Top 5 Tips for Beginners in Photography

The last few years of  life has been very fast paced. My time is spent building my family, leading Socality and my working on my own personal photography. When I first started photography, I was only taking pictures on my iPhone. As my social account @scottcbakken grew so did the interest in my photo work. I began to receive contract work with incredible brands like American Express, Rogers Media, Travel Alberta and Canon. One of my latest opportunities was being asked by SanDisk to be a brand ambassador. Helping people learn and grow is one of my passions. SanDisk asked me to share some of my top tips on where to begin with photography. It is easy to look at someone down the road on their journey and want to be where they are, but it is important to start at your own pace and work towards this. 

Here are my 5 tips on where to start. 

1. Start with what you have- You don't need to rush out and spend thousands of dollars on the best gear. This will only lead to frustration and you won't know where to begin. Become the master of the device you have. Almost everyone has a phone so starting to grab images with the camera on your phone is a great place to begin. Once you start to develop the skill, upgrade to a affordable camera and work your way up. After my iPhone I moved to a Canon 70D and then eventually on to my current body which is a 6D. 

2. Develop your eye- Framing a shot is very important to capturing an image. Much of photography is being able showcase the space or subject in the best framing possible. One key here is to apply rule of thirds. You will see that you have a grid on Instagram divided into 9 squares when posting. This helps guide where to position your photo. Placing subjects in the thirds is pleasing to the eye and is a basic rule that most photographers apply. 

3. Learn by doing- Part of what has helped me grow as a photographer was to learn what I liked and didn't and this has all come through experimenting with my surroundings. I can enter a space and see a shot I love instantly and other times I need to work for it. This is where creativity comes in and pushing yourself outside the box. The more you experiment and try new things, the more you will find your creative juices start to flow. 

4. Share through your own lens- It is easy to capture the same shot as everyone else but it is always great to show things through your own eyes. People want to see the world through your eyes and this is your chance to do it. Look for different angles and new opportunities in a space and try to put your own spin on it. 

5. Work with good light- When it comes to outdoor photography much is based on the lighting. Sunrise and sunset work great as well as cloudy afternoons. Shooting in harsh afternoon light is never great for the landscape or the subject. Find the best times of day and take advantage of natural light. 

There are so many things I can share but ultimately photography is about you capturing and telling a story. Everyday you have the chance to share things around you. Start with what you have, learn as you go and develop your craft in your own time. Don't get frustatred but be patient and embrace the journey. 

Me with my Canon 6D in NYC. Photo by @bigotesdelince.

Me with my Canon 6D in NYC. Photo by @bigotesdelince.

An entrepreneur, creator, father & husband from Calgary, Scott Bakken is inspiring a generation of creatives to live their best life.