Start small. Start simple.

I’ve talked about this a few times already. It’s not about the gear, it’s how you use it.

That’s why I recommend starting small.

Keep in mind I started my photography journey with a Blackberry.

My first proper camera was an Olympus E-500. It cost around $30. I used it for about a year. But even today I find myself looking back and saying, wow how did I take those beautiful pictures? Sometimes I believe I took better pictures with that old camera than with my brand new one. Why? Because I understood and used all the camera’s capabilities. I knew what it could and couldn’t do.

Eventually, I upgraded to a Nikon D3100. Then I went from understanding 99% of my camera to probably 40%. It took me around 5 years to maybe learn 80% of what my new camera can and can’t do.

Then, quite recently, I bought a camera I’ve been dreaming about for 4 years, a Nikon D5300. Again, I went from knowing 80% of my camera to 25%.

Now you might understand when I say, “sometimes it looks like I took better pictures with my first camera”.

Because now I’m overwhelmed with new things I need to learn. I need to try, test and play around with the camera’s new features. See what works and what doesn’t, and that takes time and thousands of pictures and videos.

Your phone is a good start. Learn how to use its camera 100%. Understand what it can and can’t do. Then go buy a camera and play around with it.

Start small. Start simple.

What was your first camera?

Confused by some photography terminology? Here’s a list of photography jargon.

If you found this helpful, here are 5 photography tips for beginners.

Learn about developing your eye for detail.

Thinking about which camera you should buy to begin photography?


Foundation of Photography

Phone Photography Tips

Photography Tips

45 thoughts on “Start small. Start simple.

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  1. I think they make a too much sophisticated camera today, because they tend to add some options you’ll probably not use. I would like to try Sony R.III, just to see if all those “magnificent” things they talk about are real.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well that’s all up to you. I like all the features because I like having control over the camera which in turns helps me take the picture I want.
      Haha. A very expensive camera indeed. Once again, it’s not about the camera it’s how you use it. Put that camera in the wrong hands and it will be useless. 🙂


  2. Agreed. By focusing on starting small, it’s easier to take that first step. My first camera was a smartphone… currently it’s still a smartphone (newer with a better camera).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t have any professional camera , but i take pictures by my phone as i have just started taking pictures…and i think they are not bad..i have uploaded it to my blog..your advice is totally worth I’ll keep in mind that…thanks..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Hannes for this timely advice. Our eldest daughter is our in house photographer. Years ago we got her a second hand Sony Cyber shot for Christmas. She’s delighted us with her pictures and knows the ins and outs of that camera. After years of regular use and miles clocked on hiking trails, her camera is beginning to show its age. I’ve begun to wonder if we shouldn’t “upgrade” her to a camera that can do more. Your post has given me much to chew on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Beth! Well, what might help with making the decision is deciding if it is a luxury or an investment.
      My very first camera was a luxury item because I only wanted to play around. But my second camera was an investment. An investment in my creativity which lead me to many incredible opportunities where I worked with amazing people, brands, seeing the world and living life. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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