So I bought my first { and only! } DSLR 2.5 years ago because I wanted to improve my photography for my beauty blog.

macbook and canon dslr

It’s a Canon 650D – which isn’t even sold in shops anymore as it was replaced by the Canon 700D.

I didn’t do any research whatsoever.  I just wanted the newest Canon DSLR camera – ‘new’ always means the ‘best’, right?

It cost something ridiculous like $1500 but I was getting the newest Canon DSLR, two lenses from the twin lens kit, a camera bag, some UV filters – so surely that was a bargain?!!!

Got home, charged the battery, attached the lens onto the camera, turned it on and took photos.

I expected to turn into some photo-taking goddess with breathtaking, high quality, prize-winning photos as I wielded this rather heavy bulging bundle of DSLR goodness…BUT NO!

beauty blogging product photography

The first set of photos I took from my DSLR were awful.  And so did the next lot.  And the next.

In fact, I felt that the photos I took with my iPhone looked even better than the ones I took on my DSLR.


How can that be???!!!  Surely, all you need to take better photos is an expensive DSLR?!

I asked my friends who owned DSLRs.  They all talked in photography jargon which I did not understand!!!

DO NOT USE AUTO!  GO MANUAL!  Exposure.  Wide.  Aperture.  Manual.  AV.  Focal length.  Shoot RAW.  And the numbers.

Oh the numbers.  WHAT DID THEY MEAN??


Then one of my guy friends said – Look, just use AV and you’ll be fine.

So I did.

beauty blogging photography

And eventually, my photos started to look half-decent and acceptable.

I did the ‘rule of thirds’ thing and I had ‘bokeh’ in some photos.  But they just didn’t have that ‘thing’ about them.

Secretly, I was still convinced that my Canon 650D was CRAP and that I needed the Canon 5D Mark 3 because that was THE BEST.  That’s what all the professionals used, duhhh!

This went on till…hmm…maybe  months ago…when one day, I had an epiphany.  All the photography stuff slowly started to make some sense.

I changed from AV to M – manual mode.  And BAM!!!

No, I wish I changed into the best photographer in the world by doing that one step alone, but I didn’t.

better beauty blog photography

Instead, I started to get a better idea of what I was doing.  I was IN CONTROL of creating the photo that I wanted.  And I was so excited!  For real!

I’m still a photography noob and my photos are still awful, oh yes, but here are 3 beginners tips which I think helped me a lot :-

1.  Take your DSLR everywhere and take photos of everything in all different lights and locations.  If you don’t practise, you will never learn anything.

2.  Forget about shooting RAW and post-processing editing.  That’s a whole new ballgame.  Just learn the necessary basics instead of going so pro.

3.  Read your entire camera manual so you learn the ins and outs of your camera.  And don’t covet a new camera until you know everything about what your camera does.  Besides, it’s more about the camera lens than the body!

black and white photography

Anyway, I thought I’d mention that I still take photos for my beauty blog { and they’re still need a lot of improvement because I don’t have amazing lighting after work #blamethelightingyes } but my favourite subject to photograph these days is….yep, you’ve guessed it…Bunty Boo!!!!

Oh and I still do that DSLR nooby thing where I try and take a photo but the camera lens cap is still on!!!!  HAHA!!!!

Anyway, do you have a DSLR?  What are your photo tips?  Share, share, share!

2 Comments on Memoirs Of A DSLR Noob

  1. KezUnprepared
    March 20, 2015 at 5:06 pm (3 years ago)

    You’re braver than me! I’d love to have those skills, but in all honesty I am too lazy to learn everything! I have a little Lumix point and shoot and my iPhone. I am too daunted by Mr Unprepared’s DSLR to use it (although I am impressed by the quality of the photos taken with it). I think my only kind of half decent saving grace is I have a fairly good eye for what will look good in a photo – capturing little moments and setting up the shots with a bit of creativity. My tip is just take LOTS of pictures until you get the right shot.

    • Ling
      March 26, 2015 at 10:15 pm (3 years ago)

      Your photos are great Kez! I would never have known they were taken from point and shoot! 🙂


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