Photography 101: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

This guide will take you from being a complete novice to being a photography expert. The purpose is to lay out all the information of this website in an order that is helpful to a beginner while providing context and direction. In other words, this article will help you put it all together and start taking awesome photos!

An awesome photo!

Your Camera

Let’s start with your camera. You need to be familiar with your camera. Each camera is different and learning it’s particular menus, buttons, and dials is key. Your camera is a tool to show others the world you see. You need to know how to use it.

Unfortunately, the only way to do this is for you to read your camera manual or find a video explaining your camera’s buttons and functions. You then need to practice pressing those buttons so you know where they are and what they do.

Luckily, you can get by with only learning a few. Those are:

  1. Aperture
  2. Shutter Speed
  3. ISO

If you have a handle on changing those three settings, you’re ready for the next step!

Understanding Exposure

Now that you have control of Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO on your camera, it’s time to learn what they are and how to use them properly. I have them broken up into their own articles to make it easy. Check out each one and you’ll be ready for the next step!

The above graphic gives a quick overview of the effects of each setting. Check out the following articles to learn more.

  1. Aperture Explained
  2. Shutter Speed Explained
  3. ISO Explained
  4. The Exposure Triangle Explained

Perspective in Photography

Now that you have exposure down, it’s time get some perspective. Where you place your camera matters and can drastically change how your photo will look. The following article explains everything.

Understanding Perspective in Photography

If you prefer to watch, check out the following video. It goes over everything in the article.

Focal Length and Lenses

Next up, it’s time to learn about those weird glass and plastic thingies sticking out the front of your camera. You need to know how they work and which ones you should use for specific types of photography.

Complete Guide to Focal Length and Lenses

One of those weird plastic and glass thingies


You can’t forget about composition! How can you take great photos without understanding composition? You can’t!

Well, you can, but it probably won’t be on purpose.

You can bet your bottom dollar that there’s some composition going on here.

If you want to consistently take excellent photos and understand why they’re great, check out the following articles.

  1. The General Rules of Composition
  2. Guide to Composition for Landscapes
  3. Guide to Composition for Portrait Photography

Sensor Sizes

The size of the sensor in your camera affects a lot. You should probably know what. The following article explains it all.

Everything You Need to Know About Sensor Sizes

Photo Editing

So you understand your camera pretty well now and you’ve started taking some pretty awesome photos. What do you do with them?

Edit them!

An edited photo (psst, they’re all edited!)

Editing your photos is necessary to bring them to their fullest potential. The best part is, it’s not that hard. Check out the following article to get started.

Beginner’s Guide to Photo Editing

For some more advanced editing techniques, check out the following articles:

  1. How to Blend Exposures
  2. Creating HDR Images in Lightroom
  3. Canon Exposure Bracketing
  4. How to Fix Perspective Distortion in Photoshop

Photography Gear

There is a lot of camera gear out there. Understanding what you need and what you don’t is necessary. The following articles should clear it up.

A Speedlite attached to a camera
  1. The Best SD Card for Photography
  2. Everything You Need to Know About Lens Filters
  3. My Favorite Cleaning Kit – Altura Photo Cleaning Kit
  4. My Favorite Speedlite – Neewer TT560
  5. A Review of the Panasonic Lumix G7

Learn More

There is always more to learn the following are some other fun articles to add to your photography knowledge or just to look at some cool pictures!

How to Take Sharper Images

Everything You Need to Know About White Balance

Golden Hour Explained

What is a DSLR Camera?

What is a Mirrorless Camera?

A Complete History of Photography

Why is Every Major Camera Company Japanese?

There is always more to learn! Check out the rest of this site and find out some stuff on your own! Happy shooting!

If you want all this in the form of an easy to read book, check out mine! One Hour Photography: The Fastest Way to Learn Photography

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