6 Things You Should Ignore if You're a New Photographer

When you're a new photographer, there is an abundance of information to take in, some of it useful, much of it not. The question is, what is white noise? Here are six things that one photographer believes people new to craft ought to ignore.

Can you remember when you first started photography? Perhaps you have only just started photography. I remember a lot about my start, and as exciting as it was, I remember it felt as if the volumes of "crucial" information were tantamount to unknowable. In a way, that's correct, but the word in inverted commas is where it all hinges. A lot of information has importance attributed to it that isn't truly reflective and it can be difficult to decipher what you ought to listen to, and what you ought to ignore.

There is a lot I would counsel new photographers to ignore, and Omar Gonzalez does a good job of covering some of the major ones. The largest and most pernicious, for me at least, is anyone who tries to dictate your path in photography — ignore those people. You will be told there's no money in this, or anyone can do that, or that style isn't on trend anymore. Similarly, people will tell you medium format is pointless, or lenses have to be a certain widest aperture, or you should avoid a certain brand. By all means, listen to what people have to say, but do your own research and do what you enjoy. I liked macro photography (and still do) and I was told there is pretty much no money in such a niche even though I wasn't looking to make any. I found plenty of work using macro anyway, and those people no doubt went on to tell more, new photographers their own shortcomings and opinions at every opportunity.

What do you think new photographers should ignore?

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12 Comments

Yan Pekar's picture

Fstoppers, do you do any content moderation? I understand that you need click-byte articles to get more readers, but posting exactly THE SAME content under different names on the SAME day is crossing the line. You do not respect your readers to such an extent that you let yourselves waste their time? It is time to unsubscribe as being (rather used to be) one of your readers, I do not tolerate when my time is being wasted and when the content is manipulated to play with the audience. Here is another post with the SAME video under a slightly different name, that you posted on the SAME day: https://fstoppers.com/education/6-things-new-photographers-shouldnt-worr... When I went to see the other article again, there was an error "You are not allowed to view page". Hopefully, you have realized what you did and removed the second article (hopefully). Or maybe you have banned me for the comment I made:)

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Oh, relax the hell up. Talk about crying over spilled milk. More likely it was just a mistake and you're over here acting the like world is coming to an end.

Btw, instead of unsubscribing, why not just delete your account? Better for everyone.

Yan Pekar's picture

Hello (first of all). You are no exception, and you have reacted to my comment in the same way:) Trying to teach me how to behave without noticing that you are doing exactly the same thing:) Why not just pass by and do something that would make you feel happier?:) Relax the hell up and have a great day:)

Catherine Bowlene's picture

I assume there was a mistake, I've came across the same 'You're not allowed to view...' thing once or twice, too. This is not about the ban, probably just some technical error.

Yan Pekar's picture

Hi Catherine. Thank you for your comment. I guess it was because the duplicate article was removed from the site after they realized they posted the same content twice on the same day. Have a nice day.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

How childish of you (no surprise). Playing the deflection game. The big difference between you and I is you were crying, whining, getting all melodramatic, and making ultimatums over something that what was just a mistake. Akin to "I don't like you anymore! I'm leaving and taking my dolls and playhouse with me!"

I on the other hand, merely gave you a friendly little bitch-slap for acting like an entitled bratty little girl.

So I guess you decided to stick around. Many of you "I'm leaving" usually do. lol

Yan Pekar's picture

You are the Hero:) You are the winner:) I am happy to know that I am childish, thank you for letting me know it:) It is amazing when adults have some childhood left in them:) Sorry to hear that you did not like your own words. Have a great day, and go find someone to fight with somewhere else. Do something good for yourself, something that helps you feel positive:)

Michelle Maani's picture

You and me, not you and I. Objective case, not subjective case.

Jenny Rich's picture

I'd also say 'Ignore all those people telling you photography is a waste of time and nothing serious may come out of it'. I had almost every family member telling me this when I first startedm even though I ever aimed at being professional and just did it for fun, but now they are very eager to ask me to bring the camera for family gatherings or make their waistlines thinner in Photodiva. Lol.

Mark Smith's picture

That was helpful. I especially agree about not listening to people who tell you to shoot full manual mode as a beginner. Confession: I usually shoot in program auto mode, but I do look at my aperture and shutter speed and change them if needed. Is that so wrong? :) Also, the advice at the end is spot on: pay attention to the quality of the light, pay attention to your composition, try to take photos that make you happy. That is the best advice. Maybe one more piece of advice: shoot in jpeg, OR jpeg and RAW as a beginner, so you won't be disappointed in the RAW file and give up. Plenty of time for RAW files later.

Scott McDonald's picture

One other important bit of advice is to not be discouraged by those who come to the "Comments" section to pontificate and/or express their negative views of the given topic. I think photography is perhaps second only to politics as the genre most populated with armchair warriors with a keyboard...read through them with a sense of humor if anything, and try to find the gems...you'll just have to dig a little deeper but they're out there.

Charles Haacker's picture

I write a lot over on Quora, where I try my level best to intelligently answer questions about photography. I always research and do my due diligence. I stay in my lane. I don't talk down. I answer sincerely. I try never to be opinionated. It happens that I use Sony "half-frames" and love them to pieces, but I honestly HATE Sony's byzantine menus and I say so. I try to be open-minded. I say early and often that it's not about cameras, quoting Saint Ansel that it's about the 12-inches behind the camera. I just subscribed to Omar Gonzalez's channel because I love his humor plus he's right---at least I think he's right. For years now I have felt that there's a LOT of misinformation out there. I want to be part of the solution rather than the problem. I love a quote on the use of cell phones from Annie Leibovitz: