Congratulations on getting a new camera, and welcome to the world of photography! You are definitely going to love it. Before you go out shooting, take a look at these things you should do first with your brand-new camera.
We also know how overwhelming it can be when you get that new camera in your hands. There are so many buttons, so many menus, a whole new language to learn, and that’s before you even take the first picture!
But don’t worry, we are here to help. Follow these simple steps and you will be well on your way to using that camera confidently.
Open the box
Sometimes just opening the box can be a little intimidating when getting a new piece of equipment. Take inventory of what is in there and make a list of things that you may need before you start taking pictures.
Most DSLRs will come with the camera body, a battery, charger, user manual, warranty information, and a bunch of protective packaging. Some cameras will come with a lens while others will just come with the camera body.
Pro tip: Keep all of the packagings in a safe place. Should you ever want to sell your camera (and you likely will one day!), having the original box will allow you to sell it more easily.
Read the Manual
It is not likely going to be the most exciting piece of literature you will ever read. However, your manual is the definitive guide on your camera. It’s worth spending a few hours to get to know your new best friend!
The manual will tell you how to safely use your camera, where to find specific functions, and will break down all those menus. You may even find that your camera can do things that you didn’t know it could do!
Surround yourself with Inspiration
One of the best ways to motivate your photography is to surround yourself with photographs that inspire you. Keep a Pinterest board of photographs you love and make notes on what you admire about each shot. Follow other photographers on Instagram. Keep photography books on your coffee table.
Of course, your first shots with that new camera aren’t going to look like the shots that you admire so much. Those photographers’ first shots didn’t look like that either! However, keeping beautiful photography around you all the time will help train your eye to see what makes a photo beautiful. This helps you as you seek out your own photo opportunities.
Get the Extras
Not everything you need to use your camera will come in that one box. You may need memory cards, a camera strap, a padded bag, extra batteries, and a lens!
Take the time to do some research on what items will work best for your needs. Memory cards, for example come in various sizes and speeds and you will want to make sure that the ones you get work well with your specific camera body.
We like to go to our local camera store when looking for all the extras as the staff there knows exactly what works and can point us in the right direction quickly. Bring your camera with you and they will set you up with everything you need.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to show a little personality! Items like camera straps and bags are where you can have a little fun with your gear and there are no shortage of styles from which to choose.
Start taking Pictures
Once you have your camera battery charged, your memory card in the slot, and a lens attached, turn that camera on and take some photos. Play with your settings and see what you can capture. These aren’t going to be the best pictures you ever take, but the best way to learn is to dive right in.
Practice picking focus points. See what happens as you switch through the various automatic modes. Try putting the camera in manual mode and see what happens. Keep a list of things that work and things that you find challenging.
Getting a new camera is so exciting and we want you to take pictures you love. We know that following these simple first steps will have you well on your way to capturing the world around you and we can’t wait to see where your camera takes you!