It's easy to buy an expensive camera, and then watch it collect dust while telling yourself that you'll take photos later, or at big events, or on trips. It’s even easier to gasp at the price tag and decide you’ll just have to wait to start taking photos until later down the line when you have more money to spare. But realistically the best way to improve at photography is through regular practice on whatever camera you already have. Just like any other hobby photography is a skill that can't be developed overnight (although your film photos can be! lol). This guide will help you establish a consistent photography practice without having to spend money on everything you think you need to get started. Believe it or not you don't need fancy lenses, or those big umbrella things professionals use for lighting. You don't need an expensive DSLR that goes ka-chunk ka-chunk ka-chunk when you take pictures. You don't even need a traditional camera-- you can simply start out with your phone! Let me introduce you to the joy of developing a photography practice of your own.
For some background: I have loved taking pictures ever since I was a kid, but it wasn’t until 2019 that I was able to purchase my first DSLR camera. Though that was a major step in pursuing photography with serious intentions, I have been practicing casually and regularly for over a decade now. The first real step I took in pursuing photography was actually buying my first cell phone when I was 11 years old (a cheap gophone I couldn’t have been any happier to have!). While cell phone photography isn’t always taken as seriously as that taken on fancier equipment it is an excellent and more accessible place to begin. I also owned a few cheaper digital cameras over the years, and those were wonderful tools for building my practice. A nice camera is definitely a helpful asset to have, but all you really need to begin developing your taste and basic skills is a phone or any other cheap camera you may already have access to.
Here I have outlined some simple steps to help direct you in getting started (even as a total beginner):