Hello everyone,

 Did you all have a good Christmas? Did Santa bring anyone a new DSLR?.... Lucky you! Want to learn how to use it? Of course you do. Over the new year I am going to write some tips for beginners wanting to take their cameras off of auto mode, in a very easy to understand way, but first let me tell you how I learnt to use a DSLR...

I learnt the hard way by using a Nikon F 801 wet film, yes, wet film! And let me tell you there is no forgiveness. None of this, oh that's not quite right I'll delete that one lol. It was a very expensive way to learn and I got through a lot of film but my was it great fun! Now I cheated a little bit as this camera was given to me by my dad who was a qualified wet film photographer specialising in architecture so I had on tap tuition, but it didn't start there...


It starts with a desire to capture beauty, be it a flower, an interior, travel, fashion... It can be anything that your passionate about. Then it's the desire to take the best possible photo of your subject. 
This is when you decide what kind of photographs you really love. There is no right or wrong way (although my dad would say otherwise). For example, I don't use flash photography or use light guns as I don't like the effects they give, it doesn't mean it's wrong, it's just preference. And as we learn we improve. I love bright shots with a blurry background as I find this works lovely when photographing flowers and interesting objects which is mainly what I do. We will talk about these kind of shots in one of the tutorials. But this is my first tip, learn to work with what inspires you the most, don't take pictures of any random thing. Use your camera in auto to start with, there is nothing wrong with getting comfortable with it first. Once your used to it then work on your skills to capture your subject the way you want.


Once I'd figured out my subject matter and the kind of shots I liked there came a lot of trial and error, and this is how I really learned how to use my DSLR. Now as I said, I was taught by my dad who was and still is my toughest critic ever. He taught me about F numbers, shutter speed, ISO and cameras from a wet film photographers eye. So when I eventually got my big digital camera 4 years ago and started experimenting with the kind of shots I'd never of dreamed of using film on, it really was my eureka  moment. Taking any camera off of auto is a daunting thought for any amature, but don't worry, you will not break it! (Unless you drop it). It took a good year of daily snapping and adjusting to really find my mojo. I have to say by learning this way I rarely edit my photos that I have taken on my big camera, and when I do so it's just the odd tweak in iPhoto. I've experimented with Lightroom and Photoshop and would recommend learning them if your wanting to photograph weddings, or you want to change a lot of things in your pics. 
Having learnt wet film I am a strange mix of a purist with a digital camera, in that I still like the camera to do the work for me, I just feel like it's cheating to shove everything through Photoshop, and when you've worked so hard at working it all out why would you want to manipulate it.... Think that may be my father speaking lol. However I do not have the same opinion when I've snapped on my iPhone or iPad... Hey I'm only human... I go edit crazy! I will do some posts on iphoneography and photo apps later on.


It was a good couple of years of getting my pics out there before I took my first commissions. 
I had been styling weddings for a few years so decided to offer photography styling for small craft business. My photos attract the kind of businesses that I also love to work with, and I've styled and snapped for bakers, dress designers, paper designers and small handmade crafts. I get real pleasure through capturing creativity. I don't work as a photographer full time, and only take a couple of commissions a year as I never want to fall out of love with photography. 


I hope you have enjoyed my little insight into my world of photography, and if your a beginner that wishes to learn and practice the basics then please follow my blog for the upcoming tutorials.

                                                               Thank you

                                                                 Emma x



  1. Thank you for this first tutorial Emma. I've had my DSLR for a few years but haven't yet got to grips with the basics. I look forward to the next lesson!

    1. Thank you for reading, I hope you will enjoy the next few excercises I have planned in the new year.

  2. How beautiful of you to offer such knowledge! Looking forward to your ideas and views on photography! xo Jen

    1. Thank you for your kind words. My aim is to get the enjoyment of photography out there in a way that's simple, fun and not daunting. I hope you enjoy it.


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