I was on a walk taking pictures with my dad the other day during sunset. It was actually a pretty amazing location. It was in chandler called Paseo Vista Recreation Area.   The park sits on top of a dirt mound that overlooks the surrounding area. Winding up the road you see a dirt parking lot then a field of native plants. The park has a disc golf course and even an archery range but what makes the park so special was the fact that it was built on top of a dump. Yup, it is all on top of a decomposing mound of trash. A great example of human ingenuity in my opinion.  We walked to the highest point to watch the sunset when we met a guy named Bob.


Bob saw my camera and he had a couple of questions about cameras. His daughter is looking to get more into photography and for Christmas/birthday he was hoping that he could get her one. Here are the pieces of advice that I gave him.


1. Learn What Type of Photography You Like Before You Buy

This isn’t always the easiest thing to do but I highly recommend you look at Instagram and Flickr. See what are the types of pictures you would want to spend your time recreating? Flickr is great for this because usually, you can see the data for the shots. If you notice a consistent brand being used take note. Research what types of cameras are used in different types of photography.

There are micro 4/3 cameras, mirrorless, full-body, half cropped and cameras that do video. You have to decide what are you going to do with it.

Common Types of photography to explore:

Street Photography

Wildlife Photography

Landscape Photography

Product Photography

Portrait Photography

Micro Photography

Model Photography


2. Lenses Are More Important Than Bodies

That isn’t completely accurate but trying to keep things simple here. From my experience, you can get some amazing results with good lenses on a cheap body.


3. Plan Your Upgrade

The truth is if you are going to get in photography you are going to eventually find yourself wanting to buy new equipment. The best thing I have found is to plan my upgrades and stagger them. One this helps me financially but also it really takes a couple of weeks to get to know what each lens can do.


4. Start with Variables Lens Then Move to Primes.

Variable lenses will allow you to test a lot of different focal lengths. They are said not to produce as sharp as images as most people would want but you can save your money for that lense that you know you are going to take out of your bag 90% versus the one that will go on a shelf.


5. Shoot As Often As You Can

It’s ok to suck.  You will suck. You do not have to show everyone your pictures. You do not have to get 10 likes on Instagram or any other platform. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to spend hours sharing your photo on as many platforms as you possibly can.  You do however need to get as many pictures into your portfolio as you can. Find a way to make the boring interesting. Work on learning the soft skills but it will all be on the back of your ability to take the good picture.