Beginner’s Guide to Photography | FAQ’s

December 30, 2020

Yay! You’re ready to do it. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and dive into learning ALL. THE. THINGS. Don’t let the fear of starting keep you from bettering yourself. Learning to shoot in manual mode is the number one most beneficial thing you can do when it comes to photography. And guess what.. It’s really not all that hard – I promise!

In this blog I’m going to go over some of my most ask questions about what equipment beginners should start with and some of my personal recommendations. Everything in this post will be my own opinion and may not be what every other photographer out there will tell you. We all do things are own way. This is just what I have found to work for me!

• Frequently Asked Questions •

Let’s start with the elephant in the room…..

• WHAT CAMERA SHOULD I BUY? •

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this! I totally understand how confusing it is trying to buy a new camera when you know little to nothing about them. Megapixels, crop sensor, DSLR, ISO???? There are sooo many confusing photography terms that it can be down right overwhelming to a shopper. While there is no magical camera out there that you NEED to start with. I can give you a few recommendations of what typical beginners buy as they learn to shoot in manual.

You should expect to spend between $400-$800 on an entry level camera, not including your lens.

Nikon D3500

Nikon D5600 (I did not see a huge difference between the two Nikon cameras but you can always bet on the more expensive the camera – more features and better specs)

Canon EOD Rebel T7 (slower shooting speed, not as good in low light)

Canon EOS Rebel T8i (faster shooting speed, better in low light)


• SHOULD I JUST BUY THE CAMERA THAT COMES WITH A LENS? •

My answer: NO YOU SHOULD NOT!!!!!!!

I feel like this is the biggest misconception when it comes to a new photographer buying their camera. You have your eye set on a camera that’s, say… $500. For just $99 more you can get your camera WITH a lens! Except – what the salesman at the camera store won’t tell you is that lens that comes with your camera is J U N K. I said it. Junk.

We will talk about this a little bit more in this post and A LOT more in class. But for now, PLEASE! Just focus on finding a camera body and skip the “deal” on a lens kit!


• WHAT TYPE OF LENS DO I NEED? •

While again, there is no one specific lens you NEED to get started with. There are 2 really good options I always suggest for beginners to start with! And the best part is, they are relatively cheap!

35mm f/1.8 (wider angle, better for indoor photography or landscapes)

50mm f/1.8 (my #1 suggested lens to anyone starting out!)

Each of these lenses come with a price tag around $200. Which in the photography world, you will come to find out, is super cheap. (This is an expensive hobby if you haven’t figured that out yet!) Each of these lenses are considered PRIME LENSES.

What is a prime lens? PRIME means that this lens DOES NOT zoom in and out. It is set at one specific focal distance (i.e., 35mm or 50mm)

Both of these lenses come with amazing auto-focus so you’re sure to have super sharp images every time. I started shooting with my 50mm and still use it to this day. It’s an amazing lens, super versatile and will create beautiful images for you!


• HOW DO I GET A BLURRY BACKGROUND? •

The blurry background you see on a lot of professional photographs is not something that is added during editing. It is actually called BOKEH and is created in camera, depending on your lens, aperture and depth of field.

Did I just lose anyone?? Remember those lenses I just recommended? Did you notice the 1.8 that followed each of them? This number, known as your aperture or f-stop, is SUPER important in creating a creamy, blurry background.

We will talk all about aperture and what it is during class, because it gets a little confusing. But just know that number following your lens (50mm f/1.8) plays a huge factor in creating bokeh in camera.


If you’re still with me and want to learn more about photography and how to shoot in manual, consider coming to my next Beginners Camera Class on January 30th, 2021! We will be starting from the ground, up. So if you don’t know a single thing about your camera, or maybe you don’t even have one yet but now have a few suggestions when you go to buy one, THIS CLASS IS FOR YOU!

Whether you’re a mom wanting to learn how to take better pictures to document your families day to day life or maybe you are in a career that would benefit from better photos? We all know photos speak a million words on social media, right?

You can sign up for an early bird discount HERE for $40 off your class registration!

WHAT WE WILL COVER IN CLASS •

1. Shooting in manual mode and in depth learning of each manual setting you’ll be using and why
2. Basic camera settings including auto-focus and selection
3. Education on best practice for shooting in different lighting situations
4. And more!

COVID-19 guidelines: 1. All attendees must sign a COVID-19 liability waver form and adhere to all guidelines as outlined by Rocha & Co Photography and 304Collective. 2. Attendees must correctly wear a mask at all times during class. 3. Attendees will be temperature checked at the door prior to entry.

If you aren’t comfortable attending a class in person following the guidelines, I am offering a virtual option as well. Make sure and select “virtual (zoom)” when you checkout! You will still be apart of the class – just from your home!

Hope to learn with you soon!

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