INVEST (but don’t go overboard)
If you are just buying your first DSLR, I encourage you to save your money and by a Canon EOS Rebel or Nikon D3300. These are both similar cameras and are perfect for beginners. There are all kinds of cameras out there and I haven’t even touched researching all of them – they only get cooler and pricier. Start with a camera around the $500 mark so that you can make sure you enjoy photography before you invest so much! You can always upgrade later.
Another thing to note is that this is the time you will probably be going the Nikon or Canon route. I don’t have enough knowledge to point you one way or another. I hear great things about both. I personally have a Canon EOS Rebel and have since purchased a canon lens.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR EQUIPMENT
Your camera is an investment and much (much) more expensive than a disposable camera. You cannot treat it the way you would treat one of those at camp when you were a kid! There are so many little parts that can break or get dirty. You will need to keep it safe when you travel to minimize wear & tear, keep your lens cap on whenever you are not using your camera, and store in a safe place. Here are some of my favorite things that keep my camera safe:
- BAG: Invest in a good camera bag! It is SO worth it. I picked one with pockets, dividers and room for extra lenses, and space to always have a spare battery, extra SD card, and my cleaning kit with me. I recommend ONA bags – cute, functional, and quality.
- STRAP: A great camera strap is also worth the investment. You want it to be quality (so that it doesn’t rip and make your camera drop) and comfortable. I have a Fotostrap and encourage everyone I know to get one. Nothing else compares.
- CLEANING: The lens and your camera insides are pretty fragile. Make sure you have a camera cleaning kit to clean things properly to keep it in the best condition.
BE BRAVE & LEARN
The best way to grow your photography skills is to practice! I made a commitment to only use the manual setting when I started and I am so thankful I did. All the settings may be overwhelming but take it one step at a time and learn as you go! I’ve organized my favorite resources on my Photography for the Blog Pinterest Board. Take all the pictures, don’t be afraid to mess up, and learn by doing. It is important to begin to notice what you like in photos so you can learn to achieve that. Don’t rush to comparison (because they have practiced much longer than you & discouragement hinders creativity), but learn to see what you love about a photo. Finding your style and what your heart is drawn to is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your photography. You’ll begin to see those things in the world and begin to see them in your photography! You got this! I believe in you!!!
Are you looking into purchasing your first DSLR? What are your fears, hopes, thoughts? Do you already own one and have extra tips to add? What about the whole Canon vs. Nikon – what is your camera?