I love photography, and I believe everyone should try it at least once. It doesn’t cost much to start, is easy to do, and there are plenty of free online resources that you can take advantage of. However, it is not suitable for everyone, and you must pursue it with the right attitude if you want to be successful.

#1 You are unwilling to commit the time

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

This is a famous quote by famed photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. To get better at photography, you must take the time to practice and experiment. Without practical experience, your skills will not improve no matter how many books you read or videos you watch. If you are serious about photography, you should seize every chance possible to practice. Bring your camera with you to your work, to the park, to your friend’s house, to your school. Challenge yourself by photograph something ordinary and try to make them extraordinary. If you keep at it with passion and perseverance, eventually you will accumulate enough experience to enable you to photograph any subjects.

#2 You believe buying a $3000 DSLR makes you a photographer

Some people think that buying an expensive camera is going to somehow help them learn faster or give them a boost. An expensive camera does help a lot with photography, but it will only perform up to the level of your skills. The more expensive cameras usually come with bigger sensor, higher dynamic range, more ISO options and less noise at high sensitivity, but they will not make up for the lack of skills in any way. Unless you spend the time to hone your skills and develop your own style, a $3000 camera is nothing but a waste of money.

Photography doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, when I first started photography, I had a film OM-1 body, a 50mm lens and a 28mm wide angle lens that cost less than $100, and I used them until I decided to get a DSLR so I can do more with photography. The video above shows how a cheap camera can be as useful as an expensive one.

#3 You refuse to shoot in M mode

Thanks to digital technology, cameras nowadays come with many neat features like shutter speed priority mode and aperture priority mode. These features really come in handy when you are shooting in a dynamic environment where subjects and lighting conditions changes frequently, but they have their limits too. In order to utilize your camera’s fullest potential, you must be able to shoot in M mode and have a good understanding of the basics, such as the the relation between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

#4 You think Photoshop can fix anything

Editing is definitely an important aspect in modern day photography. Almost every single one of my photos were edited in some way, and I don’t see any issues if you want to Photoshop your photos in a cool and fancy way. However, if you think Photoshop is the single most important thing in photography, you are mistaken.

Photoshop is an amazing tool, but it is not the only thing there is to photography. In the early days, photographers carefully compose the photos, patiently await the exposure to complete, then spend hours in the darkroom to process the films. The idea of altering photos was not common, and photographers spend more time actually shooting photos than manipulating photos. Even today, photographers still rely on their knowledge and skills with cameras to make their subjects in the photos stunning and captivating, and that’s what photography is really about.


Thoughts? Questions? Please leave your comments below.