As a new photographer, these are some of the ideas that will help keep you inspired and sharpen your technical skills.

Bring Your Gear with You

Keep your camera with you as much as possible. Opportunities to take great photos often come when you least expect it. If you can only have a few, light equipment such as a small camera bag and a tripod, you might be able to quickly capture some great photos of those unexpected opportunities. Alternatively, you should always have your phone with you so that you can capture images of scenes that you may want to return to with your regular camera.

If can’t carry your camera with you all the time, keep a small notebook to take notes of scenes that you can come back to. Be certain that you note any essential details, such as the lighting, so that you can accurately capture the moment.

The Golden Hour

The golden hour takes place approximately an hour or so before sunset and an hour after sunrise. This time creates some of the most beautiful natural light. As an amateur photographer, these are the times when you can produce some amazing landscape shots. If you are planning an outside shoot with a model, this is also a great time to do so since the sunlight is more likely to be softer than when the sun is high in the sky. When the golden hour is on, you can have your subjects look towards the sun and not have to squint or shield their eyes.

Know Your Camera

Whether you have a point-and-shoot, a mirrorless or a dSLR, you should take the time to learn about your camera. Determine what all the buttons are for and when you should use them. Review the menu so that if you have to alter a setting, you do not have to spend so much time scrolling through through the options, especially when time is of the essence. Make sure that you also know about your camera’s limitations. In a nutshell, whenever you pick up your camera, you want to feel comfortable because you know precisely how it works and how to use it.