobby, not a stressful one. Knowing some basic steps to get your camera, environment and mind right for shooting will help take your photos to the next level.
Whether you’re new to photography or getting back into the swing of things, here are three easy tips to help prepare you for shooting, reduce photo anxieties and ensure your camera is always at its peak performance. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to snap away.
1. Reset camera settings
Learning to shoot with a new camera is a bit like driving a new car: It takes some time to get used to. This goes double if the camera is pre-owned or includes extra features.
To get as familiar as possible with your camera, starting from factory settings is the way to go. This will help your camera correspond more clearly to your instruction manual, and can take away some of the learning curve.
Every camera is different, so there’s no exact template for restoring factory settings. For example, some Sony cameras feature a Reset button near the lens that re-calibrates all settings to default if you hold it for 3 seconds.
Others may keep their options in the Settings menu, usually under Setup or General, depending on the model. Just look for an option that says something along the line of Reset all settings, or look up the camera’s instructions online.
Note: Before resetting, make sure any photos you don’t want to lose are removed from the camera or its memory card; otherwise, you may end up reformatting more than just settings.
2. Patience is a virtue
This is less technical advice and more practical knowledge. When folks get their hands on a new camera, there’s often a desire to take photos of everything in sight. The pressures of capturing the perfect photo can add stress to what’s supposed to be a fun hobby, and it wastes valuable space on your camera’s memory.
Related: 5 clever ways to use your phone’s camera like a DSLR
Clicking at random could get you real results — if you’re lucky, but remember: some of the best photos are candid, and capturing a moment like that can help set your photo apart. So before you head out with your camera, plan what you want to shoot, then wait for opportune moments to snap.
3. Get a camera cleaning set
This is one of the most important factors for high-quality shots that’s often overlooked by photography newcomers. A dirty lens adds unflattering debris and grain to an image, and can take away from an important visual you’re trying to convey. Click or tap here to learn other common mistakes that can ruin your photos.
Investing in a camera cleaning set can pave the way for good photography habits like camera prep, and will allow you to prevent photo mishaps. Plus, your camera is a gorgeous piece of technology. Having it look its best will help you feel more confident as a photographer — and people nearby will be sure to notice too. Tap or click here to learn how to properly clean your camera.
Looking for more photography tips and examples of pro-quality shots? Visit Dreamstime for inspiration and pro photography advice.