My Advices For You, New Photographer
Don’t go crazy buying the most expensive equipment right away. It’s possible to get very nice photos with every kind of equipment. Obviously if you have better camera and lens, nightlife photography will be easier.
Be sure of your skills before upgrading your equipment, to really appreciate what you have in your hands. The more photos you take, the more you’ll know about what kind of camera to get when it’s time to buy something new.
Enjoy the learning process. The best part of having a hobby like photography is that you never run out of things to learn. Take advantage of free resources to learn: browse through websites and blogs for inspiration and tips. If you’re interested in learning about post-processing, download a free software like GIMP and give a try.
Learn the basic rules. The amount of information about photography online can be overwhelming. Start with a few articles on composition. You have to know the rules before you can break them.
Experiment with your camera’s settings. Your point and shoot may be more flexible and powerful than you know. Decipher all those little symbols on your camera’s body. Try shooting with multiple settings to learn what effects you like. When you’re looking at your photos on a computer, you can check the EXIF data (usually in the file’s properties) to recall the settings you used.
Try everything. Photojournalism, fashion, portraiture, nightlife, still life, whatever. You won’t know what kind of photographer you are until you try it. Fun is important. You should like the process and the subject. If you are bored or unhappy with your subject it will show up in the pictures. If in your heart of hearts you want to take pictures of kitties, take pictures of kitties.
Get inspired by everything you see. Learn as many languages as possible, go to movies, read books, visit museums, broad your mind. Be yourself. Look at everything with the eyes of a photographer and you’ll see opportunities you never noticed before.
Be open to criticism, it can be really helpful, but stick to you core values. Give to every word the right weight, depending also on who it comes from.
Last, but not least: don’t be afraid to experiment. If you’re using a digital camera, the cost of errors is free. Go crazy – you might end up with something you like. You’ll certainly learn a lot in the process.