Photography is a fun and fulfilling hobby for people at any age, and with the increased sophistication of today’s camera phones and editing software, the art of taking pictures has become even more accessible. However, there is more to photography than snapping a few pictures to post on Facebook or frame in your living room. Photography is first and foremost an art; that is how we approach the medium at Michael Broyles Photography. Here are five things you must do if you want to take your budding photography hobby to the next level.


Invest in a Quality Camera

Camera phones and inexpensive point and shoot cameras can take great photos, but if you are serious about photography as a hobby you must invest in a high-quality camera. Do your research before buying: there are many great sites on the Internet, such as Photography Life, Popular Photography, and Digital Photography School, that can help you make the right choice for your budget and needs. Be sure to buy your camera and equipment from an authorized dealer. It may be more expensive, but will save you the hassle of dealing with scams and ensure you receive the product you paid for.


Learn to Use Your Camera

Before you snap that first photo, take the time to sit down and read your camera’s instruction manual and become familiar with all the features your camera has to offer. What settings does your camera have and where are they located? What type of lenses does your camera use and how do you change them? Every camera has its quirks and the sooner you learn about them, the easier it will be to use your camera out in the field like a pro.


Study up on the Basics

Photography, like any field of practice, has its own jargon and set of rules to follow. While the links above offer a plethora of information on photography and various techniques, the shear amount of information in and of itself can be overwhelming to a beginner. Start with the basics: Photography Life suggests aperture, shutter speed, and camera ISO (or the sensitivity of your camera to available light) as the three pillars of photography you should understand to get the most out of your camera. Once you have a handle on these, you can move on to such concepts as exposure, white balance, and camera metering.


Understand Framing and Composition

Knowing how to use your camera is only half the battle. To take truly great photographs, you need to know how to compose and frame a photo. This is much harder than you think and luckily there are many resources, both online and at your local library, you can turn to. The best place to start is to develop a solid understanding of what composition is. From there, you can move on to the use of lines in photography, the rule of thirds, and how to use negative space.


Experiment Early and Often

Once you have mastered the basics of photography and how to work your camera, you are ready to start shooting pictures. Just like with learning to ride a bike, the more you use your camera the better you will get. Try to take at least one photograph a day or as often as you can and don’t be afraid to experiment with different settings, lighting, and techniques. Photography is a learning experience and there is always something new to discover.


Mom is a great subject for your photography, especially with Mother’s Day right around the corner. However, if you want a special portrait of mom, set aside your camera and schedule a professional photo session with Michael Broyles Photography. In honor of Mother’s Day, your mom will receive one 8” x 10” portrait for $100. A real bargain for a timeless treasure. Contact Michael Broyles Photography today to learn more.