with Courtney Slazinik
Guide for your Photography Journey

Figuring out where to start when you begin your photography journey can be quite overwhelming. There is SO much information out there. It is hard to know where to start.

I wanted to create a guide I wish I would have had when I started. I picked up my camera to take better photos of my kids. I wasn’t looking to create pieces of art or anything I just wanted some awesome photos of my kids. A list like this would have been really helpful for me.

This is just a guide. It is not a rule or to say you have to learn everything in one stage before you move to the next. Think of it like a syllabus for a class.

A guide for your photography journey

Stage 1:
– Learn manual mode
– Get the photos correct in camera
– Focus on understanding aperture, shutter speed, and ISO and how they work together
– Nailing your focus
– Understanding Depth of Field or DOF
– Basics of natural light like window lighting
– How to achieve catchlights
– Understanding white balance and how it affects your images
– Basics of composition – incorrect limb chops, rule of thirds, looking into the frame

Step 2:
Dramatic lighting
Split lighting
Negative space
Back button focusing
– Using shutter speed to show motion
– Showing movement in your image with composition

Step 3:
– Knowing when to break the rules
– Finding your style or voice
– Shooting in full sun without overexposing your subject
– Advanced composition guides – golden ratio, golden spiral, golden triangle
– Looking to other forms of art for inspiration

If you are around Stages 1 or 2 check out our 30 day challenge to improve your photography.

There is so much more to learn about photography and the more you learn the more you will realize you have to learn. I feel like I can’t absorb enough information when it comes to photography. Remember, this is just a guide, a place to use as a starting off point or if you get stuck in your journey.

Don’t worry how long it takes you to learn one of these skills. Who cares if people learn them faster than you. You are on your OWN journey.

  • Aarthi
    February 8, 2014 at 2:53 AM

    this is a great list. thank you thank you thank you!

  • February 9, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Very helpful, thanks for sharing!

  • February 10, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Thank you! Very helpful!

  • Holli
    February 12, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Thanks for this!! :) I’m glad I found your website!

  • Cathy
    February 16, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    I really enjoy your tips and teachings. They are helping me a lot.

  • February 16, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    Thanks for the guide. Wish I had it 5 years ago :-)

  • Carolana
    February 16, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Thank you. This is so helpful. I am an absolute novice. So much to learn.

  • Rachel
    February 17, 2014 at 3:13 AM

    Great guide. I think I’m just moving over to stage 2!

  • Abby
    February 24, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    Thank you! I have only jumped into learning how to take a decent picture in the last 6 months and have been feeling overwhelmed by how much there is to learn and apply. This really helps me to prioritize and focus on the basics first.

  • Courtney
    March 8, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    This is great thank you for posting I will be spending a lot of time on your site! I love photography and it is my dream job. I also don’t have time to go to school for it with two kids under 3 & plus a lot of people say you don’t have to have schooling to be a photographer so I will be teaching myself the good thing is i have an eye for it so that is a start!

  • March 11, 2014 at 3:21 AM

    Thank you. This is so helpful.step by step you have mentioned all the things…really great,we also I specialise in high-end Lifestyle, Family and Portrait photography in surrey

  • February 5, 2015 at 9:43 PM

    Good advise.

  • Leanda
    July 9, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    This is a great list! Thank you so much xoxo

  • Veronica
    April 30, 2016 at 1:15 AM

    Thanks Courtney, you are very helpful and enjoyable to read. I wish you were around when I was a teenager.

  • Neeraj
    June 24, 2016 at 12:06 AM

    Thanks for guidence and it’s boostup to me to come back on track only by your guideline

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