ways to improve your photography without spending money

Ways to Improve Your Photography Without Spending Money

I just finished Beginner Digital Photography, and am starting Intermediate Digital Photography in college in just a few weeks. My professor is amazing and has really helped me improve my photography skills. She’s also inspired me to share the tips I’ve collected with you guys! Most of these are absolutely free. The ones that do cost are 10000% worth it, or I wouldn’t have mentioned them!

Photography Forums

Once you’ve mastered the basics of understanding the exposure triangle (I promise it’s not as difficult as it might seem!), you may want to ask for constructive criticism. Asking friends is pointless… they’ll always tell you every photo you take is awesome. Trust me, even the ones that are truth-tellers will sugarcoat how craptastic your images might be. So, I suggest heading to forums.

I absolutely love the Clickin’ Mom forums (use code 20PHOTO for $12 off). There are tons (and I mean tons!) of tutorials, along with lots of helpful members so the forum is always active.

Free forum options include The Photo Forum and I Love Photography. When you first join, just look around a bit. After a little while, you’ll see the dynamic of how things work and you may want to jump in and ask for some CC on your shots!

Forums also (usually) have challenges. I’ve found that challenges have helped me the most when it comes to improving my photography. If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box way to improve your photography, I definitely recommend challenges.

Remember, even though I absolutely LOVE my Sony a6000, you can shoot great photos with any camera. Understanding Exposure is a wonderful book that will walk you through the process of creating amazing digital images even without a $3000 camera.

ways to improve your photography without spending money

Photography Challenge Ideas

The photo above is a “Complementary Colors” Challenge I did for class. You can see how pleased my wife is at being my “test subject”. :)

52 Photography Challenges – One for each week of the year! From Digital Camera World
30 Exercises for Creating Authentic Photographs – Great if you need some practice with portraits.
30 Day Photography Challenge – From Expert Photography
365 Photo Ideas – This is from 2009, but obviously still relevant for the most part.

Photography Websites

These websites will teach you pretty much everything you could ever want to know about improving your photography! They’re also jam packed full of inspiration no matter what kinds of pictures you like to take. I have linked directly to the photography section of each site (unless the entire site is about photography), to make it easy.

I Heart Faces
Click It Up a Notch
Digital Photography School
Simple as That Blog
Improve Photography
Sixth Bloom
A Beautiful Mess

If you’re more of a video person, my favorite YouTubers that talk about photography are:

Mike Browne
DigitalRev (bonus points to this guy for being an adorable Asian with an English accent)
FroKnowsPhoto

Other Resources to Improve Your Photography

100+ Photography Tutorials – Covers everything from understanding white balance and focal length, to lighting hacks and macro photography.

70+ Photography Tutorials – Covers things like how to photograph a silhouette, backlighting, and spot metering.

68 Photography Tutorials – Links mostly to blogs I’ve already talked about (like Beautiful Mess & Click It Up a Notch), but directly links to great tutorials.

100+ Free Adobe Lightroom Tutorials – When you’re ready to dive into editing, this is the mother lode.

50 Incredible Photography Tutorials – High speed photography, tilt shift photography, and much more.

8 Ways to Improve Your Photography – Free ebook from Click It Up a Notch if you sign up for their newsletter.

So, there you have it! The best ways to improve your photography in 2016. Share your tips in the comments.

While you’re here, please take a few moments to PIN THIS POST and visit these awesome bloggers who are helping us all improve our lives in 2016! From reducing your carbon footprint to becoming a better parent, they’ve got it all!

ways to improve your photography without spending money

Start a Budget in 2016 – from Life on Deer Run

Improve Your Relationship With Your Teen – from Five in Ohio

10 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint – from Driftwood Gardens

6 Easy Ways to Improve Yourself – from Bits of This and Pieces of That

5 Easy Ways to Lose Weight – from Walking on Sunshine Recipes

7 Ways to Eat Better in 2016 – from Wendy Ilium

2016 is My Year to Forgive Myself – from Witch Weigh

Stress Less About Cleaning – from Ooh Shiny

Be a Better Mom – from It’s a Kono Life

Be a Great Mom With a Physical Disability – from Parsimonious Pash

Making Better Time with Twins – from Twins and Testing Things

Fall in Love With YOU – from Crazy Bloggin Mom

    5 Comments

  1. Jill at Reply

    Thank you for these helpful tips! I need to up my photography game for sure.
    Jill recently posted..6 Easy Ways to Improve Yourself in 2016My Profile

  2. Jen at Reply

    Sadie, thank you for sharing these awesome resources! Improving my photography is one of my resolutions for 2016. I’ve loved seeing your pictures on Facebook and I see a huge difference since you took the first photography course. Keep up the good work and keep inspiring your fellow bloggers!
    Jen recently posted..10 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in 2016My Profile

  3. Love all of your tips! I’m a beginner and desperately needed these! Thank you!

  4. I hate taking pictures, I’m too impatient to get them as nice as they could be, but it’s a necessary evil sometimes and I really appreciate knowing ways to make the whole process easier and how to get those photos looking great!

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