5 More Things Nobody Tells You About Photography


Anyone who sticks with photography long enough will learn certain lessons on their own that they believe could have easily been bestowed upon them by a more experienced photographer.

A twinge of resentment is normal and, perhaps, justified as you wonder, “Why didn’t anybody tell me?”

In an effort to fill in a handful of those information gaps, I previously addressed five things that no one tells new photographers. While that’s a good start, I think there are a few more points that we should consider.

So here are five more things that nobody tells you about photography.

Photography Can Be Expensive (No Seriously…)

“Expensive” is a relative term. What’s affordable to one person might be perceived as expensive to another.

You know you’ll have to fork over some money for your first camera, but you won’t be aware of how much until you actually start shopping. And many people experience some degree of sticker shock.

It’s not just the initial investment in a camera body and lens that you have to account for, however. The cost of additional lenses, a tripod, a camera bag, lighting gear, and all sorts of other accessories really starts to add up.

How much? There’s no way to know ahead of time, so it’s important to do your research and make wise choices that fit within your budget. Our life rules of photography suggest that your gear could well end up costing more than your car so bear that in mind.

top view photo of laptop near camera
Photo by Andrew Neel 

Social Media Isn’t Going To Help You

The driving force behind social media is instant gratification. Most people are there to give and get likes for their posts because it makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy.

But if you’re looking to truly grow your skills, you need more than warm and fuzzy. You need access to people who are going to give you good advice and constructive critiques. Ideally, you want to get this sort of instruction in person, but short of that, there are plenty of photography forums and communities online where you can find knowledgeable, supportive people.

If you’re confident in your work and just want to share it, by all means, post away and watch the likes come in. But for something more substantive you’ll need to take solace elsewhere.

white smartphone
Photo by Cristian Dina 

The Rule Of Thirds Is Overrated

Well, it is, isn’t it?

I get it, the rule of thirds just works. It’s easy to achieve and it looks nice, and it’s a fine entry point to composition. But there comes a time when “nice” isn’t good enough.

If you want to create visually dynamic imagery, you can’t rely on the rule of thirds all the time. If mastery of composition is truly the hallmark of a great photographer, then great compositional skill is what you should strive for.

It’ll probably take you quite a while (years) to really figure it out, so the sooner you get started the better. 

person taking photo using a camera
Photo by Fujifilm North America

Photography Has Value

In a time when everyone has a camera and snaps pictures, it’s easy for people to dismiss photography as something “any idiot can do.” This perception robs photography of its true worth.

Photography is, indeed, as valid a form of expression as music, painting or poetry; it also has historical, social, forensic, aesthetic and, yes, commercial value.

Even if photography is primarily of personal value to most who practice it, I believe it is important to not overlook all the other ways that photography benefits society.

assorted photos on table
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood 

You Can Learn To Be Creative

It seems most people view creativity as something you either have or you don’t — some people are born with it, others aren’t. 

Natural creativity isn’t a prerequisite to being a good photographer, however. Sure, in the beginning your shots are going to be cliche and they’ll likely lack imagination, but that’s no reason to stop shooting.

You can learn to be creative simply by trying every idea that crosses your mind. Even when it seems like a bad idea (your safety notwithstanding), try it. Creativity is about taking chances. 

close up of hand over white background
Photo by Lum3n.com 

Final Thoughts

If there are things that you wish someone had told you when you were new to photography, pass them along in the comments section. You never know who might find your knowledge and experiences valuable.

Further Reading

About Author

Jason Little is a photographer, author and stock shooter. You can see Jason’s photography on his Website or his Instagram feed.

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