Getting Started with Photography: Tips for Capturing Beauty, Staying Active, and Preserving Memories

Shaaz Nasir


So, you’ve read about the fantastic reasons to pick up a camera and start transforming your life – seeing beauty in everything, staying active, and preserving precious memories. Now, you’re probably wondering, “How do I actually get started as a photographer?” Well, you’re in the right place. This follow-up guide is here to help you take those first steps into the captivating world of photography. Let’s dive in and explore how you can achieve those three life-enhancing benefits with some practical advice and a touch of creativity.

Step 1: Embrace the Beauty Around You

One of the most exhilarating aspects of photography is learning to see beauty in the everyday. Here’s how you can start:

Choose Your Gear Wisely

Fujifilm XS 20 paired with the Pocket Dispo Lens

You don’t need to break the bank to start seeing the world through a photographer’s eyes. Begin with what you have, whether it’s a smartphone or a basic digital camera. When I started, I used a Fujifilm XS 10 mirrorless camera along with the Fujifilm 16-80 mm kit lens and a 24 mm prime lens by Viltrox. This setup provided a versatile range for various types of photography and helped me get comfortable with different shooting scenarios. As you develop your skills and interests, you can invest in more advanced equipment. The key is to get comfortable with your gear and understand its capabilities.

Learn the Basics

Understanding the fundamentals of photography is crucial. Start with the basics of composition, lighting, and exposure. There are plenty of online resources, tutorials, and beginner courses that can help you grasp these concepts. A great starting point is the “rule of thirds,” which can help you create more balanced and interesting photos. In a later article, you’re going to have a list of YouTubers that helped me grow my basic skills and even inspire me to push myself further.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The best way to improve your ability to see and capture beauty is by practicing regularly. Challenge yourself to take photos daily, experimenting with different subjects, angles, and lighting conditions. Join photography communities online or locally where you can share your work, get feedback, and gain inspiration from others. Always take your camera with you as every moment can be a beautiful chance to practice your photography. Don’t be afraid of what people will think – they honestly do not matter.

Find Inspiration Everywhere

By taking your camera every time you leave the door you can look for inspiration in your surroundings. Nature, urban landscapes, and even your own home can be full of potential subjects. Try to see the extraordinary in the ordinary – a dew-covered spider web, the pattern of shadows on a wall, or the vibrant colors of a city street. The more you practice, the more you’ll train your eye to notice and appreciate the beauty around you.

Step 2: Stay Active and Explore

Photography is a wonderful motivator to get you moving and exploring new places. Here’s how to make it an integral part of your active lifestyle:

Plan Photography Outings

If you can’t just take your camera everywhere then I suggest you set aside specific times for photography outings. Whether it’s a weekend hike, a stroll through a new neighborhood, or a visit to a local park, plan your trips with the intention of capturing unique shots. This not only keeps you active but also gives you fresh perspectives and subjects.

Join Photography Walks and Meetups

Look for photography walks and meetups in your area. These events are a fantastic way to explore new locations, meet fellow photographers, and learn from each other. Plus, walking around with a group can be a fun and social way to stay active.

Combine Photography with Other Activities

Photography can be seamlessly integrated into other activities you enjoy. Going for a run? Bring your camera along and capture the morning light. Traveling to a new city? Document your journey and the interesting people you meet along the way. The key is to make your camera a regular companion in your adventures.

Stay Curious and Adventurous

Keep a sense of curiosity and adventure. Challenge yourself to visit places you wouldn’t normally go. Explore different times of day, such as early mornings or late evenings, when the light can be particularly magical. The more you explore, the more opportunities you’ll find to capture stunning images and stay physically active.

Step 3: Capture and Preserve Memories

Photography is all about creating lasting memories. Here’s how to make sure you’re capturing moments you and your future self will cherish:

Tell a Story

Think of each photo as a part of a larger story. Whether it’s a family event, a trip, or a quiet moment at home, aim to capture the essence and emotion of the scene. Candid shots often tell the most compelling stories, so be ready to snap those unposed, genuine moments.

Organize Your Photos

Keep your photos organized from the start. Create folders or albums based on dates, events, or themes. Regularly back up your photos to ensure they’re safe. There are many tools available, from cloud storage solutions to physical drives, to help you keep your memories secure and accessible. I use iCloud for my storage and went all in on the Apple Ecosystem. Watch this YouTube episode by Roman Fox for a more advance view on how to organize your photos. Do not get overwhelmed by Roman’s approach but it’s good to see how advance professionals manage their entire photography workflow.

Print and Display Your Work

In the digital age, we often forget the joy of holding a printed photograph. Choose some of your favorite shots to print and display around your home. Create photo books or albums that you can flip through and share with friends and family. Printed photos have a tangible, nostalgic quality that digital files can’t quite match.

Share Your Journey

Sharing your photos with others can be incredibly rewarding. Start a photography blog or social media account dedicated to your work. Participate in local exhibitions or online galleries. Sharing your journey not only allows others to enjoy your work but also connects you with a community of like-minded individuals who can offer support and inspiration. I am getting ready to launch my own photography website with the services I provide and their price points. It’s been a long overdue process but one that’s been made easier by Square Space.

Mindful Moments Through Photography

At the heart of it all, remember that photography is about more than just taking pictures. It’s about being present, seeing the world through a mindful lens, and creating moments that bring joy and fulfillment to your life and the lives of others. As you embark on your photographic journey, embrace each step with curiosity, creativity, and a sense of wonder. You’re not just capturing images; you’re crafting stories, preserving memories, and celebrating the beauty of life itself. So, pick up your camera, venture out, and start snapping – your future self will thank you.

Still not sure on if you should take up photography? Re read this article.

Note: Chat GPT was used as an aid in writing the above article.