Guide to Photography

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Photography can be an exciting and fun new hobby or a profound way of re-igniting your passion for life. Or both! See Top Tips below on how to get started


Whether you’re just looking for a hobby to keep you busy and get you out and about, or you’re looking to create something you can sell or use as part of an existing business, learning about photography can be a great deal of fun and a sound investment of your time.

You can get started immediately if you have a camera on your smartphone. Or if you want to take it more seriously, you’ll need to get yourself a decent camera. But then you’re set. Join a local group and work towards a specific goal or set out on your own and start snapping.

If you’re a person who’s always appreciated photography but never got around to creating your own, you might be surprised how much of an impact it can have on your life as a whole. A large part of being a good photographer is training yourself to be always on the lookout for the beauty around you. Learning to capture that beauty is the other part, and that’s where the challenge lies.

Why Start?

It’s a great hobby through which you can meet new people, get out and about and train yourself to see beauty everywhere.

Who is it for?

Anyone with a good eye, or the will to learn.

Are there any prerequisites?

Not really. You just need to have willingness and patience. You may need to buy a camera but don’t forget the one on your smartphone!

What are the benefits?

If you get involved in competitions or community photography events, you can meet a new circle of friends. It can also be combined with other activities, keeping you fairly fit in the process. Plus, great photos for your real or virtual walls.

How much will it cost?

It depends on how you want to approach it. If you’ve got a smartphone, you could get started immediately. If you want to get set up with what we might call a ‘proper camera’, then you’re looking at an average of £350 to get started.

Can I take it to another level?

our local photography club will probably run competitions, or you can find larger competitions online. Start showing your best work online and in photography communities and you never know where it can lead. New careers have been shaped by people getting into photography and finding that they have a real flair for it…

What Equipment do I need?

You need a camera. Your phone will suffice if you want it to. If not, you’ll need a dedicated camera. Maybe start with a DSLR, a digital single-lens reflex, and take it from there. If you don’t want to go digital you will need a dark room and a lot of chemicals, or money to spend on developing film. Maybe start with digital to check that you’re really into it first.

Where can I take part?

You can find like-minded enthusiasts online in the first instance. From there you can find out about organised photography events in your local area. But if you’re happy to go out on your own, you can take part anywhere — outdoors and indoors. Although outdoors is bigger.

Top Tips

Once you’ve got your camera, take it everywhere with you. There are great photos literally everywhere. You have to be ready to spot that perfect photo opportunity.

Excellent site for camera news and reviews

You can learn about the art of photography here and also benefit from the knowledge of experienced photographers

Join local groups and communities, in real life and online. Everything is always much more fun and easier to keep up with if you do it with others. Go to and type in “photography”.

Get involved with events too. Again, is a great place to start

Facts & Stats

According to Infotrends market research, in 2017 there will be an estimated 1.3 trillion photographs taken. This is three times the number taken in 2010. Interestingly, 75% of those photographs will be taken on mobile phones, up from only 40% in 2010.

The first digital camera was developed in 1975 by an engineer at Kodak. It took 23 seconds to create the first photograph

The most expensive camera ever sold was an extremely rare 1923 Leica Camera, which sold for $2.8 million at an auction in Vienna

Did you know…

In the early days of photography, exposure took a long time and subjects had to sit for hours as the technology did its business. This led to mothers comforting their children, but being hidden from the shot. Check out this gallery of hidden mothers:



Every great picture tells an amazing story. Here are some of the best:

How to get started
Links to related information

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