I wanted to write a post on my tips to people who may have gotten that new camera, decided to pursue photography more, or just want some basic good ideas for everyday photos.

Check your Manuals – The first tip is to know your camera.  A lot of people think instruction manuals are nothing to worry about and they can figure the cameras out for themselves.  Well, trust me, with the new high tech cameras there are so many functions that are hidden in menus and far away lands that the manual becomes a necessity.  I always read the manuals on my camera, it gets you familiar with it and gets you ready for situations where you need/want to use that odd function.

Read – I am always reading blogs, books, and magazines on photography.  Almost everyday.  Find books and blogs on topics that interest you.  I love reading about flash photography and lighting so I have been reading books on that.  There are a number of blogs I follow that you can get a hug amount of information off of.  Just search for what you like – HDR, Flash, Photojournalism, etc!

Here are some blogs I like:

PhotoArgus Blog
Light Stalking
Joe McNally’s Blog
Ryan Breziner’s Blog

There are a lot more I could list, let me know if you want some more suggestions!

Be Social –  Social networks is how to get your work out there, join Flickr, join 500px, get a SmugMug site.  Get your work out there!  People will give you feedback, it may be bad, but take it for what it is worth.  If you want to become successful you need to get your work and name out there.  It does take time, so be active on those sites.  It is amazing the inspiration you can get from others and the motivation as well!

Shoot! – There is no better way to learn than to go shoot.  I know my wife gets upset when I want her to pose and let me take a ton of shots to find the ideal lighting situation, but hey, I want to get better.  I always want to get better.  Shoot everything, in this day of digital it is so nice to not have to spend money every day you want to shoot.  Take advantage of it.  I love going and walking around Chicago looking for new spots, places, and things to shoot.  Just get in there and don’t get discourage, even professionals take a lot of photos they do not like, it takes time.  Join groups to go on photowalks, that can really get you motivated to go out and meet others like yourself. 

Well those are my four tips for today, take them for what they are worth.  Here is a sunset shot from this past summer as my shot of the day: